"La concezione espositiva, che è il paradigma della qualità di un museo, tende a conciliare l'impianto narrativo delle opere con i percorsi espositivi al fine di suscitare e coinvolgere l'immaginario estetico del pubblico e condurre i visitatori in un viaggio nella molteplicità delle emozioni"
Intervista alla Soprintendente, Maria Vittoria Marini Clarelli
Roma, la GNAM riparte da cento Servizio di Simone Cosimi Riprese e montaggio Lorenzo Paolini
The birth of the Gallery dates back to 1883, at the time when the newly united state of Italy was put in the hands of the fundamental institutions of the state, a well timed event resulting in the development and attention toward "national" art.
The initial location of the Gallery, for about thirty years, was in the Palazzo delle Esposizioni built by Pio Piacentini in 1883.
Starting in 1915, the collection was moved to the monumental building of Cesare Bazzani, built for the exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of United Italy (1911), in the suburban area outside Porta del Popolo, the area today known as Valle Giulia.
The works are a representation of a variety of regional schools, however also acknowledging works of foreign artists in Italy. The works, acquired from the large collection of the international Biennale of Venezia, focusing on: Verism, Symbolism, Decadentismo Neorinascimentale, with a hint of Secessioni. The collection also included the addition of some important donated pieces of central figures of the 1800s, predominately representing southern schools, such as Morelli, Palizzi and Celentano.
In the years between the First and Second World Wars, the additions to the gallery were mainly from the 1800s focusing on those of the favorite schools and national artists of the time, focusing on romanticism: Macchiaioli, Divisionisti, and Medardo Rosso.
The Bazzani building was enlarged in 1933-34, but in 1945 the new place housed only relics of the decade of Fascism.
The grand stage of the Gallery, which early on gained the autonomous status of Soprintendenza, started with the direction of Palma Bucarelli (for thirty years, during the time of war in 1975). In close collaboration with the universal school of Rome, starting with Lionello Venturi, then Giulio Carlo Argan, the Gallery gained international prestige thanks to an in depth museography which expressed with displays of extraordinary skill and verism (Picasso, Mondrian, and Pollock, to name a few) and of leading Italian artists (Burri, colla, Capogrossi, Fontana, Manzoni, and the kinetics). In the 1960s the collections were reorganized to emphasize and provide a wider view of twentieth century art to fill the gap in Italian and foreign Avant-guarde.
In the 70s and 80s, the politics of acquisitions are at times integrated instead as part of the pre-unification 1800s (the romantic and pure history with examples of Palagi, Koch, Gastaldi, Ciseri, and Franchi) and promptly received a series of donated works of Italian masters of the 20th century (Balla, De Chirico and Guttuso, among others). With the additions of work from the studios of collectors of the 19th and 20th centuries (the Praz museums and Boncompagni) and from works of artist studios of the 20th century (the Manzu museums and Andersen) the museums expertise in the area grew.
Started by Palma Bucarelli, but left unfinished, is also the new enlargement of the Gallery. Luigi Consenza planned to double the size of the building of Bazzani and create a place for contemporary activities and services.
The first sign of a movement toward contemporary art was expressed in 1995 by Minister Paolucci with the acquisition of a group of works from the 1980s of Transavanguardia which were a representation of the 1990s, with a distinct focus of Sopritntendente Pinto, with the promotional initiative called "Partito Preso" which formally encouraged young artists to use the style of Bucarelli.
At the end of 1997 Minister Veltroni allocated space for the new location of Museo MAXXI, dedicated in general to the collection of the work of current artists. The area chosen was on Via Flaminia near the auditorium of Renzo Piano: the destination represents the cultural center of the 21st century, continuing from that of the 20th century of the valley or Park of Museums on Valle Giulia.
The National Gallery of Modern Art therefore gained the status of "Mother museum," for the 19th and 20th centuries.
This renewed concept (in December 2011) was inspired by Soprintendente Maria Marini Clarelli, who brought a new way for the public to view and interoperate the works of the Gallery in this renovated historical context, and in the urban and cultural context of Rome deeply influenced by the 1990s. The change was in specific response to rethink the course, and more generally the fruition, of art in a museum context.