eike SCHMIDT, DIRECTOR OF UFFIZI GALLERIES.
Visiting Florence’s Uffizi Galleries
There is nothing quite like visiting Florence’s Ufffizi Galleries, that lavishly decorated multilevel building designed by Giorgio Vasari in the late 16th century as offices for the reigning Medici family.
From its very beginning, the Uffizi Galleries was an artists’ destination, albeit private and now transformed into one of the world’s top and most important museums. 2020 has drastically changed the museum experience and visiting Florence is almost an entirely new experience. In this podcast episode, I am joined by Eike Schmidt, the Uffizi’s heralded director, wandering an entirely empty Uffizi Galleries to talk about the future of museums.
An Uffizi Renaissance
A renowned museum and gallery complex, the Uffizi is recognised worldwide for its outstanding collection of Italian Renaissance art, its invaluable collection of ancient statues and busts, as well as Renaissance portraiture, and engaging events and exhibitions.The Uffizi complex itself is a masterwork of architecture, taking up an entire city block off the Piazza della Signoria, and whose Vasari corridor dashes across Ponte Vecchio to the Pitti Palace. The times I’ve spent visiting the Uffizi Galleries, I faced hour-long lines and overwhelming crowds. I’ve had to vie for elbow room in front of Botticelli, Michelangelo and Leonardo and I always feel like I never have enough time. Understanding how missed the Uffizi is by visitors worldwide and how important the collections are to the world, Director Schmidt has pioneered the five-hundred-year-old monument and collection light years forward into the digital realm through very clever and witty social media and virtual experiences, effectively making the museum an avant digital influencer.
In This Episode
[02:02]History of Uffizi
[06:39] Uffizi Evolution
[16:28] Uffizi Gets Digital
[18:21′] The Painting to Save
This podcast was supported by Marriott International with a special thanks to the Westin Excelsior where I stayed in room 510, a top floor corner suite overlooking the Arno river. The Excelsior is a gorgeous, grand hotel, positioned perfectly in Florence’s centro storico- a ten-minute walk to Piazza della Signoria and the Uffizi and a ten-minute walk to Oltrarno and Piazza Santo Spirito.