Conceived by Barbara Faedda (the Academy’s Executive Director) in 2016, the IOCH is dedicated to all issues relating to the survival, protection, and conservation of cultural heritage. It is historical, practical, and theoretical. It sponsors and encourages research into monuments, artifacts, practices, and traditions. It records losses and destruction of international cultural heritage in all media and across all boundaries, and it funds and seeks funding to aid in research on and conservation of treasures at risk— whether from age or location, natural disaster, urban development, conflict, war, or other perils. It is also social, in that it seeks to understand the meaning and value of monuments and objects not only for their value to humanity but also in their local contexts. And it is timely, as it spotlights the political uses and abuses of heritage sites and monuments as well as the exchange, transport, and trafficking of material culture.
At the Italian Academy: The IOCH grows out of the Academy’s long commitment to the understanding of cultural transmission, both close to home and across borders. It was inspired by the successes of our deep commitment to bring together science and the arts, as witnessed by our public interdisciplinary programs, since the beginning of the century. It takes heart from the worldwide professional appreciation of our efforts to understand the place of works of art in society and of the individual and collective responses to it. The IOCH draws together examples of U.S. sponsorship of work in this domain and longstanding Italian expertise and commitment (from the survival of the antique in the Renaissance to that nation’s recent contributions to the protection of monuments in the Near and Middle East).
Mission: The IOCH recognizes the need to conserve all that is meaningful in culture at a time when so much is threatened with the imminent possibility of destruction. It is determined to ensure that all possible instruments are encouraged and mobilized to sustain the meanings of the material remains of culture for the future. To this end, the Academy dedicates its energy to the recording and collection of data on endangered monuments, to the establishment of fellowships in the history of conservation of material culture, and to providing a critical forum for all who already are engaged, or who plan to engage, in areas so critical to our future.
How: Sparking dialogue among scholars in archaeology, art history, and architecture, along with technicians, conservators, and experts in diplomacy, law, and protective services, the IOCH embraces both tangible and intangible cultural heritage, promotes awareness of the multiplicity of cultural expressions, and fosters an inclusive and cross-cultural understanding of heritage preservation, management, and interpretation. This dialogue is expressed in the daily work of our Academy Fellows, featured here below, as are the Academy’s exhibitions and conferences; multi-year projects; and digital exhibitions.
See our scholars in residence here
The Sidney J. Weinberg Jr. Foundation supports four Fellows each year to pursue the understanding and conservation of architecture of all geographic areas and periods, including crisis management and war destruction, and focusing on the cutting edge of the preservation field.
An international for-credit summer course of advanced education created by the Academy and by the University of Rome's H2CU. APAHA trains junior scholars in advanced approaches, with first-hand exposure to archaeology.
Based at Columbia’s Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, an international team of scholars, students and staff conducts textual and visual analysis and has digitized Sebastiano Serlio’s unpublished manuscript, On Domestic Architecture, as well as published works. Funding for research and scholarship is provided by the Sidney J. Weinberg, Jr. Foundation and by the Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust.
In a three-year program illuminating aspects of this Mediterranean crossroads, the Sardinia initiative will launch in Spring 2020 with a conference on the history and recent restoration of the Giants of Mont’e Prama, dozens of ancient stone statues that were found by chance in the 1970s.
With funding from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation and the participation of Prof. Giuseppe Gerbino, former Fellow Francesca Bortoletti is developing a project on the interactions among texts and images in humanistic and court culture.
A digital exhibition on the earthquake-damaged town of Amatrice and the fate of its cultural heritage. Developed by former Fellow Francesco Gangemi, together with Rossana Torlontano and Valentina Valerio, in collaboration with the Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte, and with the Soprintendenza archeologia del Lazio as an official partner.