INVISIBLE WOMEN, the documentary based on the book Invisible Women: Forgotten Artists of Florence, written by American arts patron Jane Fortune and published by The Florentine Press, has won an Emmy award as the Best Documentary in the Cultural/Historical Program category. The award was announced on June 1 by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The documentary was produced by WFYI Productions from Indianapolis, and was aired on American public television (Public Broadcasting Service).
‘To create one’s own world in any of the arts takes courage’, American painter Georgia O’Keeffe once stated. Nothing could be more true for the pioneering women artists from the Renaissance onwards who overcame enormous challenges in order to produce their art. The fact that Florence’s museums are today able to display works of art by women is thanks to the courage and tenacity of women such as Maria Hadfield Cosway, whose husband forbade her to paint after their marriage. Other pioneer women artists include Angelica Kauffman, who was able to copy in the Uffizi only under the surveillance of a bodyguard, and Suor Plautilla Nelli, who gained more commissions within her order than she would have been allowed as a laywoman in sixteenth century Florence.
‘Winning the Emmy is a new boost to my project, which aims to restore and exhibit artworks by women in Florence,’ said author Jane Fortune. ‘To achieve these goals it takes technology and skill. It takes the commitment of the city’s museum directors, its restorers and its citizens in general, who are eager to finally learn more about these lesser-known works.’
‘Efforts to safeguard works of art are obviously directed to our cultural heritage in general. What I think we are doing on many fronts is dedicating supplementary attention to works of art by women, through initiatives like restoration and presentation to the public, placing an emphasis on the personalities of these women artists,’ said Cristina Acidini, Superintendent of Florence’s Historic and Artistic Ethno-Anthropologic Patrimony and the Polo Museale.
Marco Badiani, Editor of The Florentine Press, said ‘We were honoured even to be included in the shortlist for the award, and to achieve the Emmy itself is a dream. This victory is further confirmation of the quality of both the work we are doing to promote the city and Tuscany beyond their stereotypes and clichés, and of our role in connecting Florence with those who love the city throughout the world’.
The documentary Invisible Women will have its Italian premiere at Florence’s Odeon Cinema on Tuesday, June 25 at 7pm. Tickets cost 6 euro, with proceeds going to the Advancing Women Artists Foundation which restores and safeguards works of art by women. The Odeon Cinema is a partner in the event, evidence of its ongoing commitment to culture in the city of Florence and of its international nature.
For information on the evening see the event on Facebook.