Mudec’s permanent collection open to all.
The impressive permanent collection of Mudec, Milan's Museum of Cultures, will this year remain open free for the rest of the month of August.
For the first time since the post-war period, visitors can admire a selection of this valuable heritage in an organic and carefully curated exhibition presenting a fully restored collection of material and the results of new, in-depth research that has revealed previously unknown aspects of numerous masterpieces, some of which are being displayed for the first time.
The many core groups that make up the collection of MUDEC have come into the possession of the city of Milan at different times and in different ways: The display tells the story of the constitution of this civic heritage, reconstructing the chronology of its formation and explaining how and why this patrimony – so vast and apparently inhomogeneous in terms of content and provenance – came to Milan.
The exhibition is a journey across time and space through encounter/conflict with “the other”, starting with the 17th century and continuing up to the present day. It contains more than 200 works of art, objects and documents selected not only for their extraordinary cultural and aesthetic value, but also as evidence of our society’s ever-changing way of viewing unknown cultures: the sense of wonder inspired by the exotic (Section 1), the drive to evangelise and towards scientific discovery (Section 2), the desire for conquest (Section 3) and pressing trade motivations (Sections 4 and 5) have compelled people to travel and collect the most diverse range of artefacts, documenting the spirit of the age.
After world war two, a dark period for the collection with much of it destroyed, the municipal museums of the Castello Sforzesco launched a targeted acquisitions programme that has continued to the present day and expanded with the decision to found Mudec in 1999.
During the post-war period, a different approach to ethnographic collecting gained ground in Milan, the fruit of a more mature and complex vision of the material and production of “the other”. This marked the rebirth of the city collections, which are today housed in the Museum of Cultures.