GNAM – Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea – Rome

viale delle Belle Arti 131, Roma
Lazio, Italy
Phone: +39 (0)6 322981
closed on: Mondays, January 1 and December 25
Museum Type: Art
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The Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, sometimes called simply La Galleria Nazionale or with the acronym GNAM) is a museum in Rome focused on 19th and 20th-century art.

History and building

The Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea of Rome was founded in 1883 to celebrate the then-recent unification of Italy. Initially housed in the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, in 1915 the gallery moved into the Fine Art Pavilion – built for the 1911 Rome International Art Fair after a design by architect Cesare Bazzani –  close to the Villa Borghese and the National Etruscan Museum.

Intending to creating a “temple of the arts”, Bazzani designed a neoclassical building consisting of a monumental stairway, an entrance portico, a central structure, and two side wings. Bazzani also adopted creative architectural solutions; for example, the generously-sized rooms of the pavilion are naturally lit from above by an array of skylights and provided with large glazed openings on all sides thus offering beautiful views towards open-air gardens and courtyards, and creating an unbroken visual relationship between interior and exterior space.

The architectural complex of the museum currently comprises, along with the older building, a back wing also designed by Bazzani in 1933, and a pavilion, unfortunately still uncompleted, designed by Luigi Cosenza in 1973 to accommodate the museum’s collection of contemporary art.
A project to replace Cosenza’s pavilion was developed in 2000 by Swiss architects Diener & Diener but never built. In 2016, the Galleria Nazionale Director Cristina Collu announced an ambitious 15 million euro project aimed to restore and complete the pavilion, to eventually open it to the public in 2019.

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Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome, entrance hall; photo © Inexhibit

Collection and semi-permanent exhibition

The art collection of the Rome’s Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, one of the largest in Europe, consists of about 4,000 paintings and sculptures, as well as of 13,000 works on paper, dating from the early 19th to late 20th century.

The collection features artworks by 170 Italian and international artists, including Umberto Boccioni, Joan Mirò, Lucio Fontana, Felice Casorati, Carlo Carrà, Piero Manzoni, Vincent Van Gogh, Alberto Burri, Antonio Canova, Osvaldo Licini, Man Ray, Giuseppe de Nittis, Amedeo Modigliani, August Rodin, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Georges Braque, Giacomo Balla, Gustav Klimt, Alberto Magnelli, Giorgio de Chirico, Giovanni Segantini, Jackson Pollock, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Renato Guttuso, Silvestro Lega, Medardo Rosso, Joseph Cornell, Dante Gabriele Rossetti, Edgar Degas, Giovanni Fattori, Vanessa Beecroft, Max Ernst, Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Piet Mondrian, Hans Arp, and Gustave Courbet.

World-famous masterpieces in the collection of the Galleria Nazionale include paintings such as L’arlesienne by Vincent van Gogh (1890), Water Lilies by Claude Monet (1899),The Three Ages of Women by Gustav Klimt (1905), Composition A by Piet Mondrian (1920), Watery Paths by Jackson Pollock (1947), and Concetto Spaziale Attese by Lucio Fontana (1963).

Entitled Time is Out of Joint, the semi-permanent exhibition on view in the Galleria Nazionale until April 15, 2018 features about 500 works of art – including pieces on loan from public museums and private collections – arranged in a neither in a chronological nor in a thematic sequence, but based on free associations.
The concept behind the exhibition is to create a dialog between artworks on view and the museum’s architecture into which “pieces of art move freely into a sort of anarchy which, following a female tradition which I deem I belong to, is not disorder while something that comes before rules”.

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Galleria Nazionale di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome, a room with the sculpture “Hercules and Lichas” by Antonio Canova (1815) and (in the background) the work “Spoglia d’oro su spine d’acacia” by Giuseppe Penone (2002); photo © Inexhibit

Programs and services

Along with temporary exhibitions, the program of the Galleria Nazionale features seminars, lectures, special projects, open contests, educational programs, and workshops for children and teens.
The gallery’s building is completely accessible to physically impaired people.

Image gallery

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Galleria Nazionale di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Rome; garden; photo © Inexhibit

Rome National Gallery of Modern Art Time is out of joint exhibition


Interior views of the museum’s galleries; photos: Fernando Guerra


Time is Out of Joint, installation view; photo: Giorgio Benni

Children's workshop Rome Galleria Nazionale

A children’s workshop; photo courtesy of La Galleria Nazionale, Rome

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Gustav Klimt, The Three Ages of Women (Die drei Lebensalter einer Frau), 1905, oil on canvas; photo © Inexhibit

Paul Cézanne Le Cabanon de Jourdan Galleria Nazionale-Roma

Paul Cézanne, Le Cabanon de Jourdan, 1906, oil on canvas; photo: Martin Beek

Piet Mondrian Composition A painting 1920 Galleria Nazionale Roma Inexhibit

Piet Mondrian, Composition A, 1923, oil on canvas; photo © Inexhibit

Lucio Fontana Concetto Spaziale Attese Galleria Nazionale Roma Inexhibit

Lucio Fontana, Concetto Spaziale – Attese, 1963, water paint on canvas; photo © Inexhibit

Cover image: the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome; view from the monumental stair descending from the Villa Borghese gardens; photo © Inexhibit

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