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23 Sep

Lafayette 148 Eyes Painting Restoration With Save Venice

Recent York City has enjoyed many a mashup with the Italians as of late, but Lafayette 148 went for a partnership with a philanthropic bent, joining with Save Venice Thursday night within the name of restoration.

Lafayette 148 shall be sole corporate sponsor for the conservation treatment of Giulia Lama’s 18th-century oil painting, “Female Saint in Glory” — an idea first proposed by creative director Emily Smith who, like Coco Chanel before her, has long been seduced by Venice, infusing the town’s many charms into Lafayette 148 collections through the years. 

“Art and architecture are two core kind of focuses for the corporate, so this gave the impression of a pleasant extension of Emily’s vision and I totally support her,” said cofounder and chief executive officer Deirdre Quinn, noting how the brand often collaborates with artisans in Murano on glassware.

Adelina Wong Ettelson, Elizabeth Kurpis and Lauren Santo Domingo.

Rommel Demano/BFA.com

At Lafayette’s SoHo flagship, amid Smith’s fall line of tartan plaid kilts and preppy-chic sweater vests, art patrons Lauren Santo Domingo, Elizabeth Kurpis and Adelina Wong Ettelson sipped Prosecco while noshing on light bites of caviar and rare sirloin topped with crème fraîche. Spirits were high as women gathered to buy a cause.

Ten percent of the evening’s proceeds will go toward Save Venice’s “Women Artists of Venice” campaign, which goals to present female creators lively within the sinking city their due. And a spotlight for Lama’s work is long overdue.

Currently hanging contained in the Santa Maria Assunta Church on Lido Island, time has not been kind to the “Female Saint in Glory,” which is roofed by cobwebs and pigeon droppings. Though the title and original composition remain uncertain, Lama’s brooding style makes it a focal point for researchers and historians, standing in sharp contrast with the breathy pastels common to the Baroque-era. 

Giulia Lama, “Female Saint in Glory,” Church of Santa Maria Assunta, Malamocco, Lido di Venezia.

“Originally, scholars thought it was not a lady’s work — her depiction of male bodies were too strong for them to think that a lady could conceive of that anatomically, so a few of her work was attributed to men,” said Save Venice board member Lizzie Ascher, a self-proclaimed accessories “nut,” eyeing a filigree pearl choker. We would like “to have proper attribution and be sure that that ladies are being highlighted and that there’s scholarly material that we are able to write and publish.”  

“The incredible thing about Deidre and Lafayette is that they’re those which have come forward to embrace Giulia Lama’s work, really form of leading the charge….We put this on the market and we desired to have women CEOs, women founders, women leaders, embrace this initiative,” Ascher said.

With Lafayette’s sponsorship, “Female Saint in Glory” shall be dismounted from the church wall and ferried to a close-by laboratory where it’ll undergo examination before being painstakingly restored.

“I see this as the start of a journey,” explained Quinn, of the chance to shed latest light on an old painting. “We don’t know yet what they may find.”

Deirdre Quinn and Lizzie Asher

Rommel Demano/BFA.com

Rommel Demano/BFA.com

Rommel Demano/BFA.com

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