It’s happening! Falvey Memorial Library is having an Open House today, Monday, Oct. 17, from 11:00 to 4:00 to celebrate the grand opening of the stunning Dugan Polk Family Reading Room featuring the newly-restored Pietro da Cortona painting, “The Triumph of David.” The Villanova community and guests are invited to visit the Reading Room, share their excitement about the renewed space and restored painting, and enjoy light refreshments.
The Dugan Polk Family Reading Room is a newly renovated 24-hour quiet study space located in Falvey Memorial Library. The renovation highlights include a new coffered ceiling; huge new windows; new furniture, carpeting, and lighting; power outlets at every seat; and a new ADA-accessible entrance off the Learning Commons on the second floor of Main Falvey which is open during regular Library hours. The Reading Room can be accessed twenty four hours a day from the entrance off the second floor of Old Falvey. The room will officially open for quiet study on Oct. 18, 2016.
The Dugan Polk Family Reading Room was made possible by generous contributions received during the University’s current $600 million campaign – For the Greater Great: the Villanova Campaign to Ignite Change. More than $1.5 million in gifts was secured to make the renovations possible, most of which came from parents of current students, including a lead gift by Trisha and Michael Polk.
Pietro da Cortona’s “The Triumph of David,” which is a focal point in the room as it was in the 1950s when it was originally hung, underwent a two year long conservation which brought the huge (12 by 19 feet) painting back to its original rich colors and dramatic three-dimensional spaces. Kristin de Ghetaldi, a conservator from the University of Delaware, led the team who carefully studied the painting, cleaned it, in-painted areas where original pigments were missing, and varnished it to protect it for years to come. De Ghetaldi commented, “There are not a lot of oil paintings associated with Pietro’s circle in the U.S. and the sheer size of the painting makes it unique.”
Photographs by Alice Bampton, Communications and Marketing Dept.
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