Director of Vatican Museums to deliver 2021 Keeley Vatican Lecture

Author: Monica Caro

Musei Vaticani
Musei Vaticani

Barbara Jatta, director of the Vatican Museums, will deliver the 2021 Keeley Vatican Lecture at noon Wednesday (April 28) online. Jatta’s lecture, “The Vatican Museums: Future Perspectives,” will be free and available to all who register to watch via Zoom or livestream online

Pope Francis appointed Jatta as the first female director of the Vatican Museums in 2017. A respected art historian and scholar, she now has responsibility for a collection that encompasses more than 70,000 works spanning many centuries — including the magnificent Sistine Chapel and Raphael Rooms — as well as a staff of more than 200 administrators, restorers and conservators. Museums and institutions around the globe have sought her advice; she currently sits on the Scientific Council of the Louvre Museum and the International Advisory Board of the Hermitage Museum, among others. Jatta has expressed her hope that every visitor to the Vatican Museum, whether in person or virtually, will be “pervaded by that sense of privilege at finding oneself inside the beauty that leads to faith.” A dynamic museum, she believes, possesses the perfect synthesis of tradition and innovation.  

University of Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., will introduce Jatta.

Dr. Barbara Jatta
Barbara Jatta

“In her role as director of the Vatican Museums, and in service to the Church and the world, Dr. Jatta expertly stewards a remarkable collection of civilization’s greatest treasures, making them available to scholars, students and all who seek to experience their beauty,” said Father Jenkins. “One of the world’s most respected art historians and leaders, and a great friend of Notre Dame, Dr. Jatta honors us by offering the 2021 Keeley Vatican Lecture.”

The Keeley Vatican Lecture, facilitated annually by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, seeks to connect Notre Dame and the Vatican. Established in 2005 through the generous support of Terrence R. Keeley, class of ’81, lecturers typically spend several days on campus, joining classes, celebrating Mass with students and conversing with faculty members.

Past Keeley Vatican Lectures have included Cardinal Angelo Amato, Cardinal Walter Kasper, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop Charles J. Brown, Archbishop Jean-Louis Bruguès, OP, Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher and Archbishop Borys Gudziak. An archive of videos of past lectures is available here.

An integral part of the Keough School of Global Affairs, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at the University of Notre Dame is committed to enriching the intellectual culture of Notre Dame by creating an integrated, interdisciplinary home for students and faculty to explore the evolving ideas, cultures, beliefs and institutions that shape Europe today.

For additional information about the Nanovic Institute and the Keeley Vatican Lecture, visit

Originally published by Monica Caro at on April 21.