Amy R. Bloch, PhD, (pictured above) has been awarded a fellowship from the Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, to support a year of research in Florence during the 2009-2010 academic year. She will spend her time in Florence completing her book manuscript, Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise and the Renaissance Biblical Imaginary. This book will explore Ghiberti’s representation of Old Testament narratives in the ten bronze relief panels of the so-called Gates of Paradise, a set of doors he made for the Florence Baptistery between 1425 and 1452.
Several of Professor Bloch's forthcoming articles focus on the connection between sculpted images at the Florence Baptistery and the ritual of baptism. Another examines the meaning of the sculptural media used in the creation of Donatello’s Chellini Madonna, a bronze sculpture from which it was possible to cast glass copies. Her most recent research includes “Lorenzo Ghiberti, the Arte di Calimala, and Fifteenth-Century Florentine Corporate Patronage,” in Florence and Beyond: Culture, Society, and Politics in Renaissance Italy, eds. D. Peterson and D. Bornstein (2008) and “The Evolution of Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Approach to the Narrative Relief,” in Depth of Field: Relief Sculpture in Renaissance Italy, eds. D. Cooper and M. Leino (2007). In the fall of 2007 Professor Bloch spoke at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in connection with an exhibition of three panels from the Gates of Paradise, and she spoke in Florence in 2006 at the International Mellon Foundation symposium held in conjunction with the completion of the restoration of the Gates of Paradise.
Professor Bloch received her PhD from Rutgers University in 2004 and has been a member of the Art Department of the University at Albany since 2007.