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Luigi Salerno research papers, 1948-1996

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Finding aid for the Luigi Salerno research papers, 1948-1996
Series III. Research files, 1950-1992, undated 11.6 linear feet (26 boxes)
Series III.A. Caravaggio, 1954-1992, bulk 1970-1985, undated
The subseries includes numerous images and extensive notes regarding Caravaggio and his followers. Also included are articles, offprints and clippings related to the artist, a number of galleys from Benedict Nicolson's posthumously published volume The International Caravaggesque Movement, exhibition object checklists, draft essays by Salerno and others, technical examinations, conference remarks and correspondence. The bulk of the correspondence is from Denis Mahon.
In 1965 Salerno was invited to Pennsylvania State University to teach a graduate seminar on Caravaggio during the fall term. The file on this seminar includes correspondence from students, bibliographies, notes and several sketches.
In the 1970s Salerno and Denis Mahon were heavily involved in the rediscovery of two works acquired by American museums. The first of these, Martha and Mary Magdalene (also known as the Conversion of the Magdalene or the Alzaga Caravaggio), was acquired by the Detroit Institute of Arts in 1973. Files on the Detroit Magdalene include photographs of the work, an undated examination of the painting by Giovanni Corradini and drafts, in Italian, of Salerno's 1974 article entitled "The Art-Historical Implications of the Detroit 'Magdalen'," which appeared in The Burlington Magazine. The file also contains a technical examination of the painting by James L. Greaves and Meryl Johnson.
The second painting was the Cleveland Museum of Art's The Cruxifixion of Saint Andrew. Files regarding the St. Andrew include numerous photographs, negatives and transparencies of the work, press releases from the museum regarding the acquisition and a photocopied, annotated draft of the footnotes for Ann Tzeutschler Lurie's article on the painting. The file also includes a galley of Lurie's article, 1977 newspaper clippings from "El Pais" regarding the painting's export from Spain, a copy of a questionnaire filled out by conservator Jan Dik and a photocopied statement of facts regarding the painting's sale.
In 1974 Salerno was invited to speak at the Convegno internazionale di studi caravaggeschi in Bergamo and this subseries includes his remarks. It also includes research material and correspondence from Denis Mahon and Mia Cinotti related to Salerno's 1984 Apollo article "Caravaggio: A Reassessment." In addition, the papers contain material on the 1985 Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition The Age of Caravaggio.
Box Folder
5 7 Pennsylvania State University seminar
Includes 1965 correspondence with Mahon regarding a version of David with the Head of Goliath, and correspondence with students.
Caravaggio and related artists
Box Folder
5 8 Papers
Box Folder
56 9 Negative
Box Folder
5 9-11 Notes
Articles, offprints and readings
Box Folder
5 12-15 Papers
Box Folder
56 9 Color photograph
Box Folder
5 16 Exhibition catalog In the Light of Caravaggio (Trafalgar Galleries, 1976)
5 17 Galley and images
Includes Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 1953.
Box
5-6 Images
Includes a note from Giuseppe Pio fu Michele and a draft letter from the committee organizing the 1956-1957 exhibition Il Seicento europeo: realismo, classicismo, barocco.
Followers of Caravaggio
Box Folder
6 2-5 Papers
Box Folder
56 9 Transparency
Box Folder
6 6-7 Convegno internazionale di studi caravaggeschi, 1974
File relates to the activities held on the 400th anniversary of the birth of Caravaggio and to Salerno's essay "Caravaggio e la cultura nel suo tempo," in Novità sul Caravaggio. Atti del Convegno internazionale di studi caravaggeschi di Bergamo. Includes drafts of Salerno's remarks, correspondence regarding the conference, conference programs and receipts and reimbursements.
Martha and Mary Magdalene, Detroit Institute of Arts
Box Folder
6 8-15 Papers
Box Folder
56 9 Transparency
Other Alzaga painting
After establishing contact with Salerno in relation to the Detroit Magdalen, it appears that Martin de Alzaga may have sent images of another painting in the family collections seeking advice. This painting is not by Caravaggio, however, Salerno filed these materials with those regarding the Detroit painting.
Box Folder
6 16 Papers
Box Folder
56 10 Radiographs and transparencies
The Crucifixion of Saint Andrew, Cleveland Museum of Art
Box
6-7 Papers
Box Folder
56 11 Negatives and transparencies
Box Folder
7 6-10 "Caravaggio: A Reassessment"
In a June 1984 article published in Apollo titled Caravaggio: A Reassessment Salerno reviews Mia Cinotti and G. A. Dell'Acqua's work on the artist which appeared in I Pittori bergamaschi dal XIII al XIX secolo. In his review Salerno assesses the publication in juxtaposition to a book by Howard Hibbard released in the same year and discusses the painting Boy Paring a Bitter Fruit in detail.
7 11-13 The Age of Caravaggio (Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1985)
Includes preliminary object checklists, correspondence, and photocopies of catalog entries mailed to Salerno by Mina Gregori.
7 14 Clippings and articles
Oversize-Box Folder
61* 1 Radiographs
Contains four radiographs, 30 x 40 cm. The radiographs were housed in an envelope labeled, "Caravaggio," addressed to Salerno from the Cassa di risparmio di Roma: Laboratorio scientifico di ricerche fisiche.


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