Awards In Italian Culture 2015
American Award to Eric M. Lee
Eric M. Lee has served as the fourth director of the Kimbell Art Museum since March 2009. During this time, the Museum underwent design development and construction of a new pavilion designed by Renzo Piano, which opened in late 2013 and complements Louis Kahn’s original landmark structure of 1972. Acquisition highlights of Lee’s tenure include Michelangelo’s Torment of Saint AnthonyChrist, which is the only painting by the artist in the Americas; Guercino’s Christ and the Samaritan Woman; a Bonington oil sketch of Venice; Poussin’s Ordination from the artist’s famed series of Seven Sacraments, and Ruisdael’s Edge of a Forest by a Grainfield, which is now one of the most important Dutch landscapes in America. Exhibitions hosted by the Kimbell during Lee’s directorship include, among others: Caravaggio and His Followers in Rome (2011–12), Bernini: Sculpting in Clay (2013), Salvator Rosa: Bandits, Wilderness, and Magic (2011); Fiery Pool: The Maya and the Mythic Sea (2010), The Age of Picasso and Matisse: Modern Masters from the Art Institute of Chicago (2013-14), Faces of Impressionism: Portraits from the Musee d’Orsay (2014-15); Masterpieces of the National Galleries of Scotland (2015); Gustave Caillebotte: The Painter’s Eye (2015-16); and, in collaboration with the Foundation for Italian Art and Culture, Titian’s “La Bella”: Woman in a Blue Dress (2011).
Previously, Lee served as director of Cincinnati’s Taft Museum of Art and of the art museum at the University of Oklahoma. Earlier in his career, he worked at the Yale Center for British Art and on the staff of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in Washington, D.C.
A native of North Carolina, Lee received B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees, all in the history of art, from Yale University. He is married to photographer Rima Canaan Lee and has two sons, ages 12 and 14.
Italian Award to Mariella Utili
Mariella Utili graduated with highest honors in 1976 and then specialised in History of Art with Prof. Ferdinando Bologna.
From 1978 she worked in the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage, within the Soprintendenza per i Beni Storici e Artistici of Naples, in charge of the Exhibition Department, the Direction of the Certosa di Capri as well as the direction of important restoration works on paintings, frescoes and sculptures in several Neapolitan churches.
In 1986 she became the Director of the Museum of Capodimonte until 2012, during the seminal phase of the building restoration and carried out the new displays of the historical collections.
She was designated Superintendent for Artistic and Historic Heritage of Parma and Piacenza in February 2012, significantly enhancing museums activities and numbers.
Finally, in the Spring of 2015, she became Director of Campania State Museums, the new institution resulting from recent Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage reform, and she was chosen as member of the ‘Consiglio Superiore Beni Culturali e Paesaggistici’, advisory committee of the Minister of Culture.
She has also taught History of museums and collectionism, during these years, on courses and Masters in Neapolitan Universities.
She has also been in charge of important Italian and international exhibitions, working together with several major international museums and istitutions and has been member of various committees in Italy and abroad for the management of cultural events.
She researches and writes about Southern Italy art, especially 17th century Neapolitan painting, and history of collections and museums.