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online > The Art of Healing - Rediscovering Historical Women Artists from Florence



online > The Art of Healing - Rediscovering Historical Women Artists from Florence

Are we the ones really preserving art through conservation or is it a mutual relationship where art preserves us as well? The concept of displaying art in hospitals may seem to be a modern idea, but humanists truthfully believed that art and beauty possessed intrinsic healing powers for both the body and the soul. A great example is the oval depicting St. John healing victims of the plague painted for the Hospital of San Giovanni di Dio in Florence by Violante Ferroni, a woman who bent all rules at a time when large scale public commissions were reserved for men. 

Through the joint efforts of Italian institutions such as the Uffizi, the Fondazione Santa Maria Nuova and the US organization Advancing Women Artists (AWA), often-forgotten women like Violante Ferroni are now being rediscovered and their works exhibited once more.

During the webinar, Linda Falcone, Director of AWA, and Elizabeth Wicks, Conservator of Fine Art, enlightened us on the works of Plautilla Nelli, Artemisia Gentileschi, Violante Siries Cerroti and Violante Ferroni. Through the fascinating journey of the restoration of their pieces, we learned about the historical women artists of Florence and their role in the ‘Art of Healing’.


This program is organized in collaboration with

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Webinar Recorded on June 4th, 2020 (via YouTube)




Linda Falcone

Linda Falcone is Director of the Florence-based Advancing Women Artists since 2009. She is the co-author of several books with Jane Fortune that spotlight their work uncovering lost art by women from the Renaissance and beyond, including Art by Women in Florence (2012) and Invisible Women: Forgotten Artists of Florence which became an Emmy-winning PBS documentary in 2013. Originally from California, she has lived in Italy for over 26 years and has penned several Italy-inspired books on language including Italians Dance and I’m a Wallflower and If They Are Roses: The Italian way with Words. Her first novel Moving Days was published in 2014. She has appeared in many TV art documentaries including the BBC’s The Story of Women and Art, Feltrinelli TV’s Monuments Women and When the World Answered: Women Artists and the 1966 Flood (2015), a PBS production based on her book by the same name. She is currently working on a documentary on the conservation of Plautilla Nelli's Last Supper for American Public Television.



wicks elizabeth

Elizabeth Wicks is a Conservator of Fine Art who lives and works in Florence, Italy and consults regularly in the U.S.A. With over thirty years in the field, Wicks directs conservation projects for museums, churches, and public properties, and for many private clients. Her restoration projects range from restoring murals at Radio City Music Hall to sculptures by Michelangelo, to easel paintings in a variety of styles and media. Wicks teaches conservation of contemporary art at the University of Viterbo, and trains and supervises conservation interns. Wicks is a member of the Conservation Committee of the International Council on Museums and has been on the Florence advisory council of Advancing Women Artists (AWA) since 2011. She is currently at work on an AWA project, conserving two large ovals painted by the Florentine artist Violante Ferroni in 1756.



Advancing Women Artists is a non-profit organization (501C3) founded by American author and philanthropist Dr. Jane Fortune in 2009. AWA is committed to identifying, restoring, and exhibiting on permanent display works by women artists in Florence. AWA supports projects that include conservation or maintenance of a works of art by women and the funding of publications and exhibitions linked to each restoration project. For more information:



Date: From Thursday, June 04, 2020 to Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Organized by : IIC Washington

In collaboration with : Advancing Women Artists

Entrance : Free