Villa Taverna Opening with AIE Director Ellen Susman

Ellen Susman speaking in Rome at the opening of Art in Embassies’ exhibition at Villa Taverna, the official residence of U.S. Ambassador to Italy, John R. Phillips.

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0:00 SUSMAN: Art in Embassies was started by John F. Kennedy in 1963. The idea was that ambassadors
0:07 at posts would have wonderful artworks with which to create discussions and help with
0:12 cultural diplomacy. Today Art in Embassies is a public private partnership, we have over
0:17 20,000 artists that we’ve worked with and what we try to do is mix artists from host
0:23 countries along with American and international artists.
0:26 PHILLIPS: This is about the Art in Embassies program which provides works of art for the
0:32 representational spaces of the US chanceries, consulates and the embassy residences around
0:39 the world in 190 countries. So it’s a big program, a lot of buildings.
0:44 SUSMAN: The wonderful, eclectic art collection here at Villa Taverna is a testament to the
0:50 vision of Ambassador John Phillips and his wife Linda. They wanted to really fuse America
0:55 and Italy where John’s parents and grandparents had originally come from. We’re very lucky
1:00 to have in this collection such notable artists as Sean Scully and Philip Guston as well as
1:07 a wonderful woman artist named Joyce Kozloff who created masks that describe voyages people
1:13 take around the world based originally on the masks of Venice. We also have landscape
1:18 painting and some fantastic works by Donzelli, an Italian who did tapestries. Altogether,
1:25 this collection is a wonderful testament to their vision of how Italy and the United States
1:31 work together to make the world a better place.