Harms' way


1. End of the Middle Ages the period in European history from about the 14th through 16th centuries regarded as marking the end of the Middle Ages and featuring major cultural and artistic change

2. Classical Revival the cultural and religious spirit that characterized the Renaissance, including the decline of Gothic architecture, the revival of classical culture, the beginnings of modern science, and geographical exploration.

[What is Skaneateles' connection to the Renaissance?]

When fine arts painter Rachel Harms moved to her husband Steve Datz' hometown of Skaneateles, she relocated more than her family and studio. Harms is the administrative director of the Medici Archive Project.

From 1537 to 1743 the Medici family reigned in Florence, Italy. This was the banking center of Europe. In terms of the art world this was during the renaissance and the baroque period. The Medicis were princes and moneylenders, as wells as major patrons of the arts behind the Vatican. Florence was one of the art world's centers, drawing sculptors, painters, writers, architects, craftsman, musicians, scientists and diplomats.

The Medicis saved their correspondence over their two-century reign totaling over 3,000,000 letters. These detail day-to-day living, as well as celebrations and international intrigue of the times.

These letters take us to the heart of personal relations, social relations, diplomacy, science, medicine, exploration, decorative art, music, dance, politics, religion and more.

The Medici Archive Project is a partnership between an American Non-Profit and the Italian Government to save and organize these papers electronically adding indexes and catalogues. In essence, the project is about getting this material into an accessible tool for scholarly research.

[Raising interest and awareness]

Recently the MAP held a lecture and silent auction at the Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, LLC on Manhattan's upper East Side. Harms was on hand overseeing the evening, which included a cocktail reception, silent auction and presentations by research fellows.

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