A few weeks ago, my friend Rachel– New Mexico-New Yorker– came to Rome and convinced me to go to Georgia O’Keeffe retrospective at the Fondazione Roma Museo.  Slightly fitting for a visit to Rome, n’est-ce pas?  Here is where I expect a chuckle.  Usually, most who visit the Eternal City, and Italy, expect to be immersed in antiquities, and  a dash of Quattrocento and Cinquecento, with not even glance at a modern American painting exhibition, even if the artist[s] happens to be world reknown.

Fact:  Rome has at least 4.2 million inhabitants, aside from our guests.  Of these 4.2m,  I know at least one person lives here not just for the dolce vita but for the metropolis distinctly not New York, London or Paris.   And international art is a requirement of any metropolis.

Fondazione Roma Museo (FRM)– formerly Museo del Corso–  is my favorite secret weapon in the battle for Rome as a contemporary city.  The museo-gallery inaugurated its permanent collection in 1999, and has been hosting well-organized exhibitions of Italian artists such as Piranesi, i Macchiaioli, Donatello as well as representing those off the peninsula like Hopper, Malevic, Hiroshige and de Saint Phalle.   This fall’s Georgia O’Keeffe retrospective is just another compliment to FRM’s exhibit initiatives.

O’Keefe’s over 80 years creating are chronicled with mise-en-scene curation through New York City, New Mexico and her Abiquiu studio.  The exhibition brings O’Keeffe paintings, drawings and sculpture from The O’Keeffe Museum as well as private collectors, and photos by Ansel Adams and Alfred Stieglitz.  Fondazione Roma Museo has a strong investment not just in the artwork but in the curation itself, evident in the lighting, space/navigation and installation.  Though seemingly and slightly kitsch, FMR’s  life-size diorama-esque installation immediately immerses the viewer into O’Keeffe’s physical world, and subsequently her vision as a painter.   For a more in depth review of the exhibition, please read Lucy Miller’s piece in The Flaneur.  Through February 12, 2012

Fondazione Roma Museo, via del Corso, 320 [Centro Storico]

Tuesdays through Sundays

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