Modern art in Florence: the Museo Novecento
Florence’s Museo Novecento is a journey through 20th-century Italian art.
Florence is known worldwide as the cradle of the Renaissance, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in modern art: this city has always been fully immersed in the present, looking to the future with a creative and innovative spirit.
Craving some modern (and contemporary) art? Head to Palazzo Strozzi, Le Murate, the Marino Marini Museum or one of Florence’s many private collections – and don’t miss the spectacular Museo Novecento, a museum sure to satisfy your modern art cravings.
Here’s why you should visit:
1. Architectural revival
Today’s museum space is the former hospital of Sao Paulo, a structure located a short distance from the central station that overlooks piazza Santa Maria Novella. The former hospital dates to 1208 and is among Florence’s many historic buildings, with the typical hospital structure of the time, most evident in the outdoor loggia (what today welcomes visitors was once a refuge for those in need).
Restored many times throughout the centuries, the complex was redeveloped and modernized to its fullest potential, forming an innovative structure that blends historic elements with contemporary architecture.
2. Permanent collection
The museum’s numbers are pretty impressive: it’s home to three-hundred works divided among fifteen exhibition rooms, all distributed on three levels equipped with thirty multimedia devices. This museum offers visitors a fascinating thematic journey through time, taking you from the nineties to the early "short twentieth century," a voyage through Italian and Florentine art and culture.
You can’t miss Alberto Della Ragione’s prestigious collection, donated to the city of Florence after the 1966 flooding, which also includes artwork by Giorgio De Chirico, Filippo De Pisis, Gino Severini, Giorgio Morandi, Mario Mafai, Renato Guttuso, Felice Casorati and others.
The Ottone Rosai’s bequest ends the exhibition, which was given to the city of Florence by his widow Francesca Fei and his brother Oreste in 1963.
3. Temporary exhibitions and activities
The museum also offers different activities for those interested in learning more about the 20th century and its leading figures. Choose between guided tours for adults and activities or workshops for families – the selection caters to everyone’s needs and interests.
Besides the main collection, you’ll find temporary art exhibitions year-round, including concerts and other events organized periodically in the inner courtyard or on the rooftop terrace. In short, it’s a dynamic space in continuous movement, a structure that fully reflects what you’ll find inside.
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