HIGH MUSEUM OF ART BRINGS
LUCA DELLA ROBBIA’S MARBLE CANTORIA PANELS TO THE U.S. FOR THE FIRST TIME
Exhibition to be presented with live and recorded performances based on music originally heard in Italy’s Florence Cathedral
In October 2014, three marble panels from Italian sculptor Luca della Robbia’s famed organ loft created for Florence Cathedral will travel to the U.S. for the first time for "Make A Joyful Noise": Renaissance Art and Music at Florence Cathedral at the High Museum of Art.
The exhibition, on view from Oct. 25, 2014 through Jan. 11, 2015, will place the marble panels in the musical environment for which they were originally created by displaying them with other musical objects, including hand-decorated choir books from the cathedral and a lectern designed to hold them. Live musical performances will also take place in the galleries at select times.
Luca della Robbia began his Cantoria, originally designed as an organ loft but later used to hold choir singers, for the Cathedral of Florence in 1431. He worked for seven years on the project, eventually producing 10 exquisitely detailed panels that depict the celebratory text of Psalm 150. He focused his marble interpretation of the Psalm on jubilant children singing, playing instruments and dancing to music.
Research conducted in preparation for the High’s exhibition produced a new chronology for the order in which the artist created the panels, uncovering a progression from simple instruments and cautious carving in the early panels to spectacularly nuanced facial expressions, spatial complexity, and musical representations in the final panels. Payment records show that the Cantoria’s commissioners recognized Luca’s achievement, increasing his compensation during the course of the project. The young Luca received lavish praise for this work and was quickly acknowledged as one of the five founders of Renaissance art in Florence, joining the highly lauded company of Ghiberti, Donatello, Brunelleschi and Masaccio.
In 1688 the Cantoria panels were taken down from the walls of Florence Cathedral, eventually finding their current home at the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in Florence. Only one of the panels ever left Italy, and none previously traveled to the U.S. In addition to three panels from the Cantoria, the High’s exhibition will include several contextualizing musical pieces, including a walnut lectern used to hold choir books at the Florence Baptistery and three choir books that were used in the cathedral.
The High is planning an extensive music program to accompany "Make A Joyful Noise." Music from the choir books featured in the exhibition will be performed on the accompanying audio tour. In addition, live concerts and recitals by professional singers and musicians, church choirs, school groups, and others will be held in an adjoining gallery, further exploring the relationship between the visual and performing arts. 2
Live in-gallery music will be performed at designated times and dates* including:
Cecilia Ensemble (Member preview performance; Oct. 18 at 11 a.m. and noon)
J. Robert Adams of Clark Atlanta University (Oct. 25 at 11 a.m.)
Ritornello Recorder Quartet (Oct. 25 at noon and Jan. 4 at 3 p.m.)
Georgia Tech Chamber Choir (Oct. 26 at 3 p.m. and Nov. 2 at 3 p.m.)
Erskine College Chamber Singers (Oct. 31 at 7 p.m.)
Atlanta Young Singers of Callanwolde (Nov. 1 at 3 p.m.)
Lauda Musicam (Nov. 7 at 7 p.m.; Nov. 8 at 3 p.m.; Nov. 9 at 2 and 3 p.m.)
The Atlanta Choral Artists (Nov. 14 at 7 p.m.)
Emory Concert Choir (Nov. 15 at 3 p.m.)
Lauda Musicam Harp Trio (Nov. 16 at 3 p.m.)
Uncommon Practice (Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 22 at 3 p.m.)
Galloway School Chorus (Nov. 23 at 3 p.m.)
Atlanta Schola Cantorum (Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 9 at 7 p.m.)
Golden Bells of Atlanta (Dec. 6 at 3 p.m.)
Clark Atlanta Philharmonic Society (Dec. 7 at 3 p.m.)
Westminster Ensemble (Dec. 12 at 7 p.m.)
Capital City Madrigals (Dec. 13 at 3 p.m.)
Georgia Boy Choir (Dec. 14 at 3 p.m.)
Cantica Nuova (Dec. 19 at 7 p.m.)
Octave (Dec. 20 at 3 p.m.)
Atlanta Sacred Harp Singers (Dec. 21 at 3 p.m.)
Symphony High School Orchestra (Dec. 26 at 7 p.m.)
Rosewood Ensemble (Dec. 27 at 3 p.m.)
Ex Somnium (Jan. 2 at 7 p.m.)
Just Voices (Jan. 10 at 3 p.m.)
Lynn Swanson Festival Singers (Jan. 11 at 3 p.m.).
*Dates and times are subject to change. Visit www.high.org for an up-to-date schedule of performances.
Exhibition Organization & Support
"Make A Joyful Noise": Renaissance Art and Music at Florence Cathedral is organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, in collaboration with the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore.
The exhibition is made possible by lead sponsors The Coca-Cola Company and Delta Air Lines, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. Funding for the conservation of the Cantoria has been provided by Friends of Florence. Additional support for the exhibition is provided by William and Ada Weiller, Harriet and Edus Warren, and the Friends of Luca della Robbia. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Generous in-kind support is provided by AVYVE.
About Luca della Robbia
Luca della Robbia was born in Florence, Italy, around 1400 and lived in his family’s home until his death in 1482. The Cantoria is Luca’s first documented commission, though there is evidence he worked for Lorenzo Ghiberti on the initial stages of the Gates of Paradise. Luca may also have apprenticed with Nanni di Banco and possibly worked in Donatello’s shop. Luca’s Cantoria attracted attention from both humanist writers and connoisseurs, leading him to receive other significant commissions for the cathedral complex, including marble reliefs for the Campanile, glazed terracotta lunettes over the sacristy doors, and a set of bronze doors under his Cantoria. Luca also worked for the powerful Pazzi and Medici families, for whom he provided much work in glazed terracotta, a medium he invented and popularized.
High Museum of Art
The High is the leading art museum in the Southeastern U.S. With more than 14,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography, folk art and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists. For more information about the High, visit high.org. The Woodruff Arts Center The Woodruff Arts Center is one of the largest arts centers in the world, home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art and Arts for Learning. Each year, these arts organizations play host to over 1.2 million patrons at the Woodruff Arts Center’s Midtown Atlanta location, one of the only arts centers in the U.S. to host both visual and performing arts on a single campus. Through its work with educators and schools, the Woodruff Arts Center serves over 300,000 students annually and is the largest arts educator in Georgia.
Media contact: Marci Tate Manager of Public Relations High Museum of Art Tel: 404-733-4585 E-mail: email@example.com