Reggio Emilia City Museums

The art collections, the historical sites and the exhibition centres of Reggio Emilia City Museums have accompanied for a long time the cultural identity development of Reggio Emilia’s people. Natural, archaeological, artistic and historical finds coming from the whole Province and from the five continents, are exposed and promoted in the Reggio Emilia city Museums network. The collections date back from the palaeolithic period to nowadays and are exposed in five different Museums, two monumental abodes and three exhibition centres.
This heritage consisting of buildings and works whose first nucleus dates back more or less to two hundreds years ago, has increased more and more during the decades, in a continuous updating.

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    The oldest part of the collections, dates back to 1799 when the personal collection of scientist Lazzaro Spallanzani was purchased by the Municipality of Reggio Emilia along with all its furnishing. He had collected zoological, palaeontological, mineral, lithological and botanic finds and than paintings, little tables and decorative objects, in his private residence in Scandiano, The collection has remained intact since 1830 and is housed in Palazzo San Francesco.
    In 1862, the “Gabinetto di Storia Patria” was set up thanks to the work of priest Gaetano Chierici, one of the father of modern Palaeontology, in 1870 it was extended to become the “Museo di Storia Patria” (Museum of Homeland History). It is a precious record of late 19th century museological sciences. The collection is still arranged in its original furnishings. The display compares local prehistoric and proto historic materials of the province of Reggio Emilia with materials illustrating the archaeology of other Italian regions and finally other finds of the same period but coming from different areas. Finally the collection was named “Museo Gaetano Chierici di Paleontologia” and is housed in Palazzo dei Musei.
    Stone finds, Roman marbles and sculptures from the Medieval period to the 18th century are displayed in the Portico dei Marmi (Roman marble cloister), the Mosaic Atrium hosts a collection of Roman mosaics and floor stone and marble decorations dating to the 12th and 13th centuries; and than naturalistic, zoological, botanic, ethnographic, numismatic, ceramic, jewellery and minor art collections are housed in different rooms.
    In 1902 the “Antonio Fontanesi Gallery” was set up, it traces the history of art in Reggio Emilia from the 14th to the 20th century and has been reorganized, increased and enhanced several times.
    At present, the historical Palace of the Civic Museums is part of a network including several locations: five Museums –Palazzo San Francesco, Parmeggiani Art Gallery, Tricolour flag Museum, Museum of psychiatry and Museum of the Beata Vergine della Ghiara Sanctuary– . The network even includes two monumental abodes (Synagogue and Mauriziano), three exhibition centres (Spazio Gerra, Cloister of San Domenico Exhibition Centre, Arts Workshop), and Arts Library.
    The Civic Museums during their development, have preserved the historical heritage of the city and the Province of Reggio Emilia and, at the some time, have promoted scientific research, knowledge, public fruition even through educational and training activities. They have been dynamic promoters of cultural and training activities related to their patrimony in cooperation with several public and private institutions: Superintendences, Universities, Research Institutes, Public Authorities and Cultural Institutions.
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Musei Civici di Reggio Emilia

direzione e uffici: v. Palazzolo, 2 - 42121 Reggio Emilia
T. 0522 456477 / F. 0522 456476
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