The Syracuse man of the hour, most responsible for "Michelangelo: The Man and The Myth," is Renaissance scholar and long time Syracuse University art professor Gary Radke. Our man is a city of Syracuse resident, who divides his time between the 'Cuse and Italy, especially Florence, where SU has a prominent school. Radke is also a Fellow at the American Academy in Rome, and has held several foundation fellowships. He formerly directed SU's honors program, is an author and is now the Dean's Professor of the Humanities.
SU's presence in Florence was key
The show is on loan from Casa Buonarroti, Michelangelo's ancestral home near Santa Croce in Florence. That museum's director, Dottoressa Pina Ragionieri is the guest curator. Ragionieri knew Radke well from his travels to Florence. She also knew that he curated a couple of major shows at museums in the United States. Together they had staged a major show on Michelangelo at the High Art Museum in Atlanta.
A couple of years ago she asked if Radke might know someone interested in staging a smaller in scale exhibition on Michelangelo's work. Radke knew the timing was perfect to bring this artwork, this type of show to Syracuse. He said he shares Chancellor Nancy Cantor's vision and commitment to scholarship in action.
"Under her leadership, there is a real commitment to the arts, to the community," he said.
He wasn't knocking previous administrations, instead praising this one. He also said that the SU Galleries had proven their merit over the years, so he felt confidant it was capable of handling such a show as this Michelangelo.
"I feel very privileged to help bring these extraordinary works by Michelangelo to our galleries," SU Art Galleries Director Domenic Iacono said. "Working with Pina and Gary to develop an exhibition that speaks to the intellect and artistic genius of Michelangelo, we hope to provide an educational atmosphere that serves as a catalyst between the works of art in the exhibition and the visitors who come to view it."