Cast of Characters

From its modest beginnings among a handful of art historians in Providence, Rhode Island, CRIA swiftly grew into a nationwide organization eventually involving hundreds of people. At its pinnacle was Honorary President Jacqueline Kennedy, widow of the late President of the United States, and a small Honorary Committee made up of its chairman Robert Lehman, Arthur Houghton, Clare Booth Luce, and David Rockefeller. The real operative groups, however, which oversaw fund-raising, determined CRIA’s restoration priorities, allocated funds, and coordinated activities, were the 10-member Advisory Committee, chaired by art historian Millard Meiss, and the 16-member National Executive Committee, chaired by art historian Bates Lowry. The full membership of these high-level groups can be seen here.

The national network of CRIA representatives was organized according to region of the country, and the local groups were headed by about sixty area chairmen. Additionally, CRIA established dozens of what it called Supplementary Information Centers around the country, headed by fifty-one contact persons, a few of whom also served on either the Advisory Committee or the National Executive Committee. The organization was further comprised of another ten individuals, including two who served on “special committees,” one for outreach to the Italian-American community and the other to scientists, a two-member Book Study Committee, an Advisor for Book Publishers, a Coordinator of Conservation Personnel, a Coordinator of Supplies and Equipment, and the small two-person staff of the Florence office at Palazzo Pitti, overseen by three CRIA representatives. Their names appear here

Twenty-seven young scholars and students of restoration were also supported by CRIA through fellowships and grants. A full list can be found here.