In Florence the passion for collecting contemporary art shines again. In the city of the Medici, RINASCIMENTO+ is renewed, an international recognition given to eminent personalities of collecting and patronage for their support for art and artists. The ceremony will take place on Sunday 3 October at 11 am in the Salone dei Cinquecento in Palazzo Vecchio, in the presence of the Mayor of Florence Dario Nardella.
In this second edition, the prize is awarded to Gemma De Angelis Testa, Heiner Friedrich, Giuliano Gori, Maria Manetti Shrem, Leonid Mikhelson and Margherita Stabiumi for the visionary, generosity and dedication with which they have lavished themselves over time in various forms of patronage and in collecting, to increase cultural well-being, training and artistic experimentation. They will be given the Crisalide di Sole jewel, designed and created by Maria Sole Ferragamo, young designer who inherited the sense of beauty and innovation in shapes and materials from his grandfather Salvatore Ferragamo.
There is no doubt that Florence was the cradle of modern collecting and patronage, cultural, social and economic phenomena necessary for Western artistic evolution and the success of every avant-garde. The Renaissance, in fact, would not have established itself without the Medici, Sassetti, Tornabuoni, Gondi and Rucellai, just to name some of the greatest supporters of art and culture in that glorious time.
Since that time, Florence has exercised a precise mandate over the centuries, a function necessary for the structuring of the modern art system. Over the centuries the city has been a place for making art, art criticism and investment in art: a vocation, the latter, uninterrupted even in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, when the great bourgeois and industrial families persevered in this logic by collecting and investing in beauty and culture. Florence has survived its glorious past as a crossroads for artists, philosophers, poets, architects and then for Italian and foreign patrons who in the city of Lorenzo Il Magnifico and Botticelli have cultivated business, diplomatic relations, political and economic alliances all attracted by the aura of the Renaissance. Among these we remember Stefano Bardini, whose taste and entrepreneurial ability as an art dealer gave rise to that museum jewel that is the Stefano Bardini Museum. The eclectic Frederick Stibbert and the art historian Herbert Percy-Horne, whose collections are a very important piece of Florentine history. Without forgetting the bequest made by the art historian Charles Alexander Loeser, with extraordinary works of the Renaissance now preserved in Palazzo Vecchio.
The Museo Novecento also bears witness to this passion for beauty and its perpetuation in historical eras. The museum institution was born thanks to the presence in the city of an extraordinary private collection donated in 1970 to the Municipality of Florence. The Alberto Della Ragione Collection – full of 200 works by the greatest exponents of Italian modern art – represents the real pillar of the Museo Novecento.
These are the historical and critical premises at the origin of RINASCIMENTO+. The idea of this international award then starts from the Museo Novecento, which is also a recognition of the noble history of collecting and an idea of the Renaissance as an open category, as a narrative that has not been definitively completed. A tribute to the continuous transformation of creative languages, to the love for art, to the passions of the collector.