Preservation Week Lecture by Elisabetta Polidori: Miracles of Mary

Elisabetta Polidori

Elisabetta Polidori

In honor of Preservation Week, Elisabetta Polidori, the Samuel H. Kress Fellow in Paper Conservation at the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC), will give a talk about the technical examination and conservation treatment of an Ethiopic illuminated manuscript located at the Brown University Library, Ta’amera Maryam (Miracles of Mary), one of the most popular of Ethiopian texts. The talk will take place Wednesday, April 30 at 2:30 p.m. in the Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab (DSL), located on the first floor of the Rockefeller Library. This event is free and open to the public.

The Miracles of Mary is a collection of miraculous tales, some composed in Ethiopia, some composed by Christians in Egypt, some composed in Europe, but all translated into Geez, the language of the Ethiopian Church around A.D. 1400. In the mid-fifteenth century the reading of three of these tales was required during each Sunday liturgy as well as on feast days dedicated to Our Lady Mary.

Polidori received her M.A. in Conservation of Paper and Parchment from the Opificio delle Pietre Dure of Florence in 2006, and in the same year she obtained a B.A. in Art History from the University of Florence. She gained extensive experience in the conservation and treatment of paper-based artifacts, working in private practice and public museums around the world. After graduation she started a long collaboration with the Pitti Palace Museum of Florence, Italy, for the conservation of its collection of Chinese paintings. From 2008 until 2011 she worked in the paper conservation department of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia. Subsequently, she served as Postgraduate Conservation Fellow at the Freer & Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution, and the Claire W. and Richard P. Morse Fellow for Advanced Training in Paper Conservation at the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston. She is currently the Samuel H. Kress Fellow in Paper Conservation at the Northeast Document Conservation Center. The NEDCC is the first independent conservation laboratory in the United States to specialize exclusively in the conservation and preservation of paper-based collections. Polidori is specialized in the treatment of Western artworks on paper and has a strong interest in the conservation of Asian and Islamic art. She is a member of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC).

Date: April 30, 2014
Time: 2:30 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect St.