Bologna Museum of Modern Art
The Bologna Museum of Modern Art (MAMbo, or Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna) is a purpose-designed centre of modern and experimental art, located in the centre of Bologna, Italy.
Now an independent entity, the Bologna Museum of Modern Art was originally one of the three museums that came under the aegis of the Bologna Gallery of Modern Art, founded in 1925; the other two being the Modern Art Gallery at Villa delle Rose and the Morandi Museum in the city's main square, Piazza Maggiore.
The Bologna Museum of Modern Art came into existence as a separate entity in the 1990s, when the Modern Art Gallery's collections had grown so large by acquisition and bequest that new premises needed to be found for its contemporary art collection and exhibitions. Lorenzo Sassoli de Bianchi, currently President of Italy's leading health food company, Valsoia, and of the country's Advertisers' Association, Utenti Pubblicità Associati - UPA, was invited to become its first President in 1995 on the strength of his reputation as an art collector, innovator and organiser. Sassoli de Bianchi was reappointed President for a further 5 years in 2009.
New role and mission
Sassoli de Bianchi formulated a bold programme that has repositioned the museum with a precise cultural role not just in Bologna but in Italy. The project brought the museum purpose-designed new premises within the shell of an extensive former industrial bakery in Bologna's city centre and a new corporate identity and name, or rather acronym, as MAMbo. Above all, however, it tightened the museum’s focus from contemporary art in general to experimental art in particular - a focus rare in Italy, yet rooted in Bologna's artistic and university heritage.
Supporting this focus on experimental art, Sassoli de Bianchi brought the young art critic and museum manager Gianfranco Maraniello; into the project in 2005, appointing him Director.
The museum simultaneously gained a new mission, not just as a permanent exhibition and exhibition space, but as an experimental, informational and social hub for young contemporary artists, providing a regional, national and international context, the latter through the International Contemporary Art Network.
The new premises opened on 5 May 2007 and in their first year hosted a range of exhibitions, installations, performances, musical events, films and multimedia experiences which quickly established MAMbo's reputation as a leading experimental museum in Italy and one of Europe's foremost creative centres of contemporary art. MAMbo is a leading partner in the Didart art teaching project supported by the EU Culture Programme.