After three decades of activity at the Palazzo dei Musei in the legendary Hall of Culture, the exhibitions are currently hosted in historic buildings such as the Palazzina dei Giardini or the Sala Grande and the Halls on the Second Floor of Palazzo Santa Margherita.
In 1988, the most important public Italian collection of paper works was established.
This is the Collection of Contemporary Drawings, at present comprising over five thousand drawings, which gives evidence of a planned and consistent growth of the artistic national treasures and significantly documents the Italian art of the XX century.
The collecting policy of the Galleria Civica is well represented by the two exhibitions: Italian design between the wars (1983) and post-war Italian Design (1987), drawing on an extensive reconnaissance of the Italian twentieth century art.
These exhibitions are to be considered the starting point for further acquisitions, and in consideration of the economic climate, also to elicit donations to the collections.
The objective is to achieve a precise and sufficiently extended documentation of the drawing culture of our century, aiming at the quality of the individual piece, rather than at the fame of the artist.
The core of the collection derives from the donations made in 1986 by artists, their heirs and collectors. following the exhibition of the “Scuola Romana” group which was held in Rome in 1938.
Since 1989, new acquisitions and donations have been added to the earlier works. The Galleria Civica itself acquired some hundreds works over the years and through forty temporary exhibitions, bringing the overall number of artworks to over 3000.
Palazzina dei Giardini
Palazzo Santa Margherita
The extraordinary building, with large windows and wide and articulated walls, allows the organization of any kind of exhibition.
Since 1983, the Galleria Civica has been housed in a prestigious and internationally known venue: the Palazzina dei Giardini. Founded in the seventeenth century by Francesco I d'Este as an amusement place for the Este court inside the gardens of Palazzo Ducale and donated a century later, along with the park, to the city of Modena, the Palazzina fell in disuse over the years, until it became a greenhouse and a storeroom in the twentieth century. In the late seventies, as part of a plan for the regeneration of the historic centre sponsored by the Municipality, the building was restored and returned to its original scenographic function.
The spaces in which the Galleria Civica is housed include the Sala Grande, a large hall that became the core space for the activities carried out by the Gallery, a well-equipped didactic area and laboratory, run in collaboration with the Education Department of the Municipality of Modena, and a book shop.
Located in one of the most picturesque streets of the historical centre of Modena, the corso Canalgrande, there is an area where once stood a church dedicated to Santa Margherita. The building, used as a convent since the twelfth century and as barracks since 1874, became home to The Patronato dei Figli del Popolo. It is now meant to host, in addition to the Galleria Civica, other cultural services such as Library Delfini, the Music School Orazio Vecchi and the Museum della Figurina.
With the opening of the rooms on the second floor of the Palazzo Santa Margherita, further spaces are being made available for temporary exhibitions.
The rich collections of the Galleria have now found an appropriate accomodation in adjacent areas, where they are conserved according to the most advanced storage and conservation standards. Both researchers and amateurs can carry out research and further their knowledge of art and contemporary photography by consulting the databases, the digital inventory, and by viewing the original works.
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