Sant’Andrea de Scaphis, from deconsecrated church to art gallery
The New York gallery owner Gavin Brown has a soft spot for Rome. Two years ago, he opened an art gallery in a deconsecrated church in Trastevere, the Oratory of Sant’Andrea de Scaphis on Via dei Vascellari, a building dating as far back as the 9th century.
This is not Brown’s first try: in 2004 he had opened another gallery in the district, but it had not lasted long. Ten years later, he decided to challenge the “eternal city” again – or should we say he declared his love again… to Trastevere again, of course.
In an interview with Alain Elkann for newspaper “La Stampa”, in June 2015, he said in 2014 he was in Rome “on holiday, with my wife and kids, and for some reason, well, that was the right time. I met the owner of this deconsecrated church, and by September I had signed the lease. It’s still a church, with its 17th-century altar…”
Renaissance and the 1700s live together side by side in this historical building, where Brown has found a new home for art – after the two he had already opened in the Big Apple (one in the Lower East Side and one in the West Village).
Here is a glimpse of the Roman gallery.