Giorgio Vasari and the Birth of the Museum offers the first dedicated and comprehensive study of Vasari’s original contributions to the making of museums, addressing the subject from the full range of aspects - collecting, installation, conceptual-historical - in which his influence is strongly felt. Uniting specialists of Giorgio Vasari with scholars of historical museology, this collection of essays presents a cross-disciplinary overview of Vasari’s approaches to the collecting and display of art, artifacts and memorabilia. Although the main focus of the book is on the mid-late 16th century, contributors also bring to light that Vasari’s museology enjoyed a substantial afterlife well into the modern museum era. This volume is a fundamental addition to the museum studies literature and a welcome enhancement to the scholarly industry on Giorgio Vasari.
Maia Wellington Gahtan is Program Director, MA Museum Studies at the Istituto Lorenzo de’ Medici, Florence, Italy.
'This is a first-rate collection of essays and a valuable addition to the growing Vasari literature ... Recommended.' Choice
'The essays contained in Giorgio Vasari and the Birth of the Museum offer varied perspectives on understanding the influence of Vasari’s Lives of the Artists on the creation and development of the modern museum. Individual lives are sometimes the focus of an author’s discussion, but it is the structure of the Lives that is most significant. With his Lives Vasari created the intellectual context for the study of individual artists’ careers within a narrative of art’s history, and that narrative was then enshrined within museums.' CAA reviews
'Within a broad museological and museographical perspective, this book has the merit of setting up a dialogue among the conceptual categories of collecting, conservation, display, and museology and of demonstrating how fundamental the multifaceted Vasari’s impact was on the history of museums. Among writings on art, collecting, and museography, emerging from these essays are numerous interesting suggestions and paths for further investigation and research.' Renaissance Quarterly
'Overall, Gahtan has edited this work with much care and precision. Readers are led through logical, interesting, and strongly source-focused articles written by Vasari specialists. The constant use of Vasari's Vite and an individual adherence to the main themes of collecting, preserving, and exhibiting tie this collection together and provide well-articulated and researched chapters. This work is a clear example of how cross-disciplinary studies can truly be beneficial in exploring the source material available to a greater extent through different lenses.' Parergon