MASI is entrusted with the unified management of all the works belonging to both the Canton’s and the City of Lugano’s collections; its objective is to valorise this artistic heritage by means of the philological distribution of the artworks, which also defines the institution’s cultural identity.
The display is not static: instead, it changes in order to present the diverse possibilities for the interpretation of the development of the artistic languages of the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries. The spaces dedicated to the collections will also host the presentation, through specific events, of particularly relevant new acquisitions, donations or deposits.
The Canton’s collection is mainly comprised of pieces from the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries, but also includes several highly significant incursions into earlier centuries, particularly major Ticinese artists who were active in the region or Italy, such as Giovanni Battista Discepoli, Pier Francesco Mola and Giuseppe Antonio Petrini, for example. The collection is not limited to works by artists from Ticino or artists from Switzerland and abroad who have worked or stayed in the Italian part of Switzerland; instead, it also includes pieces by artists from Italy and other countries who have played a leading role within the modern and contemporary history of art, including, to name just a few, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Gabriel Orozco, Rineke Dijkstra and Thomas Struth.
To browse the Canton’s collection’s database, please click here.
The City of Lugano’s collection of artworks numbers some 8,000 pieces, including paintings, works on paper and sculptures. It consists mainly of works by artists from Tessin, from the Seventeenth Century until today. What might be described as the most significant core, however, is made up principally of works dating back to the second half of the Nineteenth Century and the first decades of the Twentieth Century. The City collection is widely considered to be the Canton’s richest, particularly as regards the local and Lombard artistic setting from the mid-Nineteenth Century until the beginning of the Twenties.
MASI is currently preparing a unified online database of the collections, which you will shortly be able to browse on this site.