Magazzino Expands Research Initiatives With Key Appointments of First American Scholar-in-Residence and Creation of New Position Directing its Research Center

September 2019


Tenley Bick, PhD, 2019-2020 Scholar-in-Residence at Magazzino Italian Art Foundation. Photo by Jessica Ingram.


Melissa Dunn, PhD, Research Center Coordinator at Magazzino Italian Art Foundation.

Magazzino Italian Art Foundation announces key appointments of Dr. Tenley Bick as its Scholar-in-Residence, the first American to hold this position, and Dr. Melissa Dunn as the institution’s inaugural Research Center Coordinator. In their respective roles, Bick and Dunn will advance the museum’s commitment to enhancing the appreciation of Italian postwar and contemporary art and to creating new opportunities for scholarly research and critical assessment.

“We are thrilled to welcome Tenley and Melissa to the museum’s growing staff. These appointments reflect Magazzino’s expanding education and research initiatives, dedicated to Italian postwar and contemporary art,” said Director Vittorio Calabrese.

An art historian and an Assistant Professor of Global Contemporary Art at Florida State University, Bick brings expertise in postwar and contemporary Italian art, the history of Italian colonialism, and cultural geopolitics of the postwar period. During her residency as the museum’s annual Scholar-in-Residence, Bick will contribute to the museum’s educational and public programming by leading special exhibition and museum tours, organizing and participating in the institution’s annual lecture series, and curating a film series dedicated to Italian experimental cinema with Magazzino Director Vittorio Calabrese. She will also continue work on her book, Figure as Model: Michelangelo Pistoletto and the Italian Avant-Garde in the Global Sixties, and other research projects focused on postcoloniality, interventionist practices, and the legacy of countercultural aesthetics in contemporary Italian art.

As the museum’s first Research Center Coordinator, Dunn will oversee the development and management of the Center’s rapidly growing collection, which has added over 900 holdings since opening last fall and today comprises nearly 5,000 publications, rare books, and archival materials. With experience as an arts editor at Flash Art International and Phaidon Press, as well as an arts administrator at institutions including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Dunn will advise on the acquisition of archival and research materials, lead programs that promote the Research Center’s services within the community, and provide reference and reader advisory services to scholars and students.

“As an art historian of postwar Italian art and global contemporary art, I have sought to explore in particular how the study of postwar and contemporary Italian art makes us think differently about art history more broadly. I share Magazzino’s dedication to fostering scholarship in this area of study outside of Italy—especially in the United States—and look forward to conducting my research in the presence of works of art that can teach us so much,” said Bick.

“The first time I visited Magazzino, I was amazed to discover an Italian postwar art program of such astonishing quality in the U.S. and was also struck by how welcomed I felt as a visitor. These first impressions have very much stayed with me, and I am thrilled to be a part of the Magazzino team. I look forward to continuing to develop the Research Center's collection and to designing programs that will serve our visitors and community as well as scholars around the world,” said Dunn.

About Dr. Tenley Bick

Dr. Tenley Bick is an art historian of global postwar and contemporary art, with a focus in postwar and contemporary Italian art, contemporary African art, and cultural geopolitics of the postwar period. Her writings have been published in a range of scholarly journals, including Third Text, African Arts, and in the volume Theorizing Visual Studies: Writing Through the Discipline (eds. Elkins and McGuire, et al). Her translation work, of an interview of Germano Celant, has also been published in the catalogue for the internationally traveling exhibition, Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974 (eds. Kwon and Kaiser). Her scholarship and professional activities have been supported by the University of California, Los Angeles, Florida State University, the Institute of International Education (IIE), the Italian Art Society, and the Bibliotheca Hertziana—Max Planck Institute for Art History in Rome.

Bick is an Assistant Professor of Global Contemporary Art in the Department of Art History at Florida State University. Prior to joining the faculty at FSU, she was Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History at Washington College. She holds an MA and PhD in Art History from UCLA, and a BA with Honors in Art History from Stanford University.

About Dr. Melissa Dunn

Dr. Melissa Dunn brings decades of experience as an arts administrator and arts editor to Magazzino Italian Art Foundation as its inaugural Research Coordinator. She has also served as an editor of art periodicals and books, having worked as a commissioning editor and writer in New York and Milan for the international contemporary art magazine Flash Art International, a project editor for Phaidon Press, and a freelance writer and editor. She has published creative non-fiction and criticism in Lost and Found: Stories from New York (Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood, 2009) and the journal Convolution (vol. 1, 2011).

Dunn holds a PhD in English from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, with fields of specialty in visual culture, the history of photography, and American and pan-European modernism. She is currently pursuing a Master of Library and Information Science degree. She has taught at The City University of New York and the Pratt Institute.