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In support of Italian artists and scholars.
A celebration of artist Giuseppe Penone, production designer Dante Ferretti and set decorator Francesca Lo Schiavo.

ROME AND NEW YORK — The American Academy in Rome rewards artist Giuseppe Penone, production designer Dante Ferretti and set decorator Francesca Lo Schiavo at the McKim Medal Gala, to be held on June 7 2017 at Villa Aurelia, Rome. Host Rosario Fiorello will present Ferretti and Lo Schiavo, while Penone will be presented by Laurent Le Bon, director of the Picasso Museum in Paris.

The evening, one of the most interesting and high-profile events of the spring season, celebrates the winners for their exceptional contribution to Italian culture, with the goal of raising funds to support fellowships for Italian artists and scholars, who will be able to live and work for three to five months at the American Academy in Rome.

“The American Academy is pleased to present the McKim medal to Giuseppe Penone, Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo for 2017 for their fundamental contribution to Italian culture,” commented Mark Robbins, Chairman of the American Academy in Rome. “We are immensely grateful to the Italian and Roman community for their ongoing support for the Italian Fellowship. We particularly want to thank Tiffany & Co. Italia for supporting the Gala as its Presenting Sponsor and AAR for the foundation of the new Italian Fellowship for design.”

Once again this year, the McKim Gala was chaired by Ginevra Elkann Gaetani, a member of the Board of Trustees at the American Academy in Rome. An international guest list from the world of art and humanities, such as literature, cinema, music, fashion, design, and business will meet at Villa Aurelia for cocktails and dinner in the garden.

Honorary Dinner Chair for the evening is Valentina Moncada di Paternò, alongside the Founding Dinner Chair, Verdella Caracciolo de Benedictis.

The Presenting Sponsor of the evening is Tiffany & Co. Italia.

The McKim Gala 2017 is backed by the following sponsors: Corporate Patron Moncler SpA; Corporate Supporters Bloomberg, Suzanne Deal Booth, Credit Suisse, Dior, Fendi, Gagosian Gallery, Generali, Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners, Gucci, Pinacoteca Giovanni e Marella Agnelli, Tommy Hilfiger, Valentino SpA; and Sponsors Ludovica Amati, Mercedes T. Bass, Thomas Blount, Jim and Katie Brennan, Nicola and Beatrice Bulgari, Mary and Howard Frank, Daniela Memmo d'Amelio, Mirella Petteni Haggiag, Prince and Princess Domenico Orsini, Louisa Stude Sarofim, Brian S. Snyder, Baron Alexander Thyssen-Bornemisza, and many more. The wine for the evening is supplied by Poderi di Capo d'Uomo and FIOL Prosecco.

"The extraordinary artist Giuseppe Penone expresses the relationship between art and nature in such a profound way as to reveal its very essence. Dante Ferretti and Francesca Lo Schiavo have ploughed their vision and talent into cinema, recreating worlds through minute details, cementing their position as masters of the art of fiction and real masters within their art form," commented Ginevra Elkann Gaetani.

The Gala is an important occasion for the Italian community to support an institution that makes a fundamental contribution to the development of Italian artists and scholars in Italian culture, as the American Academy in Rome does. In particular, the McKim Gala supports the cultural program of the American Academy in Rome and the Italian Fellowship, the grant given to Italian talents in the visual arts, architecture and design, musical composition and the humanities. Thanks to this experience, the Italian Fellows have the opportunity for important creative exchange with the American intellectuals, artists and creatives residing at the Academy. During their stay, they become an integral part of a lively community, interacting and enjoying the benefits that competition offers and dedicating themselves wholeheartedly to their research.

From June 6 to 8 a packed program of special events open to the public offers the opportunity of visiting the fellows' studios or of listening to them in concert. (

2017 also marks the launch of the Fondazione Sviluppo e Crescita CRT Italian Fellow study grant, conceived alongside Fondazione CRT, a private non-profit company whose activity is rooted in the philanthropic work carried out by Cassa di Risparmio di Torino since 1827. Fondazione CRT is one of the biggest supporters of contemporary art, with a particular focus on those working in Piedmont.

In 2018 the American Academy in Rome and Tiffany & Co. Italia launch a new fellowship for Italian designers. This fellowship teams the multidisciplinary approach of the American Academy in Rome, Tiffany & Co.'s excellence in craftsmanship and design and Italy's leadership in the design sector.

2016 saw the launch of the Enel fellowship dedicated to architecture and urban landscape, developed in conjunction with Fondazione Enel, the non-profit research arm of the Italian electricity group. As part of the agreement, the Fondazione supports the “Enel fellowship” at the American Academy in Rome, which is offered every year to an Italian architect, urban designer or landscape artist at any stage in his/her career.

A major artist on the international scene, Giuseppe Penone lives and works in Turin. In his sculptures and installations, which date back to 1967, the creative process is an integral part of the artist's work and action, in a dialectic reaction with nature, shaping materials that develop differently while revealing their incredible, magical essence. His work has appeared in exhibitions and museums around the world: just in recent years, he has exhibited at Château de Versailles (2013), Musée de Grenoble (2014), Nasher Sculpture Center (2015), and Rijksmuseum Amsterdam (2016). In 2007 he represented Italy at the 52nd Venice Biennale.

Dante Ferretti was born in Macerata and lives and works in Rome. In his early career he worked as a production designer on Pier Paolo Pasolini's Medea, beginning a collaboration with the director that spanned 8 films. He then began working with Federico Fellini. He has worked with directors such as Elio Petri, Marco Ferreri, Liliana Cavani, Ettore Scola, Anthony Minghella, Franco Zeffirelli, Julie Taymor, Francis Ford Coppola and Tim Burton. He has also worked with David Cronenberg, and with Martin Scorsese in the USA, a partnership that has produced nine films and three Academy Awards. His extremely creative projects and designs have been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum as part of the permanent collection.

Francesca lo Schiavo was born in Rome, where she studied art and design. She has worked in the film industry as a Set Decorator since 1980, collaborating with such acclaimed directors as Liliana Cavani, Federico Fellini, Jacques Annaud and Terry Gilliam. Her collaboration with Gilliam on The Adventures of Baron Munchausen gained her her first Academy Award nomination for best art direction. In 2012, Lo Schiavo was given a Great Official Order of Merit of the Italian Republic by President Giorgio Napolitano in recognition of her extraordinary achievements. She has also received a Critics’ Choice Award, a BAFTA and a Nastro d’Oro. Lo Schiavo has received eight Academy Award nominations, winning on three occasions for best art direction. Recently, Ferretti and Lo Schiavo worked together on the film Silence directed by Martin Scorsese.

The McKim Medal

The McKim Medal was founded by the American Academy in Rome in 2005 and conceived as an annual award celebrating cultural figures whose work – particularly in Italy and the United States – has contributed significantly to the arts and humanities. Proceeds from the McKim Gala support the Academy's Italian Fellowships program, providing study grants that offer Italian scholars and artists the chance to live and work in the dynamic international community at the American Academy in Rome. Previous winners of the McKim Medal include Paolo Sorrentino, Carlo Petrini, Zaha Hadid, Renzo Piano, Cy Twombly, Umberto Eco, Franco Zeffirelli, Ennio Morricone, Miuccia Prada, Luigi Ontani, Riccardo Muti, Bernardo Bertolucci, Giorgio Moroder, and Patrizia Cavalli. The McKim Medal was designed by Cy Twombly and made by Fabio Salini.

The American Academy in Rome

Founded in 1894, the American Academy in Rome is a leading American overseas center for independent studies and advanced research in the fine arts and humanities. The Academy is a privately-funded non-profit institution that every year, at the end of a selection process that begins in the fall, offers the Rome Prize fellowships and Italian fellowships to a group of artists and scholars.

The winners, chosen by juries of experts, are invited the following year to Rome to conduct their work in a setting that encourages intellectual experimentation and interdisciplinary exchange. The fellowships reward people working in the arts (architecture, landscape architecture, visual arts, musical composition, conservation and restoration of historical and cultural heritage, design and literature) and in the humanities (classical, medieval, Renaissance, early modern era and modern Italy). In addition to the Rome Prize fellows and Italian fellows, the Academy also invites to Rome some prestigious exponents of the arts and humanities, fellows selected in collaboration with other important institutions and a select group of other artists and scholars, to work together within this exceptional community.

For further information on the Rome Prize, the Italian fellowships for artists and scholars and the activities of the American Academy in Rome, please visit

For further information: US: Marques McClary +1-646-262-2776, Italy: Santa Nastro, +39 3928928522,

For further information on attending the Gala and supporting the Italian Fellowship: Inga Clausing: +39 06 584 6474,

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