Technologies of Segregation in Early Modern Venice

Historically, the city of Venice promoted its image as La Serenissima – the Most Serene Republic – an ideal of social and political security, harmony, and stability.  Building upon sources that refute this mythology, this exhibit examines the ways in which Venice used architecture and urban forms to impose social segregation as a means of combatting perceived threats and maintaining the desired equilibrium, producing typologies that remain influential today. Examples from the period between 1400 and 1800 include the Jewish Ghetto, the public brothel for prostitutes, the casino for gamblers, hostels for foreign merchants, hospices for widows, hospitals for victims of the plague and syphilis, and convents for upper-class women. 


Edited and curated by Dr. Saundra Weddle, with contributions from Erin Darnauer, Stephanie Dolezal, Sarah Fahey, Julie James, Tianna Williams, Kun Yang, and graphic support from Shannon Davis, Kristen DeMondo, Morgan Harper, and Bill Winston.