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Art of Spring Break: Ruspoli and Droutzkoy Art Collections Will Be Reunited and Displayed

ARTOFSB

KRISTEN W PAINTING

Villanova owns a number of paintings donated by Princess Eugenia Ruspoli; her adopted daughter, Princess Maria Theresa Droutzkoy; and her daughter’s husband, Prince Alexis Droutzkoy. Who are these donors and what did they collect? The massive painting, “Triumph of David,” by Pietro da Cortona, which is currently undergoing conservation in Falvey Hall’s Reading Room, is only one of a number of paintings donated by the two families although it is certainly the largest.

Princess Eugenia Ruspoli, donor of “The Triumph of David,” was born Jennie Enfield Berry in Alabama in either 1861 or 1869 (date varies according to the source consulted), the oldest daughter of a Confederate army colonel and plantation owner, Thomas Berry, and his wife, Frances Margaret Rhea. Before her first marriage, young Jennie Berry had traveled and studied in Europe. On May 7, 1889, Berry married a wealthy, older man, Henry Bruton, head of the American Snuff Company. Bruton died in 1892, making Jennie Berry Bruton a wealthy, childless widow who soon resumed her European travels.

eugenia_ruspoli-108x150In March 1901 Jennie Berry Bruton married the 23-year-old Prince Enrico Ruspoli whom she had met in her travels. Prince Ruspoli, with a title but little fortune, had followed Jennie to Georgia where he proposed. They were married in Washington, D.C., by the Papal Nuncio and the couple took up residence in a palazzo in Rome. After her marriage, Jennie Ruspoli changed her first name to Eugenia, derived from the Greek “eugenes,” meaning “well-born.”

Castello Ruspoli, Vignanello, Italy

Castello Ruspoli

With funds provided by Eugenia, she and Enrico Ruspoli purchased the Castle Nemi, parts of which date to the 10th century. The castle, still standing, is 20 miles south of Rome and near the papal summer palace, Castel Gandolfo. She provided the cash; he provided a title to support their aristocratic Italian lifestyle. Prince Enrico Ruspoli died in 1909 only eight years after their marriage. Despite a verbal agreement with his wife, Prince Enrico Ruspoli wrote a will in which he left the castle and most of his property to his own Ruspoli family.

Princess Eugenia Ruspoli challenged the will and, after years of litigation, she received the title to the castle and whatever personal property it contained. Presumably, this personal property included the grand “Triumph of David” donated by Princess Ruspoli to Villanova University in 1950. Were the other paintings she eventually donated to Villanova part of the contents of Nemi Castle when she and her husband purchased it, or did they, with her funds, collect additional works of art? And did she continue to collect after the prince died?

After becoming a widow for the second time, Princess Eugenia Ruspoli frequently traveled between Italy and the United States and eventually made her home in New York City. After the outbreak of World War II she shipped some of her art and furniture from the castle to the United States, a wise choice because the castle was later damaged by a bomb, leaving “The Triumph of David” exposed to the weather. After the war, Nemi Castle was inhabited by families of Italian squatters who had little respect for the historic property. This and the war-time damages led to additional litigation which continued even after Princess Eugenia Ruspoli’s death.

In 1929 Princess Ruspoli adopted her six-year-old niece, Maria Theresa, who later married Prince Alexis Droutzkoy, a white Russian from St. Petersburg. Droutzkoy came to the United States in 1926 as a journalist, attended Columbia University, became a naturalized citizen and editor of Bachelor magazine and later editor of American Helicopter magazine. He and his wife were active socially. Prince Alexis Droutzkoy died in 1976.

His wife, Maria Theresa Ruspoli was born in Norwich, England, in 1923. She became an American citizen in 1945; by this time she was married and well-traveled. Additional information about Princess Maria Theresa Droutzkoy is sparse except in reports of various society events in New York and elsewhere. We do know that the Droutzkoys were Princess Eugenia Ruspoli’s heirs.

Radan and Cannuli

Radan and Cannuli

Now for their art collections: from information provided by the Rev. Richard G. Cannuli, OSA, and in the Villanova University Art Collection: A Guide (1986) by George T. Radan and Father Cannuli, we can get a sense of their tastes as collectors. With only two exceptions, the paintings in both collections are Old Masters. These paintings are either Italian or Flemish works created from the 1500s through the 1700s.

The two exceptions are an undated work by an English artist, Samuel Prout (1783-1852), “Interior of a Cathedral Scene,” an oil painting on canvas, and an undated “Church Choir Boys,” oil on canvas, by C. De Antonio. The only C. De Antonio I discovered is Cristobal de Antonio, a Spanish artist (c.1862-after 1905). The subject of each of these paintings is the interior of a Gothic style cathedral or church, much like the paintings by the Dutch Baroque master, Saenredam. These paintings are listed in the Villanova University Art Collection: A Guide as gifts from the Droutzkoys, but are not in the recent inventory mentioned below.

According to the current inventory created by the University Art Gallery director, Princess Ruspoli donated seven paintings (including Cortona’s “Triumph of David”) and the Droutzkoys donated an additional seventeen paintings. The older list in the Villanova University Art Collection: A Guide says Princess Ruspoli donated six paintings (the Cortona included) and the Droutzkoys gave eight.

All paintings in the current inventory have been conserved with one exception. The works were brought from off-campus storage and locations on campus and briefly housed in the Reading Room last fall so that the conservators working on “The Triumph of David” could study them. I was able to visit this collection several times – a truly fascinating experience. Not all of the works are by famous masters, but they are all wonderful representations of their art historical periods. All feature religious subjects, including a “St. Thomas of Villanova Giving Alms” by Jacob Jordaens (Flemish, 1593-1678, attributed to or workshop of).

Paintings fr Ruspoli and Droutzkoy

Radan and Cannuli (Villanova University Art Collection, p. xv) say, “ …[T]he authorship supplied by the donors has been accepted by the curators of the collection.” And that leads to an interesting question: is there another painting by Pietro da Cortona in the University’s collection? Listed as a 1952 donation by Princess Alexis Droutzkoy is an oil painting, “Adoration of the Magi” by Pietro Berretini. Pietro Berretini is the birth name of Pietro da Cortona, the artist of the large painting undergoing conservation in the Reading Room.

Princess Ruspoli made her gifts in 1949 and 1950. The Droutzkoys gave the bulk of their gifts from 1952 through 1957 plus a “Resurrection” painted by an anonymous 16th century Italian which was donated by Princess Droutzkoy in 1973. Two large paintings, “Madonna of the Rosary” by Cosimo Daddi, donated by Eugenia Ruspoli, and a 1614 Nativity triptych (a three-paneled work) by an anonymous Flemish master donated by the Droutzkoys are especially impressive.

When the conservation of Cortona’s “Triumph of David” is completed, the works donated by Princess Eugenia Ruspoli and the Prince and Princess Droutzkoy will be united once more. “The Triumph of David” will be hung on the wall and the other paintings will be placed behind glass in the niches that once held books in the Reading Room. The huge windows which provide the room with wonderful daylight will be treated to filter the harmful sunlight so that all these beautiful, conserved paintings will not deteriorate as did “The Triumph of David.”

fatherfalveyAnd true to the wishes of the Rev. Daniel P. Falvey (1906-1962), the former library director for whom Falvey Memorial Library is named, the Library will once more display an art collection. “… [H]e wanted the objects of his collection to be permanently housed in the Library of Villanova College. The aesthetic pleasure of viewing the paintings would enhance any student’s visits to do research. … Not only did he himself place the objects strategically at various locations in the Old Library, but he also secured donations (such as those of the Droutzkoys) to improve the scope of his garden.” (Villanova University Art Collection, p. xiv).

How inspiring to be able to study in such a vast, high ceilinged space surrounded by Old Master paintings.


imagesArticle by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team. 


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Art of Spring Break: Mood Board with Dr. Amanda Norbutus

ARTOFSB
Keeping in theme with the Art of Spring week, this week’s mood board features Amanda Norbutus, PhD, Mendel Science Post-Doctoral Fellow and a faculty member here at Villanova. Dr. Norbutus is involved with the conservation treatment of Pietro da Cortona’s “Triumph of David,”a large-scale oil on canvas that currently resides in “Old Falvey,” Falvey Memorial Library’s original wing.


AJN - MaastrichtAmanda Norbutus’ background has focused mainly on the surface analysis of art. She analyzed the materials and methods used in a Dutch genre painting as part of her master’s thesis research in analytical chemistry (M.S., Villanova University, 2008).  At the University of Delaware, Norbutus investigated the best practices of outdoor public mural production, protection, and preservation as part of her doctoral research; specifically, the assessment of commercially-available paints and protective coatings.  Her current research as a Mendel Science Postdoctoral Fellow in Chemistry involves protective coatings for modern art.  She is a lecturer in the science of art materials, art conservation, as well as criminalistics and forensics at Villanova University and an instructor for the NSF Chemistry Collaborations, Workshops & Communities of Scholars “Advanced Chemistry and Art” workshops.

(via Conserving a Giant: Resurrecting Pietro da Cortona’s “Triumph of David”)


Condi_Rice

via Wikimedia Commons

I am inspired by the natural beauty of the world and trying to understand how it all works.

If I could be any person for a day, I’d be Condoleezza Rice. She is a powerful woman, and I would love to help shape the world like she has been able to with her career. Plus, the travel!

If springtime were an art piece, it would be an Impressionist painting, perhaps a Renoir.

The most useful tool I used today is my cell phone. Although I really should give credit to the old fashioned ink pen for writing down data.

Today I’m feeling the color green. I’m anticipating spring.

I’m listening to I heart Radio, the Florida Georgia Line station.

One Summer Adventure I’m daydreaming about is boating on the Cheasapeake or the James River.

flordia georgia lineHappiness is good friends, loving family, an intriguing book, and having adventures.

Everyone should know how to sew and cook. I took a Buzzfeed quiz on how long I’d survive the zombie apocalypse. Let’s just say, I think those two reasons are why I “lasted” at least 6 months.

I am amazed by my students. They tackle challenges outside of their comfort zones, either with science material or mastering a new artistic technique, and they impress me every time.

Thank you, Dr. Norbutus!


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Nor’easter vs. Clipper: What’s the Difference Between These Dreaded Winter Storms?

NORESTER

We hear these terms on weather reports, but do we really know what they mean? (I certainly didn’t although I remember friends arguing about which way nor’easters move.) Both are storms and both can impact our area. What are they and how do they differ?

A nor’easter (sometimes called a northeaster) forms at sea, within 100 miles of the Atlantic coast. It is named for the direction of the powerful winds that bring these storms ashore. Nor’easters are most common from September through April although they also occur at other times.

Nor’easters, with winds often reaching hurricane-force, make landfall from New England through the mid-Atlantic regions. Unlike hurricanes, nor’easters are not named. These storms bring frigid temperatures, powerful winds, coastal flooding and blizzards. Notable nor’easters include the Great Blizzard of 1888 and the “Perfect Storm” of 1991.

A clipper (more accurately an Alberta Clipper), however, forms inland as a low-pressure system in Alberta, Canada. These winter storms move southeast into the Canadian plains and the Great Lakes before eventually moving off shore into the Atlantic Ocean—sometimes as far south as the Baltimore/Washington area. Clippers bring quick bursts of snow (one to three inches, with more in the mountains), colder temperatures and gusty winds (35-45 mph). Clippers occur most often from December through February.

There we have it: both are primarily winter storms created by low-pressure systems, both occur most often in fall through spring, both bring wind and snow although in different degrees. However, their points of origin are quite different: the clipper develops inland and moves offshore; the nor’easter begins offshore and moves inland. Let’s hope we’ve seen the last of both of these this winter.

Dig Deeper

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Cambridge Guide to the Weather (2000). Ross Reynolds.
Weather: How It Works and Why It Matters (2000). Arthur R. Upgren.
The Weather Sourcebook: Your One-Stop Resource for Everything You Need to Feed Your Weather Habit (1994). Ronald L. Wagner.


imagesArticle and photos by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team. 


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You are Invited to a Golden Anniversary Celebration to Honor Rev. Dennis J. Gallagher, OSA, PhD

FATHER-GALL-EVITE7
Falvey Memorial Library would like to cordially invite the Villanova Campus Community to a reception being held for Rev. Dennis J. Gallagher, OSA, PhD, in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination. Father Gallagher, the University’s Archivist since 1985, was ordained as an Augustinian priest in St. Thomas of Villanova Church on Jan. 30, 1965. Please join us for a light cocktail reception to give him your best wishes and to help us celebrate this landmark occasion. The reception will be held on Wednesday, March 18 in the President’s Lounge, Connelly Center, from 3:00-5:00 p.m.

To learn more about Father Gallagher’s current work as University Archivist, as well as his background and interests, please see Alice Bampton’s recent blog article, “A Golden Anniversary: Rev. Dennis J. Gallaher, OSA, PhD, Celebrates 50 Years as an Augustinian Priest.”

Please note that RSVPs are not required in order to attend the reception. Questions about this event can be directed to Gina Duffy, ext. 9-3872.


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Foto Friday: Practice

Studious Treated

I found the phrase to every thought
I ever had, but one;
And that defies me,–as a hand
Did try to chalk the sun

To races nurtured in the dark;–
How would your own begin?
Can blaze be done in cochineal,
Or noon in mazarin?

Emily Dickinson (1830–86). Complete Poems. 1924.

Laura Hutelmyer is the photography coordinator for the Communication and Service Promotion Team and Special Acquisitions Coordinator in Resource Management


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‘Cat in the Stacks: Oh my, Midterm Memes!

CAT-STAX

 I’m Michelle Callaghan, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is our column, “‘Cat in the Stacks.” I’m the ‘cat. Falvey Memorial Library is the stacks. I’ll be posting about living that scholarly life, from research to study habits to embracing your inner-geek, and how the library community might aid you in all of it.


During midterms and the subsequent ramp up to finals, you might find yourself in a zombified and slightly pathetic state of bargaining with your alarm and finding ridiculous ways of adding more time into the day.

They won’t work, I’ve tried.
One does Not Simply midterms
But it is true: no matter how much effort you put into sleeping well and getting work done during designated times, life happens. Deadlines and due dates are fixed and looming. Then there’s that one chapter of material you just didn’t quite get around to, or didn’t quite get, and you promised yourself you’d look at it before exams—aaaaand it’s exams.

Oops.

I’m all about preaching time management and scheduling and making good choices, but let’s be honest: sometimes you have to make the hard choices. Sleep, and hope the extra energy makes you more efficient while studying. Don’t sleep, and hope the extra time spent studying puts you in a better place.

The important thing is, once you’ve made your choice and made your bed and you’re trying to stay above water, don’t beat yourself up for it.

Hunger Games midterms

Hey Girl Midterms

This Too Shall Pass


Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.


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Mood Board: The Writing Center

Just in time for midterms, this week’s Mood Board features Eric Doyle, an esteemed worker at the Writing Center right here in Falvey.


plato

You talkin’ to me?

How many students do you help on an average day?

“Help” is maybe a strong word, but I average two or three forced-improvement sessions per day. Mostly I add to their work load by telling them that, no, “Plato is dumb” isn’t a good thesis statement. And those commas are atrocious.

What’s the busiest time of the semester for the WC?

The day before anything is due. For freshmen, the day on which it’s due.

If you could give one general, very broad piece of advice to the students who might be too shy to visit you guys, what would it be?

Middle age woman showing thumbs up

#1 fan!

The most frequent advice I give is to pretend that your professor isn’t your audience. When I write, I imagine my mother (an educated person, but not an expert in my subject) as the reader; if she couldn’t follow along, then I haven’t explained myself clearly enough.

What is your biggest writing-related pet peeve?

I have an irrational hatred of the word “towards.” I know it’s perfectly acceptable, but “toward” is just so much classier.

What’s the most entertaining piece of writing you’ve ever reviewed?

One particular woman brought a paper wherein she’d confused the words “explore” and “explode.” Her essay was essentially a Michael Bay film.

What’s your information routine?

Reddit on my phone while getting ready in the morning, then NPR and The Atlantic once I get to campus and check email.REDIT

Android or iOS? What are you favorite apps?

Android. I use Mint for keeping track of my finances, and Zombies, Run! is the greatest thing since the invention of running. ZombiesRun

What kind of writing did you review during your latest Writing Center shift?

I had an ACS paper on Aristotelian happiness and contemporary consumerism. It was pretty good, but the author and I worked together to make it better.


Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.


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Foto Friday: Warm Spot

Window1

A warm spot can be hard to find right now. Come to the library soon to claim yours.

Laura Hutelmyer is the photography coordinator for the Communication and Service Promotion Team and Special Acquisitions Coordinator in Resource Management

 


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Dig Deeper: Literary Festival Features Bruce Smith

Bruce SmithOn Thursday, Feb. 19 at 7:00 p.m. in Speakers’ Corner of Falvey Memorial Library, Bruce Smith will be giving a poetry reading and talk. Smith is one of the Literary Festival’s featured speakers. Originally from Philadelphia, Bruce Smith is the author of several books of poems, including The Other Lover (2000), a finalist for both the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. He will be reading selections from his collection entitled Devotions. Publisher’s Weekly called his poems “alternately sharp, slippery, and tender,” and in them he “finds a way to take in almost everything—’Shooter Protocol,’ Charlie Parker, high school shop class—moving seamlessly between critique and embrace.” A book sale and signing will follow the reading.

This event is co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library and the Department of English. It is free and open to the public.

For more information on Bruce Smith and to check out some of his poetry, visit the resources below, selected by Sarah Wingo, liaison library for English and Theater.


Dig Deeper

Bruce Smith’s bio and some of his poetry can found on The Poetry Foundation. You can find some poems here.

Check out Smith’s National Book Award Foundation page for a video of a reading.

Bruce Smith’s Devotions andThe Other Lover are forthcoming to Falvey’s catalog.


Sarah WingoDig Deeper links selected by Sarah Wingo, team leader – Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre.


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Dig Deeper: Megan Quigley, PhD on Modernist Fiction

Megan QuigleyA Scholarship@Villanova lecture on Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 2:30 p.m. in room 205 of Falvey Memorial Library will feature Megan Quigley, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of English. Dr. Quigley will speak about her book, entitled Modernist Fiction and Vagueness: Philosophy, Form, and Language, newly released from Cambridge University Press, which explores the intertwined history of 20th-century British fiction and philosophy. Specifically, it argues that much modernist literary experimentation connects to the linguistic turn in philosophy.

The event is  co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library and the Department of English and is free and open to the public.

For more information on Dr. Quigley and her work in Modernism, check out the resources below, provided by Sarah Wingo, liaison librarian for English and Theater.


Quigley BookDig Deeper

Visit Dr. Quigley’s professional website at http://meganquigley.com/. To view a list of her publications, click here.

Selected Scholarship:
Modern Novels and Vagueness.” Modernism/Modernity, 15.1 (2008) 101-129. Print.
To read the full text, click here.

 


Sarah WingoDig Deeper links selected by Sarah Wingo, team leader – Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre.


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Last Modified: February 18, 2015