About the Michigan Patrons

The Michigan Chapter of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums is one of 25 chapters worldwide that form the International Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums.  The Patrons’ mission is to raise funds to maintain and restore the vast collection of art housed in the Vatican Museums located in the Vatican City State (within the City of Rome).  The Michigan Chapter is a USA 501(c)3 corporation and, as such, monies and gifts donated to the organization are tax deductible on US tax returns.

The Vatican Museums hosts 5.5 million visitors a year.  Its collections numbers over 1,000,000 items, and include frescos, tapestries, paintings, statues, sculptures, mosaics, ancient maps, carriages and Popemobiles, Ancient Near East art and artifacts, the robes and vestments worn by Popes throughout history, and more.  In all, the Museums comprise 54 galleries, among which are the famous Sistine Chapel, the Borgia Apartments, Raphael Rooms, and the Carriage Museum.  The Vatican Museum is even responsible for the art other artifacts located in the Papal suplecure that is beneath Saint Peter’s Basilica, and the four major basilicas of Rome.  The Vatican Museum is the 8th largest museum in the world.  Although entry fees paid by visitors to the Museums cover the cost of staffing and maintaining the facilities, the cost of preserving and restoring the artwork is the responsibility of the Patrons.

The Michigan Chapter of the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums, is comprised of individuals who eagerly donate their time, efforts, and financial support to maintain and restore the Museums’ collection.  While art ideals may be eternal, paintings, sculptures, frescoes, tapestries, and historic buildings are sensitive to the ravages of time.

In addition to the joy and satisfaction of knowing that they are contributing to the preservation of this vast work of art for future generations, the Michigan chapter offers its members exclusive travel opportunities and events designed as both fund raisers and entertainment venues.  For example:

When in Rome, Patrons …..

  • Avoid the lines, waiting, and crowding experienced by other visitors to the Vatican Museums
  • Tour the Vatican Museums with a personal guide; Patrons are welcome to visit the Sistine Chapel, restoration laboratories, Vatican gardens, and other places considered ‘off limits’ to visitors
  • Attend grand openings of exhibits and restorations that often involve several days of tours, lectures, luncheons, cocktail parties, dinners in the Museums, and unexpected surprises
  • Join other Patrons on organized group tours and/or pilgrimages to places in Europe and the Holy Land
  • Sit in the VIP section for the Pope’s Wednesday audiences (on request and as available)
  • Attend private audiences with the Pope (on very special occasions!)

When at home, Michigan Patrons …..

  • Attend the annual gala dinner during the holidays and other dining experiences throughout the year
  • Join other Patrons on organized trips, group tours, and pilgrimages to places in the USA; often designed to take you off the beaten track to experience art and architecture
  • Participate in local events, e.g., lectures, museum tours, private dinners, music recitals, etc.
  • Develop camaraderie with other Patrons