Firenze, February 14, 2024
For the first time I was unable to make it to Palm Beach for our Annual Meeting and I was sorry beyond words. I do hope some of you will travel to Florence over the next months and there will be occasions to meet up.
We did have a great time last October during the Friends’ eighth Florentine Weekend, concomitant with the Amici’s Thirtieth Anniversary celebrations. We enjoyed fine dining and exclusive events, culminating in an exquisite concert in the White Hall at the Pitti Palace, played on the suberb grand piano donated by Veronica Atkins.
The private tours of the Galleries gave the opportunity to admire some of the Friends’ most recent achievements, such as a restored Rembrandt’s self-portrait and a painting by John Francis Rigaud bought and donated just in time for the opening of the new rooms displaying the Uffizi unique self-portraits collection. Other important restorations are in progress and will hopefully be completed within the year.
We also said our goodbyes to Eike Schmidt who was going to leave the Uffizi after leading it for eight years, during which time we enjoyed a fruitful collaboration for the accomplishments of many ambitious projects, such as the new rooms dedicated to the greatest artists – Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raffaello, Caravaggio, Titian – or the monumental restorations of the Sala di Bona, the Map Room, the Valois tapestries.
Eike Schmidt, appointed to the Capodimonte museum in Naples, has been replaced by Simone Verde. I cannot wait to renew with him our commitment to the well-being and prestige of our museum and prescious art collections, encouraged by your loyal, passionate, friendly support.
With gratitude and admiration, always.
Maria Vittoria Colonna Rimbotti