Museo del Novecento
Leopoldine (Complex of Santa Maria Novella) – Florence, ITALY
Opens June 24, 2014
Florence, the “cradle of the Renaissance,” admittedly struggles when it comes to maintaining a contemporary international art scene. With the unfortunate news of the recent cease of contemporary photography exhibition programming for the Museo Nazionale Alinari della Fotografia (MNAF), at least there is some modern work coming to the exhibition front with the upcoming inauguration of the Museo del Novecento (Museum of the 1900s). It was planned to open in April, but will instead open on June 24, the day Florence celebrates its patron saint, San Giovanni, and will be unveiled by the new Mayor of the city, Dario Nardella. Entry to the Museum of the 20th Century will be free to all Florentine residents on the first day of opening.
In fact, Florentines have been waiting a long time to have public access to this rarely seen collection of modern art which is comprised of over 300 works from a much larger civic collection of painting, sculpture, video, and installations including works that belong to the city collected over the years by artist donations and private collectors, and features important artists from the 20th Century such as De Chirico, Sironi, Carrà, Morandi, Martini, Sassu, Guttridge, Barni, Rinaldi, Mannucci, Salvatori, Loffredo, Berti, Farulli, Magnelli and De Pisis.
Many of these artworks were saved after the Florence flood of 1966 with the intentions of creating an “Uffizi of modern art”. After waiting almost half a century, it seems the collection will finally be seen by the public! It has been said that part of the famed Alinari photography collection that was previously housed in the exhibition space will still be partially on display. We certainly hope so! Modern multi-media museum conveniences are also promised.
The location of the former Leopoldine convent and hospital in the Piazza Santa Maria Novella will include 800 square meters of exhibition space plus several other rooms and spaces on various floors.
In fact, the above image, one of Giorgio De Chirico’s Piazze d’Italia, slightly resembles the Brunelleschi-inspired loggia of the Leopoldine as seen in this image below from the Alinari archives.
Some positive cultural initiatives are being realized in Florence, although we are still awaiting more contemporary art spaces. Stay tuned…