04 May 2021

9 Visual Art Institutions to Visit in Bologna

04 May 2021 - Written by PhMuseum

Are you coming in town for PHmuseum Days 2021? Here's a list of cultural institutions worth visiting while enjoying the first edition of our international photography festival.

Bologna © Courtesy Felix M Dorn/Unsplash

After the summer, the city of Bologna will host PHmuseum Days, our first international photo festival with headquarters at DumBO - a space of urban regeneration where we will curate 1,600 square meters of photo exhibitions. Beyond the well-known culinary tradition, the city has a relevant cultural history that starts with the first installments in the third millennium before Christ, and continues with the foundation of the oldest university in the Western world in 1088. If you are coming to the festival in September (23-26) we definitely recommend you to spend some time discovering these institutions that take care of promoting visual culture today.

1. MAMbo stays for Museum of Modern Art of Bologna and it's just 10 minutes walking from DumBO. The museum offers a dynamic perspective, tracing the history of Italian art from the second post-war period to today, exploring the present, and tracing the new avenues of art following the most innovative and pulsating practices of experimentation. MAMbo is the headquarters of the Institution Bologna Musei which belongs to the Modern and Contemporary Art Area, and currently hosts the Museo Morandi and its extensive collections of work by painter Giorgio Morandi.

Julian Charrière Temporary Exhibition at MAMbo © Courtesy MAMbo

2. Fondazione MAST is an international cultural and philanthropic institution that focuses on art, technology and innovation. Looking at new generations as the primary target, MAST Foundation favours the development of creativity and entrepreneurship also cooperating with other institutions, in order to support economic and social growth. MAST is the same foundation that develop the world’s only Biennial devoted to photography relating to industry and work, Foto/Industria. If you are coming some days before the festival, you can enjoy this Richard Mosse retrospective closing on 19 September.

3. P420 is a contemporary art gallery founded in Bologna in 2010 by Alessandro Pasotti and Fabrizio Padovani. From the beginning, P420 has focused on artists whose work can be positioned in the areas of Conceptual and Minimal Art, mostly active in the 1960s and 1970s, who have developed a solid personal language but are still underestimated and unfamiliar to a wider audience. More recently, also presenting artists from subsequent generations, P420 has set out to compare languages belonging to different periods, with the aim of making timely aspects emerge.

Fondazione MAST © Courtesy Dario Mingarelli/Unsplash

4. Pinacoteca Nazionale is the National Art Gallery of Bologna is located a few minutes from the Two Towers inside the 17th-century former Jesuit novitiate of St. Ignatius. It was opened to the public in 1885 and was entirely renovated in 1997 and is now considered among the most modern and important National Galleries. Its collection, with its first catalogue dating back to 1827, includes artwork from some of the leading Italian artists of the Renaissance, Mannerism and Baroque periods, such as Raphael, Perugino, Tintoretto, Titian, the Carraccis, Guercino and Reni. In addition to its permanent collection, the art gallery also hosts medium and large temporary exhibitions, educational activities, seminars and conventions.

5. Genus Bononiae is a cultural, artistic and museum itinerary, created by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna. It is composed of historical buildings, right in the centre of Bologna, that have been restored and are now open to the public. To better describe and understand the “genus” and stock of the Bolognese people from yesterday and today, Genus Bononiae follows a path through the city and narrates its history, life, arts and dreams; it uses the streets of Bologna as corridors and the buildings and churches as rooms, blending into the existing institutional structure, and ensuring a full link with other museums, art galleries, as well as the other cultural, economic and social initiatives which animate the local community.

PHmuseum Lab © Courtesy PHmuseum

6. PHmuseum Lab aka our headquarters opened in September 2020 with the aim of creating a firs meeting point between our online experience and the real world. Today is a multifunctional space with exhibitions, classes, workshops, book presentations, and a photo studio through which we aim to spread the visual language and support the growth of Cirenaica, the neighbourhood that welcomed us a year ago.

7. Cineteca di Bologna has developed as an international institution while also being deeply rooted to the city’s local culture. A permanent member of the Fédération Internationale des Archives du Film (FIAF) since 1989, and of the Association des Cinémathèques Européennes (ACE) since its inception, in 1995 the Cineteca was designated an “independent municipal institution.” An audio-visual paradise, Cineteca di Bologna encompasses libraries, exhibitions, workshops, cinemas and offices, plus a photo archive. Located in the city’s most dynamic quarter, the Cineteca benefits from a close relationship with the nearby MAMBO museum of modern art and Bologna University’s Performing Arts and Communication Sciences departments.

Open Air Cinema at Piazza Maggiore © Courtesy Cineteca di Bologna

8. Labs Gallery has been operating in the Bolognese territory since October 2014, when it presented itself to the city with an exhibition curated by Marco Meneguzo, an iron investigation of Italian analytical painting in the 1970s. Since its inception, the space was born as a place dedicated to research and experimentation, always attentive to the dialogue between historicized art and contemporary art.

9. Ca' la Ghironda Modern Art Museum is a museum area inserted in an architectural context of the newest conception, in a park of 10 hectares, just a few km from the center of Bologna. The museum, the main attraction of the area, permanently exhibits works by important artists, from 500 to the latest generations. The art collection was born from the union of the works acquired by Cardinal Giacomo Lercaro (archbishop of Bologna from 1952 to 1968) with those that artists, collectors or simple admirers, over time, wanted to give him as a sign of deep esteem. Today the collection is an expression of an active dialogue between ancient and contemporary and it includes works by Francesco Messina, Mimmo Paladino, Giovanni Boldini, Georges Rouault, Ettore Spalletti and many others. Among the works of painting and graphics, works by Renato Guttuso, Antonio Mancini, Giorgio Morandi, Adolfo Wildt.


For more info, we recommend you to visit Bologna Welcome.

Basilica of San Petronio © Courtesy Arno Senoner/Unsplash

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