Winter Speaker Series 2023: Rocky Ruggiero – Virtual Tickets

February 4, 2023 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm At the Museum and Virtually on Zoom

Brunelleschi’s Basilica: The Building of Santo Spirito in Florence

Please note in person tickets for this lecture are SOLD OUT.  Join us virtually instead!

Brunelleschi’s Basilica of Santo Spirito in Florence, Italy, is one of the defining architectural works of the Renaissance. The building of this great church was a perfect historical storm – a celebrity architect, who was bordering on apotheosis as he neared the completion of the dome of Florence cathedral; a district of well-known, wealthy and competitive patrons hoping to assert themselves and their families through chapel patronage within the church; an uncertain architectural inheritance left by Brunelleschi upon his death; strong-minded and hard-willed successors of the architect at the worksite; and citywide factionalism championing and repudiating Brunelleschi’s alleged design intentions for the church. In this lecture, Dr. Rocky will untangle this web of artistic and historical factors that contributed to shaping Santo Spirito based on the findings of his recent book “Brunelleschi’s Basilica: The Building of Santo Spirito in Florence.”

About our Speaker

Dr. Rocky Ruggiero has been a professor of art and architectural history since 1999. He received his BA from the College of the Holy Cross and a Master of Arts degree from Syracuse University, where he was awarded a prestigious Florence Fellowship in 1996. He furthered his art historical studies at the University of Exeter, UK, where he received a Ph.D. in Art History and Visual Culture. He is the author of the book Brunelleschi’s Basilica: The Building of Santo Spirito in Florence.

In addition to lecturing for various American universities in Florence, Italy, including Syracuse, Kent State, Vanderbilt, and Boston College, Dr. Ruggiero has also starred in various TV documentaries concerning the Italian Renaissance. He has appeared as an expert witness for NBC News, as well as in the History Channel’s “Engineering an Empire: Da Vinci’s World” and “Museum Secrets: the Uffizi Gallery”, and the more recent NatGeo/NOVA PBS program on Brunelleschi’s dome entitled “Great Cathedral Mystery.”

After living in Florence, Italy for 20 years, Dr. Ruggiero now divides his time between the US and Italy. In the US, he offers online art history courses, specialized lectures, educational webinars, and cultural events throughout the country as a paid speaker on Italian art and architectural history. In Italy, Dr. Ruggiero offers private excursions and week-long travel programs throughout the country.

For his online courses, video lectures, documentaries, blogs and podcasts visit

Ways to Save

Subscribe to the Series & enjoy one lecture free!

Museum Member Subscription: $75 per person
Non-member Subscription: $100 per person

Become a Member!

Among many benefits, Museum members save on Winter Speaker Series tickets.

Our Generous Supporters:

Series Sponsors:

Lockett Ford Ballard, Jr., in memory of Margaret “Mida” Stokes Ballard
Johanna & Ronald Becker
Johanna Becker, in memory of Ronald Becker
Dr. Joseph Chazan
Mary Jennings
Linda McGoldrick
Chas Miller & Birch Coffey
Santiago & Maureen Neville
Edwina Sebest
Cynthia Sinclair
The Hope Foundation

Series Supporters:
Linda Jenkins
Susan & Robert Kieronski

Catering and Speaker Accommodations:



Winter Speaker Series Committee

Johanna Becker, Chair
Cristin Searles Bilodeau, Director of Community Engagement
Eleanor Doumato
Anne DuBose Joslin
Susan Kieronski
Santiago Neville
Kathleen Shinners