8 February 2018

Sergio Risaliti to the direction of the Museo Novecento

Letter from the new director


From 1 January of this year I was entrusted with the artistic and scientific direction of the Museo Novecento. Prestigious assignment that I accepted with a feeling of gratitude and a sense of responsibility for the love I carry towards art and the city of Florence. The emotion is strong and so is the energy with which I undertake the commitment. Florence is finally considered an attractive city also as regards the contemporary and this has been made possible by a project of cultural policy shared by many realities that finally make a system between public and private.

The birth of the Museo Novecento in 2014 sanctioned a new relationship with the history of modern and contemporary art, no longer considered a handmaid of the past, but a living source of culture worthy of being preserved, protected and enhanced in the museum setting. Those who preceded me were able to position the museum at a local and national level, in particular important work was done with cultural mediation and communication on social media, the real strength of the institution. An enhancement project that has retained a vast and varied audience in the Tuscan and Italian territory thanks to the intense activity of Mus.e.

The collection of paintings and sculptures by important twentieth-century masters – which brings together works from the Alberto Della Ragione collection together with those from the Palazzeschi and Rosai collection, those from MIAC and Rac – represents the founding nucleus of the museum itself. This raison d’etre born from the taste and culture of private individuals links the present to history, the Museo Novecento to other large and small Florentine museums – such as the Uffizi Galleries, Palazzo Pitti, the Bardini, Stibbert, Horne Museums, the Foundations Romano and Loeser – all generated by the intentions and ambitions of enlightened and generous individuals.

In my intentions, private collecting will be a salient element of our program and the logic of the new display will be determined by the centrality of the Alberto Della Ragione collection and by the presence of works donated in different seasons that can help in the reinterpretation of twentieth-century art. However, it will not be a static arrangement. Today, more than ever before, even the Museum must be a fluid reality. A place of multiple experiences and practices, which prefers dynamism to immobility. Museum as a place of narration and contemplation, of training and discovery. Today we must have the courage to problematize the identity and function of the museum on a daily basis, overcome the rigidity of past models and paradigms with new ideas and imaginaries in keeping with the spirit of the time, expectations and current lifestyles. Without ever neglecting research and in-depth analysis which are the raw material of every innovation. The museum will be a place of wonder and discovery for children, young people and families. And whenever possible he will move with his collections and works even to schools and homes, hospitals and places of detention. To reduce the distance between art and society, art and life.

With a spirit of gratitude and friendship, I invite you to the first appointments pending the reopening of the museum with the presentation of the new set-up and the first exhibitions.

Kind regards,

Sergio Risaliti