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Caetani art comes home to Vernon

Cultural Centre getting ready to showcase more than 50 peices from Sveva Caetani

More than 50 unique watercolour paintings from the famed Sveva Caetani have come home.

The Caetani Cultural Centre Society now has its namesake’s iconic life work, Recapitulation, which documents Caetani’s life story and outlook on life. The work has been under the care of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) in Edmonton for close to 35 years.

The AFA shipped the paintings to the late artist’s childhood home in Vernon, which now serves as the Caetani Cultural Centre, on March 19, 2021. The intention is that they will now be displayed in the community that Caetani loved.

“The Caetani Cultural Centre Society is very excited to have this iconic work back in Vernon where it belongs,” society president Sherry Price said. “The timing is perfect as we are finally ready to open the house to the public.”

This summer, the Caetani Centre is offering tours of Sveva’s artwork along with Caetani family artifacts and memorabilia for the first time since the house was donated to the Greater Vernon community in 1994.

The past few years have seen a concerted effort by the Caetani society to bring the house up to code to accommodate public access as well as the various Caetani collections – artwork and artifacts in the Caetani Society’s own collection; artifacts which until recently were housed at the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives; and the return of the Recapitulation series of artworks.

A significant private donation and years of concentrated fundraising and support from local businesses, artists and community supporters have made the return of the works possible.

“We have received many donations from other organizations, individuals, and people who were friends of Sveva during her lifetime,” executive director Susan Brandoli said. “The Caetani house was Sveva’s home for many years, where she created her work, entertained and mentored so many local artists, writers and creatives of all ages and abilities over the years. She wanted to leave her house as a legacy to the community, a place for inspiration and where the work of being an artist is celebrated.”

Caetani’s story has already been the inspiration for many books and films, and the Caetani Centre expects to be busy once its doors officially open this summer.

COVID-19 guidelines and protocols will be in effect. Tours are expected to begin by July and will be limited to small groups and/or bubbles following public health guidelines. To book a tour online, visit or call 250-275-1525.

READ MORE: Historic Vernon family’s 25-year isolation resurfaces during COVID-19

READ MORE: Vernon author’s new historical novel an exploration of the Caetani family


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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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