Genoa's magnificent, neglected sculpture museum
a lecture by Author, Sculptor and Marble Carver Walter S. Arnold
April 25th at 6pm
Italian Cultural Institute
500 N Michigan Avenue, Suite 1450
Genoa is not on the "grand tour"of Italy- everyone focuses on Rome, Florence and Venice. Very little attention is given to Genoa, and even less to a cemetery on the edge of town. Yet, this monumental cemetery, Staglieno, is the most extraordinary outdoor sculpture museum in Europe and one of its most hidden and unlikely treasures. Mark Twain, Hemingway and Evelyn Waugh wrote rave reviews of Staglieno, with good reason. If any of the thousands of magnificent 19th and 20th century Italian marble sculptures housed here were in a museum, it would be a centerpiece of the collection, but instead they remain almost unknown. Neglect, pollution, and weather are rapidly taking their toll. Join author, sculptor and marble carver Walter S. Arnold and journey through the galleries of Staglieno for an insider's look at these exquisite works of art. He will explain the tools and techniques used by marble carvers to transform massive blocks of stone into these dramatic and symbolic memorials, and show the progress of restoration efforts as he works with the city of Genoa to save these works of art.
Walter S. Arnold, a Chicago native, began sculpting in stone at the age of 12. At 20, he traveled to Tuscany, Italy, to apprentice with master marble carvers there, and then worked for five years on the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Since 1985 he has worked in Chicago and Italy, creating architectural sculpture and ornament in limestone, marble, and bronze. His book, Staglieno: The Art of the Marble Carver, introduces readers to the virtuoso yet highly neglected work of this Italian sculpture museum/cemetery, and documents previously unrecorded information about the traditions and techniques of stone carving. He is the founder and president of American Friends of Italian Monumental Sculpture. This American non-profit organization is working with the city of Genoa, Italy to restore and preserve the sculptural treasures of Staglieno Cemetery.