Director of the Vatican Museums to deliver 2021 Keeley Vatican Lecture

Author: Monica Caro

Musei Vaticani

Dr. Barbara Jatta, director of the Vatican Museums, will deliver the 2021 Keeley Vatican Lecture on Wednesday, April 28, at 12:00 p.m. (ET) 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 Dr. 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. Dr. 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.  

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

Barbara Jatta Director Vatican Museums 1200x
Dr. Barbara Jatta, Director of the Vatican Museums. Photo provided.

“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 ’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 Angelo Cardinal Amato, Walter Cardinal Kasper, Reinhard Cardinal 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, please visit