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Leonardo da Vinci: Between Art and Science

Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers

Postmark Deadline: March 1, 2012

“Leonardo da Vinci: Between Art and Science” is a three-week college and university faculty institute for twenty-five participants to explore the relations between art and science in the Renaissance. The institute combines the history of art, science, literature, and technology, in a study of the works of Leonardo da Vinci, “this versatile, canonical artist […] who moved with equal ease among artistic, literary, intellectual, and scientific circles,” as the project director Francesca Fiorani (University of Virginia) claims.  The institute is organized around three major themes: “Art and Science, Word and Image,” “Painting and Drawing,” and “Craftsmen and Scholars.”  Within an interdisciplinary approach, the institute seeks a deep understanding of Leonardo’s multiple activities, exploring how the artist connected his scientific investigation of the world with his activity as a painter.  The institute also addresses broader themes pertaining to the status of images in the construction and transmission of knowledge, the limits of observation and representation, and the articulation of these limits in sixteenth-century philosophy and art theory.  The institute takes place in Florence, Italy, and is hosted by the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence (KHI) Max-Planck Institut.  Participants have easy access to high-quality facsimile editions of Leonardo’s manuscripts through the Museo Galileo, the Biblioteca Berenson, and at the KHI.  The institute also makes extensive use of the collections of the Uffizi Gallery, the Opificio delle Pietre Dure, and the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana.  The director is joined by a group of leading scholars with expertise in art history, literature, history of science, art restoration, and architectural history:  Martin Kemp (Oxford University), Carlo Vecce (University of Naples “L’Orientale”), Antonio Natali (Uffizi Gallery), Alessandro Nova (KHI and University of Frankfurt), Cecilia Frosinini (Opificio delle Pietre Dure), Marzia Faietti (Gabinetto dei Disegni e delle Stampe, Uffizi), Jonathan Nelson (Syracuse University), Pietro Marani (Politecnico di Milano), Paolo Galluzzi (Museo Galileo), Sven Dupré ( University of Ghent), Domenico Laurenza (Museo Galileo), and Frank Fehrenbach (Harvard University). 

Dates: June 25-July 13 (3 weeks)
Grantee Institutions: University of Virginia
Location: Florence, Italy

About NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers

Each year the NEH’s Division of Education Programs offers teachers opportunities to study a variety of humanities topics in Summer Seminars and Institutes. Each NEH Summer Seminar includes sixteen participants working in collaboration with one or two leading scholars. Participants have access to a major research collection, with time reserved to pursue individual projects.

Amount of Award

NEH Summer Scholars are awarded fixed stipends to help cover travel costs, books and other research expenses, and living expenses. Stipend amounts are based on the length of the NEH Summer Seminar or Institute: $2,100 (2 weeks), $2,700 (3 weeks), $3,300 (4 weeks), $3,900 (5 weeks), or $4,500 (6 weeks).


NEH Summer Seminars and Institutes are designed primarily for teachers of American undergraduate students. Qualified independent scholars and those employed by museums, libraries, historical societies, and other organizations may be eligible to compete provided they can effectively advance the teaching and research goals of the project.

You may request information about as many projects as you like, but you may apply to no more than two NEH Summer Programs (seminars, institutes, or Landmarks workshops) and you may attend only one.

Please note:

Adjunct faculty, community college faculty and first-time participants are encouraged to apply.

Up to two seminar spaces and three institute spaces are reserved for current full-time graduate students in the humanities.

How to Apply

For more information and application instructions, please visit the program website listed above.