The National Gallery of Modern Art of Rome, also known by the acronym GNAM, is the largest collection of Italian contemporary art and has over 4,400 works of painting and sculpture and about 13,000 drawings and prints by artists – mostly Italian – from the 19th and the 20th century.
Our tour to the GNAM museum will take the visitors in a journey among the masterpieces of the collection in the 55 rooms of the Gallery.
The GNAM gallery has been built on 1883, a few years after the constitution of the young united Italian state, because of the need for a museum dedicated to the contemporary artists still alive or recently deceased. The first seat of the Gallery was the palace of Exhibitions in Via Nazionale.
However, it became soon evident that the location was insufficient to accomodate paintings and sculptures.
The actual headquarters of the National Gallery of Modern Art of Rome, which is the goal of our tour, is the Palace of Fine Arts, built in 1911 (in occasion of the International Exhibition of Rome and extended with a new wing in 1933, by the work of roman architect Carlo Bazzani.
After the liberation of Rome (June 4, 1944), the reopening of the Gallery of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art proceeded with great difficulty. There followed years of big exhibitions which allowed Italians to get to know artists that the regime had tried to ignore. In 1953 was held an exhibition of Picasso, of Mondrian in 1956, in 1958 on Pollock, in 1959 there was the exhibition of Burri’s “Grande Sacco” which caused a scandal in 1971; with the exhibition of Piero Manzoni the superintendent risked her position .
Between 1978 and 1982 the new superintendent Giorgio de Marchis incorporated the essential lines of the direction of Bucarelli immersing them in the new social and cultural situation of the late seventies. The Gallery is, in its concept, a dynamic museum in step with the times, it is at the same time a center of studies, production centre of culture and a public service. As a study center the museum promotes, in addition to the collections and exhibition activities, the use of didactic information and documentation facilities (library, archives, screening room, conference). As the museum of modern art is necessarily a place of “overlapping” it welcomes and promotes cultural activities of various disciplines from theater, music, cinema, dance.