6 September 2023

150th Anniversary of the Serpentara – Celebration on 23 September 2023

On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the acquisition of the Serpentara oak grove – today location of the artist residence “Villa Serpentara” of the Akademie der Künste – the Akademie and the German Academy of Rome Villa Massimo invite guests to Olevano Romano for a celebration on 23 September 2023.

In the early 19th century, the “Serpentara” (grove of snakes), located in the mountain town of Olevano Romano east of Rome, began to attract Romantic artists from various European countries. The oak grove situated above the town not only became a destination for the artists’ excursions, it also influenced them as they developed a new conception of landscape. Today, depictions of the “Serpentara” can be seen in virtually all major European museums.

In 1873, a group of German artists prevented the impending clearing of the Serpentara by spontaneously raising funds to save it. This September marks the 150th anniversary of the successful “crowdfunding” effort. Their private initiative, arising from their appreciation of the location as aesthetically unique and its genius loci as deserving of protection, has since then evolved into a landscape conservation project that lives on to this day in the form of a residence for Berlin artists: Since the mid-20th century, the Akademie der Künste has been inviting artists from all of its sections to the “Villa Serpentara”. Today it still serves as a retreat and a place of longing, artistic experimentation and freedom of expression.

The residency fellowship is organised by the JUNGE AKADEMIE, the international residency programme of the Akademie der Künste, and supported on site by the German Academy of Rome Villa Massimo, which together with Casa Baldi also operates a residence in Olevano.

What does it mean to preserve such a place of longing and make it accessible to future generations? How did artists and locals from Olevano once perceive the Serpentara, as well as nature, beauty and identity in general, and how is it seen today? With a varied programme of talks, concerts, performances and film installations, the anniversary provides the fitting occasion to celebrate the successful history of this special residence, which in recent years has increasingly become a stage for exploring questions about societal transformation.

From the programme

Welcome address:
Ingo Mix, Head of Division for the Promotion of the Arts and Culture with the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media
Umberto Quaresima, Mayor of Olevano Romano
Julia Draganović, Director of the German Academy of Rome Villa Massimo
Johanna M. Keller, Director of Programming at the Akademie der Künste

Lectures and speeches by
Elena Marchetti, art historian
Adrian von Buttlar, art historian and son of the Secretary General of the Akademie der Künste (West) from 1956 – 1964
Anna Hetzer, Villa Serpentara fellowship recipient in the Literature Section (2023)

Artistic contributions by
Manos Tsangaris, composer, member of the Akademieder Künsteand Villa Serpentara fellowship recipient in the Music Section (1998) and Annette Rießner, accordionist
Katharina Roth, composer, Villa Serpentara fellowship recipient in the Music Section (2023)
Kathrin Angela Denner, composer, and Trutz von Stuckrad Penner, architect, Casa Baldi fellowship recipients at the German Academy of Rome (2023)
Prince Gholam, visual artist, Villa Serpentara fellowship recipient in the Visual Arts Section (2009) and winner of the Art Prize of the Visual Arts Section of the Akademie der Künste (2019) as well as the Villa Massimo Rome Prize (2020/21)

More on the history of “Villa Serpentara” can be found here: hier

150th Anniversary of the Serpentara
Saturday, 23 September 2023, starting at 3:30 pm
Villa Serpentara, Via Joseph Anton Koch, 169, 00035 Olevano Romano, Italy

Please direct any inquiries to
Clara Herrmann, Head of JUNGE AKADEMIE, T +49(0)30 200 57-2163, herrmann@adk.de