Michigan residents will be treated to a rare up-close and intimate look at the capitol building dome in Lansing through the eyes of several professional photographers.
“Tommaso Juglaris and the Italian Legacy at Michigan’s State Capitol” celebrates the life of the 19th-century Italian artist who left an impressive mark on the state of Michigan through his eight mythical paintings that crown the capitol building’s dome.
Dr. Geoffrey Drutchas, who is co-curating the Juglaris Exhibition with Michigan Capitol historian Kerry Chartkoff, will speak at the Italian American Cultural Center in Clinton Township and the Italian American Club of Livonia, Oct. 2-6.
The presentation will reveal how Juglaris was successfully authenticated as the source of the paintings after more than a century of injustice surrounding Italian immigrants. The authentication is explained in a book Drutchas co-authored,Tommaso Juglaris: An Artist Between Europe and America.
Photographs of the state capitol’s paintings will be on display by notable Dearborn photographer Richard Haskin, as well as Monte Nagler, Peter Glendinning and Tom Gennara.
Juglaris’ works were unveiled in September 1886, the same month that the Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York harbor. At the time Juglaris was regarded as “the best artist of his kind in the United States.” He was commissioned to do the portrait of American First Lady Frances Cleveland and to decorate the churches and palatial residences of Boston’s leading citizens.
The presentation will also highlight the recent discovery of the artist’s personal memoirs in Torino, Italy, which detail many encounters with other prominent artists of America’s Gilded Age.
Juglaris’ memoirs are currently being translated and annotated for publication through the Juglaris Publication Commission and the Friends of Michigan History.
The Juglaris Exhibition will be on view at the Italian American Cultural Center on Oct. 2-4, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., with a special talk on Juglaris on Oct. 4 at 6:30 p.m.
The full exhibit will open at the Italian American Club of Livonia on Oct. 6, at 5 p.m., followed by a Columbus Day program and celebration beginning at 6 p.m.