'The Museum Imagined. Stories from 30 years of Centro Pecci'

The important Italian centre for contemporary art showcases its 30-year long history comprising artworks, photos and events

From 22 September 2019 to 25 June 2019

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From September 22, 2018 to June 25, 2019 the city of Prato, Italy, will host the exhibition 'The Museum Imagined. Stories from 30 years of Centro Pecci ' to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Pecci Museum for Contemporary Art'. A truly unique opportunity to trace and re-interpret the events that have made the Museo Pecci in Prato, Tuscany, one of the most important museums of contemporary art in Italy. Far from being self-congratulatory, the exhibition at the Prato museum, as envisaged by director Cristiana Petrella, presents a narration of the museum’s story up to the present day re-interpreted according to today’s world but at the same time looking ahead at what the future might hold. The Pecci Prato event will unfold through a new display of facts, statistical data, anecdotes, memoirs and works chosen from both the permanent collection and the various exhibitions that have been staged over the years. Once again, and with stronger emphasis, contemporary art in Prato becomes a protagonist, involving both those passionate about it and those instead who are approaching it and have not yet discovered today’s styles and languages. Moreover, the mission of the Museo Pecci Prato is precisely to bring everyone closer to contemporary art, undermine the idea that it is something elitist and restricted and instead bring the largest possible number of people close to it. What are you waiting for? Plan a few days in Tuscany and take the opportunity to discover the wonders and the surprising allure of Prato contemporary art!



The opening of the Pecci Museum in Prato dates back to 1988 as the first Italian institution specifically founded to present, collect, document and promote contemporary art. It was opened by Sir Enrico Pecci who donated it to the city of Prato in memory of his son Luigi Pecci, who died prematurely. Since then, the center has been very active, hosting many and varied exhibitions and research projects as well as organizing educational programs, shows, performances and multimedia events. Over the years, the Prato contemporary art museum has collected a thousand works that represent the various artistic trends from the ‘60s to the present day, ranging from painting, sculpture, cinema, video through to installations, photographs and graphics.

In 2016, the building originally designed in the ‘80s by Italo Gamberini was enlarged by the architect Maurice Nilo, and the new Pecci Museum was opened. Currently, the museum includes an exhibition area of 3,000 square meters dedicated to the ever-expanding collection, the library specializing in CID and visual arts, the new web-TV, the cinema auditorium, the bistro restaurant and the open-air theater. In short, a visit to the Pecci center for Contemporary Art is a truly immersive experience that will give something extra to your holiday in Tuscany. A good idea even if you have kids in tow because of the presence of educational areas designed just for the little ones!

The collection of the Luigi Pecci Museum, which you can visit with the admission ticket, includes works by three hundred artists, mostly comprising sculptures, installations, paintings, video works made from the ‘50s to today. Particularly well-stocked is the section dedicated to representative of Arte Povera and the Italian and International Transavantgarde and the photography of artists of the former USSR. The collection of the Museo Pecci in Prato also includes projects of Concrete and Visual Poetry, visual experiences of musicians and performers donated by Carlo Palli. Other donations were those of the family of the poet Luciano Ori, the Florentine artist Mario Mariotti and Leonardo Savioli.



Among the events in Prato scheduled for 2018 and 2019, the Pecci Museum exhibit is certainly one of the most important and anticipated. Alongside the exhibition there will be many collateral events such as performances, projections and theatre representations. To get the most out of your visit to the Pecci Museum in Prato, we advise you to visit the website of the museum where you will find all the latest news. As for the exhibition celebrating the Pecci Center 30th year anniversary, there are three main parts:

  • TIMELINE: designed by the graphic arts studio of Sara de Bondt, it highlights the sequence of exhibitions, concerts, programs, festivals, workshops and talks hosted by the Pecci Museum in Prato for thirty years. The various stages will be presented thanks to different materials such as videos, photos, documents, audio tracks, posters and works
  • ARCHIVE DATA: the history of the Contemporary Art Museum in Prato is presented through the interpretation and statistical analysis of the data processed together with MoSis (Models and Systems of Statistical Information) of the city's University. It is interesting, and at times surprising to find out how many exhibitions in Prato have taken place over the years, how many works have been added to the collection, how many visitors attended the center or how many artists have exhibited their works. Not just mere numbers, but numbers that tell a story. 
  • NEW INSTALLATION FOR A SELECTION OF WORKS: the third part of the Pecci Center exhibit Museum showcases a new set-up for a series of works that come from both the Pecci collection and some of the main exhibitions. You will therefore find works by great Italian and American artists such as Zorio, Schnabel, Cucchi, Merz, Acconci, Morris and a wide section dedicated to photography with works by John Coplans, Craigie Horsfield, Robert Mapplethorpe and Nobuyoshi Araki. There will also be works from the '90s 'Contemporary Russian Artists' exhibition by Ilya Kabakov. In this section, great importance will also be given to the latest trends in Italian art with works by Stefano Arienti, Massimo Bartolini and Mario Merz. In the entrance hall, the exhibition marking the 30th anniversary will also display a recent piece of work by Martin Creed, featuring a large neon sign which represents an invitation to look to the future of the Pecci museum and what we can expect from this truly innovative museum. 

Undeniably, art is one of the most important attractions of Tuscany, but thanks to Prato, contemporary art is intertwined with the medieval and Renaissance art of its many cities and villages. So, why not combine the exhibition for the 30th Pecci anniversary to discover works and artists that will fascinate and intrigue you with their re-interpretations of modern times? Include Prato to your list of places to see in Tuscany and, as Prato is only a short distance from the Tuscan capital, why not join one of our tours in Florence?



Location: Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci - Viale della Repubblica 277, Prato

Date: from September 22, 2018 to June 25, 2019

Pecci Museum opening times: working days 10.00 to 20.00 /  Sundays and national holidays 10.00 to 23.00 


By Insidecom Editorial Staff


Period: From 22 September 2019 to 25 June 2019

Event location: Prato

Contacts: more info www.centropecci.it/en/

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