The Center for the Art and Architectural History of Port Cities at La Capraia, Naples is a partnership between The Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte, Naples, and Franklin University, Switzerland
Pierre-Jacques Volaire, Eruption of Vesuvius, oil on canvas, 1769, Naples, Museo di Capodimonte.
One of the world’s oldest cultural centers and one of the largest ports in Europe, the city of Naples is a node in a cultural and economic network that spans the Mediterranean and beyond.
The history of art in Naples is one of encounter, exchange, and resistance, of rupture and unexpected convergence. It is above all a story of movement: of people, artworks, and forms, of technologies, traditions, and ideas.
The complexity and dynamism of Naples’s history invites collaborative study across disciplines, and challenges us to envision new histories of art that range across geography, chronology, and medium.
Image: Claudio Metallo
Center for the Art and Architectural History of Port Cities / Centro per la Storia dell'Arte e dell'Architettura delle Città Portuali at La raia, Naples
The Center for the Art and Architectural History of Port Cities, founded in 2018 as a collaboration between the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte in Naples and the Edith O'Donnell Institute of Art History at The University of Texas at Dallas, takes the city of Naples as a laboratory for new research in the cultural histories of port cities and the mobilities of artworks, people, technologies, and ideas.
Housed in La Capraia, a rustic eighteenth-century agricultural building at the heart of the Bosco di Capodimonte, the Center is dedicated to exploring global histories of art, architecture, and cultural production while grounded in direct study of artworks, sites, and archives in Naples and Southern Italy.
Through research residencies, site-based seminars, and programs organized with partner institutions, the Center promotes scholarly access to Naples, fosters and communicates new research on Naples and on other port cities, and cultivates an intellectual community of students and scholars working at the intersection of the global and the local.
Image: Claudio Metallo
"La Capraia” or “ the goat farm,” known also as "Fabbricato Capraia" and "il Casino della Capraia," comprises two rustic buildings, which, until 1836, surrounded a garden courtyard. The original function of the main building, first constructed in the eighteenth century, was to accommodate agricultural storage and goat stalls on the ground floor and living quarters above. The stone-cut goat stalls are preserved on the ground floor to this day. While the second, smaller building was transformed in the nineteenth century into a rustic folly, the main three-story building provides ample space for symposia, seminars, offices, bedrooms, common living and dining areas, and a beautiful east-facing terrace.
Real Fabbrica di Capodimonte, Salottino di Porcellana, painted and gilded porcelain and stucco, 1757-1759. Naples, Museo di Capodimonte.
The Center for the Art and Architectural History of Port Cities at La Capraia offers Research Residencies for advanced graduate students, small site-based research workshops and seminars, and larger programs organized with partner institutions.
Together, these programs support scholarly access to Naples, foster new research on Naples and on other port cities, create a network of scholars working on related projects, and communicate new research to the academic and museum communities and to the public.
The Center for the Art and Architectural History of Port Cities is a partnership between the Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte, and Franklin University Switzerland.
Our Advisory Group brings together scholars from Italy, Europe, and the United States.
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