Having been closed for a few months for renovations, the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna is fully up and running, offering a wide range of artistic goodies. Situated right near the zoo, and bordering Villa Borghese, GNAM was established in 1883, with a mission to document ‘living’ art. Today, the museum primarily occupies itself with art from the 19th and 20th centuries.
The museum is quite big, and the building itself is very impressive. They have multiple exhibits (info in Italian) going on right now, in addition to their permanent collection. They actually have so many different styles and time periods of art, that I found it all kind of overwhelming.
Permanent collection: From what I could tell, the rooms are arranged chronologically, rather than by theme or artist. Most of the artists are Italian, and 95% of the work is non-Jesus centered. Specifically, they have a ton of Giacomo Balla and Giorgio de Chirico. With a sprinkling of other modern classics such as: Modigliani, Mirò, Ernst, Giacometti, and even a Warhol! Since there are many works by a solid group of Italian painters, it was very interesting to see how the artists progressed, and how their work changed/matured over time.
Special Exhibits: (It seems as though most of the temporary exhibits close on March 4th, which is this Sunday, at least according to the website.)
The photography exhibit was pretty cool, including photographs from the 19th century, especially photographs of Rome and back-in-they-day Romans.
There was also an exhibit by Gianfranco Baruchello, Marcel Duchamp’s favorite pupil! His show includes large paintings, made up of tiny drawings, almost cartoon-like. It was real fun to choose a few works and try to make out all the details that Baruchello drew. (Wow can I be any better at explaining art?!)
On the whole, the visit to GNAM was a bit confusing (on account of the huge mix of artistic styles), but very worth the trip. It took around two hours, but I felt that I got a good sense of the artists and their works. And like I said, if you want a crash-course in classical art, impressionism, futurism, metaphysical, cubism, and etc., GNAM is a the perfect bowl of art potpourri that you are looking for.
Address: Viale delle Belle Arti 13 (the 3 bus stops right in front)
Cost: €8 for the permament exhibit, €10 for the temporary exhibits, €14 for everything. (Discounts available for students- bring your ID card!)