Personal stories cast a new light on the masterpieces of Uffizi Gallery
“Factories of Stories” is a project promoted by the Uffizi Galleries’ Cultural Mediation and Accessibility Unit, curated by Simona Bodo and Maria Grazia Panigada.
Director Eike Schmidt and the Cultural Mediation and Accessibility Unit deliberately chose to work with a diverse group of storytellers, including both museum staff and 8 “new citizens” (all long-time residents, or even born in Florence, with Italian citizenship status).
They sensed that “Factories of Stories” would be an important opportunity for professional development of the museums staff, and also acknowledged the potential of engaging “new citizens” in the process of collaborative meaning-making.
But above all, museum staff and the “new citizens” were engaged as persons who could breathe new light into the Uffizi artworks through their personal memories.
Individual stories all turned out to revolve around universal themes such as family, friendship, prayer and journey, casting a more evocative and personally meaningful light on otherwise “iconic” Uffizi masterpieces like the Spring by Botticelli or the Virgin and Child with St. Anne by Masaccio and Masolino.
“Factories of Stories” is accessible from three different sections of the Uffizi Galleries website, through:
• Special Visits: audio files
• HyperVisions: high-definition images of the artworks and written text of the stories
• Artworks: high definition of the artworks, short “scientific” description and audio files