“The Festive City,” an exhibition of rarely seen prints and books organized in part by Brown students and faculty, opens Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, at the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design. The works featured in the exhibition offer a glimpse into the extravagant festivals of early modern Europe and were drawn from the collections of the RISD Museum, the John Hay Library at Brown University, and collector Vincent J. Buonanno. Evelyn Lincoln, associate professor of history of art and architecture and Italian studies at Brown, worked with RISD Museum curator Emily Peters to bring together approximately 60 of these intricately illustrated prints and books, which are among the only remaining traces of these festivals. Lincoln and Peters worked with students in a Brown seminar last spring and summer to develop the exhibition themes and select works. In addition, Andries van Dam, professor of computer science, worked with students in one of his classes to create a Microsoft Surface application for a touch screen display that allows exhibition visitors to see multiple pages of the books on display. The resulting exhibition includes not only Chinea prints and other single leaf prints, but also numerous books from the John Hay Library’s Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection of illustrated books. The exhibition will be on display until July 14, 2013. In March 2013, RISD will host a symposium centered around the exhibition that will bring together art historians, historians, and visual artists for presentations on the relationship between the various events that were part of the festivals and their documentation in books, prints, and paintings. The symposium is sponsored in part by Brown’s Tabak Fund for Italian Studies and the Department of the History of Art and Architecture.

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