The Florentine Time Machine

The Museo Novecento

MúzeumCafé 45.

The Uffizi and the Pitti Palaces, the Bargello and the Accademia, the Museo dell Opera del Duomo and the Casa del Michelangelo all attract art lovers from across the world. Visitors willingly queue for hours to get into any of them and it can take days, even weeks just to get to know their treasures, the masterpieces of geniuses of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. In addition, Florence has numerous antique treasures in churches and palaces, not to mention a museum of modern arts and a museum of silver and porcelain. If – as is highly improbable – you run out of what to see inside the buildings, there is still the town itself with its dark grey stone walls painted dark brown, the majority of which still stand as they did before the air raids of World War II. As the local saying goes about the sights of Florence and the beauty of the town and nature, Com’ era dov’ era – as it was, where it was. Thus is it possible and is it necessary to built a new museum in this uniquely dense artistic medium? Numerous art historians could dispute the question for a long time, but the authorities of Florence and the Comune di Firenze, as well as the organisation of the town’s museums, the Musei Civici Fiorentini, acted quickly and the local museum of 20th-century Italian art, the Museo Novecento, opened in the summer of 2014. The museum’s ground floor houses cash desks and a cloakroom, as well as space for temporary exhibitions, while the mezzanine has a documentation centre and a collection of graphic art, which can only be visited with advance booking. Thus the permanent exhibition starts on the first floor. Archaism and anti-monumentalist poetics, a presence between a return to order and Novecento, Second Futurism and Italians in Paris – each could be a chapter title in works about the art history of universal contemporary art – while in Florence they appear as parts of cultural and art local history.