cover of book

Save Venice Inc.: American Philanthropy and Art Conservation in Italy, 1966-2021
by Christopher Carlsmith
University of Massachusetts Press, 2022
eISBN: 978-1-61376-955-3 | Paper: 978-1-62534-675-9 | Cloth: 978-1-62534-676-6
Library of Congress Classification N9004.V46C37 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 363.690945311


In 1966, the most destructive flood in the history of Venice temporarily submerged the city and threatened its extraordinary art and architecture. Among the organizations that mobilized to protect this fragile heritage was Save Venice Inc. Founded in Boston and now headquartered in New York City, this nonprofit has become the largest and most active committee dedicated to preserving the artistic legacy of Venice.

Christopher Carlsmith tells the fascinating story of Save Venice Inc., from its origins to its fiftieth anniversary. It continues to provide an influential model for philanthropy in the cultural sector, raising substantial funds to conserve and restore paintings, sculptures, books, mosaics, and entire buildings at risk from human and environmental impacts. Employing extensive archival research, oral interviews, and newspaper accounts, Save Venice Inc. explores a range of topics, including leadership, conservation projects, fundraising, and educational outreach. Using a range of methodologies from cultural history and art history, Carlsmith traces the achievements and challenges faced by this and other historic preservation organizations and by this unique city on the sea.

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