The Novecento Museum

 

Located within the dell'Arengario Palace and the adjacent Palazzo Reale in Milan, the Museo del Novecento is one of the most beautiful and interesting museums in the city. Italian Traditions takes you on a guided visit inside from futurism, pop art, kinetic art and analytical paintings! Opened in December of 2010, it stems from the desire to offer the public a permanent exposition focused on paintings and sculptures from the twentieth century in Italy.

The museum collections has absorbed the previous Civic Museum of Contemporary Art (CIMAC), that closed in 1998. It had opened in 1984, in a temporary seat on the second floor of the Palazzo Reale, the CIMAC had about four hundred works which presented the Italian art scene of the twentieth century set up in thirty-seven small rooms. The opening of the museum, however, immediately showed the inadequacy of those far too small exhibition spaces, those intended to be deposits, which did not ensure optimal conditions for conserving the artwork, and not to mention, the shortage of economic resources available for maintaining the paintings. Hence, the decision in 1998 to close the museum, in conjunction with the Royal Palace renovation. The decision to convert the dell'Arengario spaces into the Novecento, dates back to 2000, to the then commissioner, Carrubba. The new Novecento Museum gave the collections back to the public, and proper recognition to those collectors, gallery owners and institutions over the course of more than a century who have collaborated to form one of the most important collections of Italian twentieth century art, witness of the perhaps the most creative and fertile art period in Italy.

The exhibition includes both the dell'Arengario spaces, the second floor of the Palazzo Reale, and includes Il Quarto Stato by Giuseppe Pellizza Volpedo up to arte povera. The first room is dedicated to international avant-garde, the only museum that houses foreign artists: among others, it includes Picasso, Braque, Kandinsky. The exhibition continues with Umberto Boccioni and the Futurists such as Boccioni. The museum houses the richest futurism collection in the world, collecting very famous works by Balla, Carrà, Soffici, Sironi, Ropes and Severini. The tour continues with two monographic rooms dedicated to Morandi, De Chirico and Martini, before arriving to the rooms dedicated to art between the two world wars, with the Novecento Group, monumental art and abstract works of the thirties, represented by a nucleus of plaster casts of Fausto Melotti and the works of Soldiers, Manlio Rho, Radice and Badiali. The visitor is then led into the Lucio Fontana room, of which there are a number of spatial concepts coming mostly from the Boschi Di Stefano Collection, Neon Structure for the IX Milan Triennale of 1951 and an example of Space Ceiling.

Next, are the works of the fifties and sixties, a small room dedicated to Piero Manzoni and Azimuth, after which, thanks to the overhead walkway connecting the Arengario with the Royal Palace, the visitor has the opportunity to approach the art forms of the following decades: from the environments of the T Group, to Milanese analytical painting, the room dedicated to the pop art of Roman ancestry, a monographic exhibition dedicated to Luciano Fabro, ending with the Arte Povera installations. At the end of the tour, there is a section dedicated to the Marino Marini Collection, donated to the City of Milan in 1973.

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