The cultural heritage of Modena is marked by the presence of different collections devoted to the history of the image, ranging from photography, drawings, graphics and collector’s stickers.
The two main centres dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of such collections are Palazzo Santa Margherita, home to the Civic Gallery and the Museum of Stickers, and the former Sant’Agostino Hospital, which involves a restoration and redevelopment project that currently hosts the exhibitions of Fondazione Fotografia, and is set to transform a part of the old historical centre into a cultural area offering a variety of innovative services and collective spaces.
Modena Civic Gallery
As well as the venue for temporary exhibitions of contemporary art and related events, it is home to two important permanent collections: the Drawing collection, made up of over 4,000 drawings by twentieth century Italian artists (De Pisis, Mafai, Sironi, Afro, Morlotti, Novelli, Morandi, Fontana, right up to Penone, Zorio, Arienti, Marisaldi and Cuoghi) as well as by more recent generations, and the Photography collection, initially constituted by the collection donated by Franco Fontana, boasting over 3,500 photographs by leading contemporary international photographers. A separate nucleus is formed by some one hundred works of graphic art from the second half of the twentieth century.
Museum of Stickers
One of its kind in the world, it sprang from the passion of collector Giuseppe Panini, founder, in 1961, of the eponymous company together with his brothers. The collection, donated to the Municipality of Modena in 1992, besides the actual stickers, also brings together similar materials in terms of technique and function: small old prints, matchboxes, envelope seals, banknotes, menus, calendars, albums published by companies to present their product lines or created by collectors according to their own imagination and taste, plus many other materials.
Fondazione Fotografia Modena
Preserves and manages permanent collections of contemporary photographs, as well as different collections of historical photographs, holding exhibitions and training courses that provide the public with opportunities for cultural and professional growth. A facility established by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena and by the Municipality of Modena, hosting in the historical spaces of the former Sant’Agostino Hospital a programme of exhibitions dedicated to the history and the different forms of the photographic image. It also devotes ample space to education and training, with a two-year master on the contemporary image, an annual programme of photography workshops, meetings with artists involved in the exhibitions, guided tours and itineraries for schools.