The aim of “Words for pictures” is to put artworks and communities on an equal footing.
People see themselves reflected in the highest expressions of the local cultural heritage, identify with them, and give them a new voice: sometimes joyful and light-hearted, other times melancholy and troubled.
Nicoletta Matteuzzi, scientific coordinator of the Chianti and Valdarno Fiorentino Museum System
“Words for pictures”, a project promoted by the Chianti and Valdarno Fiorentino Museum System, and curated by Silvia Mascheroni and Maria Grazia Panigada, stems from a wish to promote local heritage “treasures”, the fulcrum of communities and villages, and yet often little known and visited by the public: the Museo Ghelli of San Casciano Val di Pesa, the Museum of Religious Art of Tavernelle Val di Pesa, the Chapel of St. Catherine in Bagno Ripoli, the Museo Masaccio of Reggello, and the Museum of Religious Art of the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Figline.
The six storytellers involved, all of them museum operators, have experienced a new interplay between their personal lives and living environment, the works of art they take care of, and a sense of belonging to the cultural landscape. Through their stories, artworks are turned into “objects of affection”, and museums into familiar places.
Local communities are guided by storytellers through the different museums and heritage sites on special occasions; in order for these evocative narrative trails to be available on a more regular basis, every story has also been filmed by videomaker Alessandro Pucci.
The project’s title is drawn from a collection of papers by art historian and critic Michael Baxandall.