Francesca de Tomasi

Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Storici

The classical antiquities trade between Italy and the United States, 1861–1939

2016-2017: Fall

Francesca de Tomasi (Lecce, 1985) is an archaeologist interested in the history of collecting and collections. She received her Ph.D. in Classical Antiquities and their Fortune in 2015 from the University of Rome Tor Vergata and she later obtained a post-doctoral Fellowship at the Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Storici in Naples. Her research focuses on the export and trade of antiquities in post-unification Italy and on the network of museums, collectors, art dealers, intermediaries, purchasing agents and scholars involved in the antiquarian market. Francesca will join the Italian Academy as a Post-Doctoral Fellow. Her research project aims to analyze the dynamics of the export of antiquities from Italy to the United States between 1861 and 1939, to reveal the extent of the trafficking of archaeological objects which today constitute a significant portion of American museum collections. Moreover, she will investigate how American museum culture was influenced by its connections with the flourishing late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century antiquarian market, showing the deep connections between the market and the museums’ and collectors’ choices and artistic taste.

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