BSR News Winter 2016-17
Much of the past few months has been about saying thank you to all the many people who do so much to support the BSR. Our donor board, unveiled by HRH Princess Alexandra, is a visible sign of our gratitude to  those who have made major donations to the Second Century Campaign so far - and there is plenty of space for more names! During the same wonderful celebration of the launch of the Second Century Campaign, we made six world-class scholars Honorary Fellows of the BSR. Each has given so much to us at the BSR, but also to the world of international research - and our recognition of them is also a sign of our partnership in that world of scholarship. 

And finally, one of my great highlights of the year was the Artists' Reunion, generously hosted by Eliza Bonham-Carter at the Royal Academy Schools, with over 90 former award-holders from every decade from the 1950s on. It is on the basis of this creativity and passion that we will continue to build our future.
Christopher Smith
Second Century Campaign launch

Much of our recent attention has been on the Sustainable Building Project, but that is only part of a wider and more ambitious Second Century Campaign, inaugurated by HRH Princess Alexandra on 26 October 2016. It is 100 years since the first student stayed at the BSR - Ernest Cormier, a Québec architect who would go on to design the central building of the Université de Montréal and the Supreme Court in Ottawa, arrived in 1916 along with Assistant Director Eugenie Strong. Though their stay was short, they broke ground on the new building which has since been our home.

As we look ahead to our second century, we need to strengthen the financial basis of the BSR through new scholarships, more sponsorships and an increasing endowment. You will hear much more of this over coming weeks and months, as we roll out new ways of supporting the BSR.

Every bit of support you can offer, however small, will help to secure our future as Britain's leading humanities and arts research institute abroad.

Beyond Borders

The BSR is collaborating on a transformational AHRC Beacon project Transnationalizing Modern Languages, which is devising new approaches to fortify Modern Languages in response to decline in UK provision for the discipline. This project challenges the tradition of containing the study of modern languages within discrete national boundaries by investigating cultural exchange within communities and individuals across time and space.

In October, we hosted a three-day conference Transnational Italies: Mobility, Subjectivities and Modern Italian Cultures examining the mobility of Italian culture through patterns of emigration and immigration, and its interactions with other cultures across the globe.

This was accompanied by a participatory exhibition BEYOND BORDERS. Transnational Italy displaying research processes and results. The BSR gallery was curated as a domestic environment, a metaphor for how language and culture offer us space to 'inhabit' our lives and our relations with others.

Later on in November, two of the organisers, Charles Burdett and Loredana Polezzi, gave a lecture at the British Academy exploring how a new focus on the web of interconnections between cultures is enriching our understanding of language and space.

Yet another illustration of the BSR's invaluable role in strengthening the UK academy.

Conservation, heritage management and sustainability

With its historical layers, Rome is the ideal place to explore creative conservation solutions that balance the integrity of the past with a sustainable future. The BSR's glorious tradition in successfully integrating conservation plans into archaeological projects was upheld at last term's ERC-funded conference on conservation and restoration at Portus.

We have enriched this research theme with a series of well-received events. These events, which raised new research challenges, link architecture, archaeology and historic site management; policy and planning; regional history and global conservation efforts; and heritage's role in intercultural dialogue, social integration and economic development.

A 'historic meeting', Collaborating for the Cultural Heritage of the World, was followed by a policy workshop on The Social Value of Beauty examining beauty as a civic right. Directors of museums and international think-tanks, and the new UK Ambassador to Italy Jill Morris (pictured here with Christopher Smith) came together to ask how we can empower communities to create and enhance beautiful public spaces. The value of intercultural dialogue in heritage was also central to the high-profile Mediterranean Exchange of Archaeological Tourism conference at Paestum, where Christopher Smith represented the BSR's work.

 Visual Art
New residencies
We are delighted to welcome two new residencies to our programme this year. The Creative Wales-BSR Fellowship provides a three-month opportunity for an artist who lives in Wales, and the inaugural Fellow, Kelly Best, was with us October to December. At the beginning of January we welcomed Sinta Tantra for six months as The Bridget Riley Fellow.

We are extremely grateful to the organisations providing the funding for these, and to all other funders of visual art residencies for their continuing support. Do check out our website for details of some of the opportunities for 2017-18.

Artist alumni in Rome
As well as giving artists the time and space to explore their practice, our Visual Art residencies  open up a fruitful dialogue and exchange with a Roman audience via our mostre and studio visits which showcase the work of our artists, and gallery visits which can open up opportunities for further projects and collaborations.

Some of our recent alumni have been drawn back to the Rome art scene, and this winter saw several former award-holders - including Rachel Adams (Sainsbury Scholar in Painting and Sculpture 2015-16), Jonathan Baldock (Abbey Fellow 2012-13), Damien Duffy (Arts Council of Northern Ireland Fellow 2015-16), and Joseph Griffiths (Australia Council Resident 2015-16) - return to Rome to pursue further residencies and collaborations with Roman and international artists and galleries. 

Archaeology and Architecture
Archaeological monograph published on Villa Magna
The evocative site of Villamagna, rising in lovely solitude against the steep wooded backdrop of the Monti Lepini, has enormous importance; but its imperial villa, known from the letters of Marcus Aurelius, has been largely ignored until recently, with interest focusing upon the medieval monastery that occupied the site. This volume - edited by Elizabeth Fentress, Caroline Goodson and Marco Maiuro, with Margaret Andrews and J. Andrew Dufton - presents the fascinating story of the site, from imperial villa (including a winery), to a late antique successor, monastic complex, village, cemetery and late medieval castrum.

BSR members can buy the volume at a special price of £72; otherwise available from Oxbow Books for £90.

Architecture: Rome and beyond
Architecture continues as a strong presence in the BSR's activities. The programming strand Meeting Architecture III: Fragments has now shifted focus to Eastern Europe. The autumn saw an exhibition by artist Miroslaw Balka, along with an in-conversation event between Balka and architectural historian Joseph Rykwert (above left and right), as well as a talk by Grzegorz Piatek.

In London, seven former architecture award-holders presented at our second PechaKucha organised around the theme Rome and architecture. Those who gathered for these distinctive and engaging presentations included a raft of their fellow former award-holders, along with others with an interest in the subject - both from within the BSR community and outside it, including a number of architecture students and young architects.

See photos from
December Mostra

Image acknowledgements 
Christopher Smith: Antonio Palmieri. HRH Princess Alexandra: Thomas Toti. Beyond Borders. Transnational Italy exhibition: Carolina Farina (Routes Agency). Christopher Smith and Her Majesty's Ambassador Ms Jill Morris CMG: courtesy of Trinità dei Monti think tank. Creative Wales-BSR Fellow Kelly Best: Antonio Palmieri. Damien Duffy, Screenwash, 2016: photo courtesy of the artist. Miroslaw Balka and Joseph Rykwert: Antonio Palmieri. Vivien Zhang, Velvet Murmurs, 2016: Roberto Apa.