Museums, galleries and archives

Civic Gallery of Modena

Corso Canalgrande, 103 - Modena - MO - 41121

Phone: 059/2032911

Fax: 059/2032932



For exhibitions opening times pls check on web site.

The Galleria Civica of Modena is one of the city’s most important and historic institutions. Since its founding in 1959, the Gallery has held exhibitions dedicated to both internationally famous and emerging artists including Josef Albers, Mark Dion, Katharina Grosse, Runa Islam, Nam June Paik, Yayoi Kusama, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Mimmo Paladino, Ad Reinhardt, and Ugo Rondinone. In October 2017 the Gallery joined with the Museo della Figurina and the Fondazione Fotografia Modena to form the FONDAZIONE MODENA ARTI VISIVE, which hosts major solo and group exhibitions dedicated to past and contemporary art movements and the latest research in visual arts.


The Gallery has two prestigious permanent collections: the Contemporary Drawing Collection, which boasts over 4,000 works by mainly twentieth-century Italian artists from Giorgio Morandi and Enrico Prampolini to Lucio Fontana and Alighiero Boetti, and including important contemporary artists such as Carla Accardi and Giuseppe Penone, and the Photography Collection, with numerous works by major international photographers from after the Second World War to today, including Richard Avedon, Lewis Baltz, Gabriele Basilico, Walker Evans, Luigi Ghirri, Nan Goldin, Thomas Ruff, August Sander, and Francesca Woodman.


The Gallery offers educational programs suitable for all age groups, and numerous initiatives such as encounters, conferences, performances, and events relating to the diffusion and analysis of contemporary languages.

The Gallery exhibits at two venues:


- Palazzo Santa Margherita, Corso Canalgrande 103

The Palazzo Santa Margherita, whose name derives from the church that once stood in this area, is located on one of the ancient streets characteristic of Modena’s historic city centre. The Palazzo was a convent in the twelfth century and then was a military barracks before, in 1874, it became the headquarters of the Patronato dei Figli del Popolo. It also houses the Biblioteca Delfini, the Istituto Musicale Orazio Vecchi, and the Museo della Figurina.

After crossing the ancient cloister of the Palazzo and climbing the grand staircase, visitors to the Gallery enter the “Sala grande” on the first floor and the “Sale superiori” on the second floor, where exhibitions and related events are held. The archives are also located on the second floor where the rich heritage of Gallery, which belongs to the City and is today managed by the FONDAZIONE MODENA ARTI VISIVE, is preserved in accordance with the latest museum and conservation standards. Scholars and enthusiasts can conduct research and analysis of contemporary art and photography by consulting databases, computerized catalogue entries, and, by appointment, original works.

Finally, there is also a well-equipped education lab, which has been highly praised for its events for schools and families. There is also a bookshop.


- Palazzina dei Giardini, Corso Cavour 2

A few hundred meters from the main venue on Corso Canalgrande is the Palazzina dei Giardini which has been a prestigious and internationally recognized exhibition space belonging to the Gallery since 1983. Commissioned by Francesco I d'Este in the seventeenth century as a “casino”, the Palazzina was a place of recreation for the Este court within the gardens of the Palazzo Ducale. It was designed by the architect Vigarani and is therefore sometimes known as the Palazzina Vigarani. The Palazzina was donated to the city of Modena by the Duke in the following century, together with the Ducal gardens. Gradually the structure was abandoned, and in the twentieth century it was used as a greenhouse and storage area. In the late 1970s, as part of a project organised by the City council to enhance the city centre, the original structure of the Palazzina was restored. More recent interventions have accentuated the extraordinary quality of the spaces, the large windows, the height and spaciousness of the rooms, making the Palazzina an excellent location for international exhibitions.