MADRE Museum. Contemporary art in Naples.

Museo Madre

The MADRE museum, acronym for Museo Arte Donna REgina, is the main public collection of contemporary art in Naples. It is located in the Palazzo Donnaregina, in the historic center of the city.

Its story begins in 2003 when the Ministry of Cultural Heritage planned a pact for contemporary art then made by individual regions for the development of contemporary collections in Italy. The Campania region therefore established the Donnaregina Foundation, with the very aim of working on a regional museum entirely dedicated to the arts of our time.

So it was that after the purchase of the Donnaregina palace by the region, the Portuguese architect Alvaro Siza, transformed the nineteenth-century building into a minimalist architecture that also succeeded in the perfect integration with the existing urban fabric. It was June 2005 when the Museo Madre opened.

The museum today houses a collection of site-specific works (thus created specifically for that particular space of the museum) that includes artists who have made the story of contemporary art research; various protagonists of the second half of the twentieth century as: Anish Kapoor, Jeff Koons, Jannis Kounellis, Mimmo Paladino, Luciano Fabro, Giulio Paolini, Rebecca Horn, Francesco Clemente and many others.

The museum also continues to enrich itself with new works thanks to the project Per_formare una collezione, completely dedicated to the dynamic composition of a permanent collection capable of being enriched over time; for this reason, an allusion has been made to the term “performance”, a term that indicates an artistic action of an interdisciplinary nature, which does not necessarily imply the material creation of a new artistic object. The act of collecting over time, renewing itself, thus becomes the concept/object of this delicate performance.

Specifically, this collection started in 2013, is a focus on the artists of the city of Naples and on the artistic experiences that happen in the city, in relation to the international art scene. It is precisely this two-way relationship between the city and the rest of the world that must generate interest in visitors.

Interest alone is not enough, in fact, a museum of contemporary art that works, must be increasingly able to involve most of the various audiences, on the most diverse contemporary issues concerning beauty and culture in all its parts, always with the primary aim of education and research, as well as the collection and preservation of collections. For this reason, the MADRE organizes workshops for children and adults, guided tours, conferences, debates, performances and sometimes even parties to promote the idea of art as a community and heritage of all.

Art, not only classical art, is the great material and immaterial heritage that gathers human ingenuity. Visiting and participating in places that contribute to the strengthening of this concept, is always a good idea!