[BCMA] Press Release: Renowned Caetani Artwork Returned to Vernon

Moderated BCMA subscriber listserv listserv at lists.museum.bc.ca
Tue Mar 30 14:08:19 PDT 2021


March 30, 2021

*Renowned Caetani Artwork Returned to Vernon*

*North Okanagan community welcomes the return of Recapitulation series
painted by renowned Vernon artist Sveva Caetani. The artworks have spent
the last 35 years in Edmonton at the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.*

VERNON—The Caetani Cultural Centre Society is excited to announce that
Sveva Caetani’s iconic life work, *Recapitulation*, has returned to Vernon

The series, which includes more than 50 unique watercolour paintings
documenting Caetani’s life story and outlook on life, has been under the
care of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) in Edmonton for close to
35 years.

The AFA shipped the paintings to the late artist's childhood home in
Vernon, which now serves as the Caetani Cultural Centre, on March 19. The
intention is that they will now be displayed in the community that Caetani

This summer, the Caetani Centre is offering tours of Sveva’s artwork along
with Caetani family artifacts and memorabilia for the first time since the
house was donated to the Greater Vernon community in 1994.

“The Caetani Cultural Centre Society is very excited to have this iconic
work back in Vernon where it belongs,” said society President Sherry Price.
“The timing is perfect as we are finally ready to open the house to the

The past few years have seen a concerted effort by the Caetani society to
bring the house up to code to accommodate public access as well as the
various Caetani collections – artwork and artifacts in the Caetani
Society’s own collection; artifacts which until recently were housed at the
Greater Vernon Museum and Archives; and the return of the
*Recapitulation *series
of artworks from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA).

Both timing and hard work have made these partnerships between the Caetani
Centre, the Vernon Museum and the AFA possible, with the hope to involve
other organizations and individuals to consolidate the significant Caetani
collection further. A significant private donation and years of
concentrated fundraising and support from local businesses, artists and
community supporters have made the return of the works possible.

“We have received many donations from other organizations, individuals, and
people who were friends of Sveva during her lifetime,” said Caetani Centre
Executive Director Susan Brandoli. “The Caetani house was Sveva’s home for
many years, where she created her work, entertained and mentored so many
local artists, writers and creatives of all ages and abilities over the
years. She wanted to leave her house as a legacy to the community, a place
for inspiration and where the work of being an artist is celebrated.”

Sveva’s story has already been the inspiration for many books and films,
and the Caetani Centre expects to be busy once its doors officially open
this summer.

COVID-19 guidelines and protocols will be in effect. Tours are expected to
begin by July and will be limited to small groups and/or bubbles following
public health guidelines. To book a tour online, visit Caetani.org
<http://caetani.org> or call the Caetani Centre office at 250-275-1525.


*Media Contact:*

Susan Brandoli, Executive Director, 250-309-6391

ed at caetani.org

or Gabriel Newman, Communication and Program Coordinator

programs at caetani.org



Sveva Caetani and “Workmanship” watercolour painting

Sveva Caetani, opening of Recapitulation Series

Sveva Caetani. Working on unfinished piece

Caetani Centre unloading Recapitulation collection at Caetani Centre, March
19, left to right: Alan Brandoli, Klaus Jaeger, Board President Sherry
Price, Past-President Angelika Jaeger

*About Sveva and the Caetani family: *(pronounced Svey-va Kye-tan-ee)

The Caetani story illuminates many issues that still resonate today: art,
history, immigration, colonization, mental health, overcoming adversity,
and celebrating the human creative spirit.

Descending from Italian royalty, Sveva Caetani represented the last of an
ancient line that traces its roots back over 1,000 years and includes two
medieval popes and noted politicians, academics, artists, writers, and

2021 marks the 100th anniversary year since the family immigrated from
Italy to Canada. The patriarch, Leone Caetani, Duke of Sermoneta, and his
16 other titles, was a parliamentarian and celebrated scholar of Islam.
With the rise in fascism following WWI, out of all the places in the world
he had travelled, he chose Vernon, having visited the Kootenays once for
bear hunting in the 1880s and writing a published account of his travels in
the book, *Selkirks*.

Leaving Italy abruptly and under somewhat mysterious circumstances, the
small family arrived on the shores of Okanagan Landing by paddlewheel with
33 trunks. There, they would live a life of wealth, privilege, travel and
luxury throughout the Roaring Twenties until the economic crash of 1929
decimated their fortunes.

Following the death of Leone in 1935, the story takes an ominous and
disturbing turn as the young Sveva was kept a prisoner in her own home for
over 25 years by her mother, Ofelia. Both mother and daughter were
devastated by Leone’s death. Ofelia, fragile both mentally and physically,
chose to take her daughter into self-imposed exile, shielding her from her
friends and refusing to let Sveva out of the house for many years. During
this time, Ofelia also denied her daughter the simple joys of painting and
creativity that she had been brought up to enjoy while her father was still
alive. Sveva was left with books sent by an aunt, her father's library, and
her own thoughts.

It was not until her mother's death in 1960 that Sveva, now in her early
40s, began to paint and draw and write once again, culminating in an
explosion of creativity after so many years of suppressing her talents. Her
economic circumstances dictated that she find work for the first time in
her life, and she was hired to teach at St. James Elementary School in
Vernon. She later attended the University of Victoria and obtained her
teaching certificate, and returned to the North Okanagan, where she taught
at Charles Bloom Secondary School in Lumby for several years.

Around this time, Sveva began work on what would become the penultimate
achievement of her creative accomplishments, a significant series of more
than 50 large-scale watercolour paintings, documenting her story and
journey through life, entitled *Recapitulation*.

In the mid-1980s Sveva approached the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA)
collection with a generous offer to donate the entire *Recapitulation*
series to the AFA collection in Edmonton with the agreement that the AFA
would preserve the series adhering to archival standards for storage,
presentation and display.  The AFA also provided access to the collection
through exhibition loans and an online database. The collection was
exhibited throughout Alberta and select public galleries in BC while in the
custodianship of the AFA. Curators, historians, writers and the general
public accessed the collection for a variety of projects from research to
exhibitions to publishing.

The *Recapitulation* series of artworks were, in effect, “saved” from being
separated and dispersed into obscurity by the Alberta Foundation for the
Arts, which accepted the collection and preserved it in its entirety, as
Sveva intended upon her death in 1994.

Now, after more than 30 years since the first *Recapitulation* painting
travelled to Edmonton, the Caetani Society has brought Sveva home at last.
The works have been returned permanently to the care and collection of
Sveva’s namesake legacy, the Caetani Cultural Centre Society.

Sveva Caetani has served as a muse, mentor and inspiration for many
different students, artists, and writers. Several books and two films have
been published/released about her work and life story, with more in the
works. Her iconic interviews with CBC Radio greats Vicki Gabereau and Paul
Kennedy *(Ideas*) will be included as part of the Caetani Centre display,
along with her original artwork, family artifacts and additional
audio-visual material. The most recent spotlight on her work was on CBC’s
Sunday Edition with Micheal Enright in January 2020.
Susan Brandoli, BA, BFA, MFA
Executive Director
Caetani Cultural Centre

*I respectfully acknowledge that my work place is within the ancestral,
traditional, and unceded territory of the Syilx Nation.*
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.museum.bc.ca/pipermail/listserv-museum.bc.ca/attachments/20210330/375fd2f3/attachment-0001.html>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: 12662 Sveva working.JPG
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 581799 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.museum.bc.ca/pipermail/listserv-museum.bc.ca/attachments/20210330/375fd2f3/attachment-0002.jpe>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: 13096 Sveva and Workmanship.JPG
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 673716 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.museum.bc.ca/pipermail/listserv-museum.bc.ca/attachments/20210330/375fd2f3/attachment-0003.jpe>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: Sveva With Work.png
Type: image/png
Size: 2000071 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.museum.bc.ca/pipermail/listserv-museum.bc.ca/attachments/20210330/375fd2f3/attachment-0001.png>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: 03.30.2021 CAETANI press release Recapitulation Series.pdf
Type: application/pdf
Size: 89268 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://lists.museum.bc.ca/pipermail/listserv-museum.bc.ca/attachments/20210330/375fd2f3/attachment-0001.pdf>

More information about the Listserv mailing list