Event | House of Secrets: The Many Lives of a Florentine Palazzo with Allison Levy

Join the Brown University Library on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 12 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library for a presentation on the book House of Secrets: The Many Lives of a Florentine Palazzo (Bloomsbury, 2019) by author Allison Levy (Digital Scholarship Editor, Brown University Library and Visiting Scholar in Italian Studies) in conversation with Sheila Bonde (Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Brown University).

House of Secrets: The Many Lives of a Florentine Palazzo

House of Secrets tells the remarkable story of Palazzo Rucellai from behind its celebrated façade. The house, beginning with its piecemeal assemblage by one of the richest men in Florence in the fifteenth century, has witnessed endless drama, from the butchering of its interior to a courtyard suicide to champagne-fueled orgies on the eve of World War I to a recent murder on its third floor. When the author, an art historian, serendipitously discovers a room for let in the house, she lands in the vortex of history and is tested at every turn—inside the house and out. Her residency in Palazzo Rucellai is informed as much by the sense of desire giving way to disappointment as by a sense of denial that soon enough must succumb to truth. House of Secrets is about the sharing of space, the tracing of footsteps, the overlapping of lives. It is about the willingness to lose oneself behind the façade, to live between past and present, to slip between the cracks of history and the crevices of our own imagination.

Allison Levy

Allison Levy

Allison Levy is Digital Scholarship Editor at Brown University Library. An art historian educated at Bryn Mawr College, she has taught in the US, Italy, and the UK. Allison has published widely on the visual culture of early modern Italy and serves as General Editor of the book series Visual and Material Culture, 1300–1700, published by Amsterdam University Press.

Discover more about House of Secrets and discuss on social with #houseofsecrets.

Sheila Bonde

Sheila Bonde is an archaeologist and architectural historian specializing in the study of medieval sites and their representation. Currently Professor of the History of Art and Architecture and Professor of Archaeology, she has excavated in England, France and Israel. She currently directs the MonArch excavation and research project in northern France at the Augustinian abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes in Soissons, the Carthusian house at Bourgfontaine, the Cistercian monastery at Notre-Dame d’Ourscamp, and the motherhouse at Tiron.

Date: April 2, 2019
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence, RI