Thursday, July 4, 2013

An Unsung Museum That Is Worth A Visit

One of the advantages of spending so much time in Roma is that I get to visit spots for which the normal tourist does not have time.  That includes museums.

The Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna is Italy's National Gallery of Modern Art.  It is not anybody's list of top 5 museums in Rome.  It's not anybody's top 10 list, I don't think.  It's not even the best museum in the Villa Borghese (Rome's Central Park).  But if you want to avoid crowds (I doubt there's ever a line to get into this museum) and still see a very impressive collection of modern(ish) art, I totally recommend it.  This museum is an unheralded gem!

The museum's exterior is cool and the first thing you see when you enter is fantastic.  The floor of the huge room through which you pass at the start is completely mirrored and full of cracks.  The mirrored floor alone is nice, and the cracks make it really unique and interesting.

I couldn't get a better picture of the floor.  Actually, I'm not sure you're supposed to take pics of the floor.  
The museum's permanent collection focuses on Italian artists from the 19th and 20th centuries.  But stars from outside of Italy make appearances too, including Van Gogh, Monet, Cezanne, Rodin, Pollack, Mondrian, etc., etc.  The collection overall is far from the best assembly of modern art that you can find -- but the collection here is quite good, is very accessible, and is a nice break from the crowds and lines.  

This is not a photograph -- it's a painting.  But so realistic!

There was also an incredible temporary exhibit of Hungarian paintings from the early 20th century.  I loved this collection.  Made me want to move Budapest from the "maybe" list to the "definite" list.  We'll see.

The other temporary exhibit was by a very recent Italian artist.  This didn't blow my socks off.  But it wasn't bad.  Some cute pieces of a political nature.

If you're here for more than a few days -- and especially if you can't get into the Musei Vaticano or the Galleria Borghese -- you should consider a visit to the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna.

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