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Paola Cordera

Paola Cordera works as an associate professor.

Her research draws upon a multidisciplinary background developed over time through several research projects and publications in the field of museums and cultural heritage. Her research interests lie in Medieval and Renaissance art, architecture and decorative arts and their reception in 19th and 20th century collections, and in the history of the taste and the art market.

She earned her PhD in 2014 (Politecnico di Milano and Université Sorbonne-Paris 1) with a thesis on the art dealer and collector Frédéric Spitzer and his Museum. Her research was published as the first monograph on this subject (Bologna 2014) and it has been disseminated widely in periodicals («Revista de História da Arte» 2015) and essays (Leiden-Boston 2020) and at conferences (Parigi, L’Aja, Londra, Lisbona (2015), New York (2016), Chicago (2017), Los Angeles (2018) e Strasburgo (2019), Rotterdam (2022)).

In 2016 she was the Leon Levy Fellow at the Center for the History of Collecting at the Frick Art Reference Library, where she researched the reception and sales of Spitzer’s collection of decorative arts in the United States. In recent years her work has been supported by grants from the Getty Research Institute (2017), INHA (Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art) and the Kress Foundation International Travel Grant. In 2024 she was Visiting Scholar at the American Academy in Rome.

She is currently Principal Investigator on the VO Project. Objects Voices. The Italian Design from Museum to Home (2021-22). Focusing on the traveling exhibition Italy at Work (1950-54), this project explores the actors, networks, strategies, and actions contributing to the promotion of Italian industry and decorative arts production (and the Italian lifestyle) in the context of its celebrated past and in the framework of post-war Marshall Plan funding in Europe.