The vitality of studies and the quality of results the State Museums of Florence achieve with their uninterrupted activity that concurs in developing several exhibitions contemporaneously are fully appreciable in "Firenze 2014 Un anno ad arte". Now in its eighth edition, this exhibition series is a recurring and popular appointment with visitors. Moreover, considering the overall positive trend of museum visits, we like to think that visitors appreciate these exhibitions that expand on and renew the permanent museum offer.
Though faced with the general contraction of resources destined to culture, the traditional partners - Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze and Firenze Musei - join the State Museums of Florence with enthusiasm and courage in a challenging undertaking: organising nine exhibitions in the course of the year. We find the same trust among the publishers of the ATI concessionaire Giunti and Sillabe, which maintain the same high level in the catalogues they publish.
Today, and even more so than in the past, the exhibition series calls upon the most important museums to sustain a major commitment.The Uffizi, the Accademia and the Palatina will each accept the honour and the burden of two exhibitions. Generally speaking, these exhibitions will develop and expand on the themes and identity of the collections, enhancing the permanent museum holdings with important integrations and juxtapositions in the sign of a variety that in every edition follows the coordinates of history and geography. The series opens with a rarity. An exhibition of works on paper - both books and documents - on generous loan from our colleagues in archives and libraries of Florence, will illustrate the highest reaches of history and culture, known to experts and few others and, at the same time, evoke the noble phantom of the Biblioteca Palatina in Palazzo Pitti. The Sala Bianca will host the first complete monographic show dedicated to Jacopo Ligozzi, while the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi will present a selection of illuminations focused on botany in which this artist from Verona attained heights of unparalleled beauty. From another region and another cultural ambit comes a selection of works from the collection of Maestro Molinari Pradelli, through the generosity of his widow Bianca Maria and family, which echoes the motifs of seventeenth-century Florentine painting in the newly opened rooms of the Uffizi. Then comes the first great exhibition dedicated to the painting trend of Florentine "naturalism" between the late XVI and XVII centuries, which was a mental, spiritual and artistic disposition in search of confines and a name. Meanwhile, the Galleria dell'Accademia forms a partnership with the Museo Nazionale della Fotografia Alinari to render homage to Michelangelo Buonarroti in the 450th anniversary of his death, with an exhibition dedicated to the powerful and universally renowned works of art, especially of sculpture, by the supreme artist, from historical painting to contemporary photography. An exhibition on collecting works by the "Primitives" will then focus on another great art epoch in the Gallery, presenting painting from the XIV and XV centuries. Three other museums will be the protagonists of the remaining shows. The Museo degli Argenti will showcase the magnificent Medici reliquaries, devoting particular attention to identifying relics of Saints who, though little known or forgotten today, were important in seventeenth-eighteenth century worship. The Museo Nazionale del Bargello proposes the first-ever exhibition dedicated to Baccio Bandinelli and not only as a sculptor (and eternal rival of Michelangelo), but also as a draughtsman and teacher of young artists at his "accademia". Finally, the Galleria d'arte moderna di Palazzo Pitti will commemorate the one-hundredth anniversary of its foundation, proposing a trial installation for its XX century collections (presently not on show) and reformulating its itinerary to showcase the strong nucleus of Macchiaioli artworks in its collections.
The exhibitions will be hosted in prestigious venues on both sides of the River Arno, and follow a chronology ranging from the "Primitives" to the XX century. The typologies of exhibited works will also be in the sign of variety, presenting creations of the "major" arts, children of Drawing - to put it in academic terms - as well as manuscripts, books, photography, sacred art and much more. A confirmation of the unity of knowledge and of the transversal nature of artistic expression, in search of beauty.
Soprintendente per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della città di Firenze