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Save Venice Inc. | Special Lecture by Christopher Carlsmith

March 30 @ 5:30 pm

$5 – $20
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On March 30, we welcome a new lecturer, Christopher Carlsmith, to the Athenaeum. Carlsmith will discuss his book Save Venice Inc.: American Philanthropy and Art Conservation in Italy, 1966–2021. Carlsmith tells the fascinating story of Save Venice Inc., from its origins to its 50th anniversary. Its story begins in 1966,when the most destructive flood in the history of Venice temporarily submerged the city and threatened its extraordinary art and architecture. Among the organizations that mobilized to protect this fragile heritage was Save Venice Inc. Founded in Boston and now headquartered in New York City, this nonprofit has become the largest and most active committee dedicated to preserving the artistic legacy of Venice.

Save Venice Inc. explores a range of topics, including leadership, conservation projects, fundraising, and educational outreach, which the organization has employed successfully to raise substantial funds to conserve and restore paintings, sculptures, books, mosaics, and entire buildings at risk from human and environmental impacts. According to the nonprofit’s website, “Since 1971, Save Venice has funded the conservation of nearly 2,000 individual artworks” ( Using a range of methodologies from cultural history and art history, Carlsmith traces the achievements and challenges faced by this and other historic preservation organizations and by this unique city on the sea.

Though the book ends in 2021, the work of Save Venice Inc. endures. Its website currently states, “Save Venice has numerous restorations underway throughout the city, carried out by carefully selected restorers who are supervised by the Superintendency and Save Venice staff.”

Carlsmith is a professor of history and department chair at the University of Massachusetts–Lowell. He is author of A Renaissance Education: Schooling in Bergamo and the Venetian Republic, 1500–1650.

Books will be available for purchase. The pre-order price will be $34.95, at the time of the talk, $39.95.

About Christopher Carlsmith:

Christopher Carlsmith is Professor of History at University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he has taught since 2001. He is currently Chair of the History Department (2017–2023), and Associate Editor of History of Education Quarterly (2020–present). He earned his undergraduate degree in History at Stanford University in 1986, and his Ph.D. in early modern European history at the University of Virginia in 1999. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Italy (1996–97) and a Fellow at Villa I Tatti (2009–10), Harvard University’s Center for Study of the Italian Renaissance. His first book was A Renaissance Education: Schooling and Society in Bergamo and the Venetian Republic, 1500–1650 (University of Toronto Press, 2010); he also co-edited an Italian-language collection of essays in 2013 and served as editor of a special edition of Annali della storia delle università italiane (2016). He has published articles in Sixteenth Century Journal, History of Education Quarterly, Journal of Theories of Research and Education, Catholic Historical Review, History of Universities, and Archivum Historicum Societatis Iesu. In addition to studying the history of education in Renaissance Italy, Carlsmith has also published on the reception of Renaissance art and architecture in Gilded Age residences in the United States, and on the history of non-profits and academic societies, including his forthcoming monograph, Save Venice Inc.: American Philanthropy and Art Conservation in Italy, 1966–2021 (University of Massachusetts Press, 2022).

The talk will be in person at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library. There are no physical tickets for this event. Your name will be on an attendee list at the front door. Doors open at 5 p.m. Seating is first-come; first-served. This event will be presented in compliance with State of California and County of San Diego health regulations as applicable at the time of the talk.

Masks optional. If you have a fever, cough, or flu-like symptoms, please stay home.


March 30
5:30 pm
$5 – $20
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Athenaeum Music & Arts Library
1008 Wall Street
La Jolla, CA 92037 United States
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