Museo del Novecento
P.za del Duomo, 8, 20123 Milano MI, Italy
|⏰ Opening Hours
10:00 AM - 7:30 PM
|💸 Entrance Fee
Find it on google maps
What is Museum of the Twentieth Century?
The Museum of the Twentieth Century, known locally as Museo del Novecento, is a dedicated space for the exhibition and study of Italian and international art from the 20th century. It's situated in the heart of Milan, housed within the Palazzo dell'Arengario and surrounding buildings near the iconic Piazza del Duomo. The museum's collection showcases a chronological journey of artistic movements throughout the century, with a particular emphasis on Italian Futurism.
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The museum's curatorial approach intertwines the narrative of modern art with the history of Milan, reflecting how the city has played a pivotal role in the evolution of modern artistic trends. One of the highlights, the famous "Quarto Stato" by Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo, encapsulates the spirit of the epoch with its poignant depiction of social movements.
History of Museum of the Twentieth Century
The Museo del Novecento was inaugurated in December 2010, but its story intertwines with the history of its location. Palazzo dell'Arengario, the building that hosts the museum, dates back to the Fascist era of the 1930s. Intended to serve as a government building, it is an architectural work that exemplifies that period’s elements. Post-war, the space underwent several different uses and transformations.
In the early 21st century, the decision to convert the Palazzo into a museum was part of a broader plan to revitalize Milan's cultural landscape. Architects Italo Rota and Fabio Fornasari led the renovation, ensuring that the preservation of historical elements was balanced with contemporary design—an embodiment of the museum's mission to honor the past while engaging with the present.
Why is Museum of the Twentieth Century Important?
The Museum of the Twentieth Century holds significance for several reasons. Firstly, its collection represents a comprehensive panorama of 20th-century art, emphasizing the pivotal role Italy, and specifically Milan, played in the development of modern art movements. From Futurism and Metaphysical painting to Spatialism and Arte Povera, the museum captures the dynamism and diversity of the era.
Moreover, its existence in a historically and politically charged building—the Arengario—invites contemplation on the relationship between art and power. The museum not only preserves artistic heritages but also prompts discussions about their contexts and legacies. For locals and visitors alike, it serves as a crucial educational resource and a beacon of cultural identity in Milan's vibrant artistic scene.
Things to Do & See at Museum of the Twentieth Century
Visitors to the Museum of the Twentieth Century are treated to an array of artworks displayed in a sequence that tells the narrative of 20th-century art history. Beginning with avant-garde movements like Futurism, you'll traverse through abstract, surrealist, and conceptual periods, culminating in the contemporary expressions of art's most recent decades.
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Interactive installations and temporary exhibitions keep the museum experience fresh and engaging; it's not just about observing, but immersing. Also, take a moment to enjoy the view from the museum's terrace—it offers a breathtaking perspective of the Piazza del Duomo and the cathedral itself. Uncover pieces from artists like Modigliani, Boccioni, and Fontana that you might have only seen in art books before—except now, you're standing mere meters away.
For a deeper understanding, the museum offers workshops, educational tours, and lectures, often helmed by art historians and curators who provide insights you wouldn't garner from a simple walkthrough. Soak in the stories behind the art, the hidden symbolism, and the political, as well as personal, backdrops of these creations. If you have the time, I'd absolutely recommend winding down at the museum's café—contemplate the art over a classic Italian espresso.