A collaboration between LoveItaly and the American Federation of Arts
to exhibit art treasures from Italy in the United States

The American Federation of Arts (AFA) is the leader in traveling exhibitions internationally and enjoys close cooperation with some 200 U.S. museums. A non-profit organization founded in 1909 by high-ranking officials of the U.S. government, the AFA is dedicated to enriching the public’s experience and understanding of the visual arts through organizing and touring art exhibitions for presentation in museums around the world, publishing exhibition catalogues featuring important scholarly research, and developing educational programs. Since its foundation, AFA has organized over 3,500 exhibitions.


The global circulation of examples of cultural heritage depends upon mutual trust among museum professionals, unique logistical challenges attendant to handling, packing, transporting, and installing irreplaceable objects, complex insurance requirements, and national export laws and regulations.  Italy-US Exhibition Program was created in 2017 as a collaboration between LoveItaly and the American Federation of Arts to address these and other factors, resulting in loans from museum galleries and storerooms, private collections, churches, and excavations with cultural treasures from across Italy for the benefit of millions of visitors to U.S. museums.



Open by invitation to select U.S. museums, Italy-US Exhibition Program provides access to loans and exhibitions, artworks and archaeological materials from Italy. Italy-US Exhibition Program is conceived to foster cooperation in the display of cultural heritage in furtherance of the 2016 extension of the US-Italy Bilateral Agreement implemented by the U.S. State Department’s Cultural Property Advisory Committee, established by Section 306 of the 1983 Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act.


Program Leadership

AFA’s Director & CEO, Pauline Willis, develops and leads Italy-US Exhibition Program‘s relationships with American museums and peer foundations, and oversees the thematic underpinnings, publications, fundraising, logistics, insurance, transportation, product development, and marketing of projects, in regular consultation with the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA).

LoveItaly’s President, Dr. Richard Hodges, and its Vice President, Tracy Roberts, develop and lead Italy-US Exhibition Program’s relationships with Italian museum officials, superintendencies, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism in Rome (MiBACT), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Washington, D.C.  to identify prospective loans, negotiate permits with relevant ministerial authorities, and secure authorization to export loans.

Italy-US Exhibition Program’s Senior Project Advisor is Dr. Maxwell L. Anderson, former president of the Association of Art Museum Directors and Consulting Scholar in the Mediterranean Section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.


AFA’s Role 

AFA secures U.S. museum partners, identifies financial support benefiting the lending authority (superintendency, museum, ministerial body) in the conservation of the artworks selected for exhibitions, and assumes the fiscal and administrative responsibility undergirding Italy-US Exhibition Program’s projects with regard to related publications, logistics for overseas and domestic transport, “wall-to-wall” insurance, and other costs pertaining to  the Italy-US Exhibition Program.


LoveItaly’s Role

LoveItaly provides on-the-ground expertise and contacts to identify prospective partners and projects, introduces Italy-US Exhibition Program to prospective lending authorities in relevant Italian ministries, superintendencies, museums, religious institutions and and private collections, develops and maintains relationships with prospective and participating Italian lenders, offers guidance in project management, and assists in identifying project support.


For more information please contact us at: ciao@loveitaly.org