Art and Culture
1. Museum of Sacred Art
The old Parish Museum of Montecatini Alto opened its doors for the first time on May 28, 1900 at the behest of Bishop John Paponi, in order to protect the treasures of Montecatini Castle, which miraculously went untouched during the looting of 1554, as well as make it accessible to the public.
In 1907, the then ministry responsible for the protection of the artistic heritage, as well as the general director of Florentine monuments, worried about the fate of the patrimony of the church, and ordered Paponi to dismantle the whole thing. Paponi however, was convinced of the importance that the museum represented the people of Montecantini, and the impact it had on the community and tourists alike. He succeeded in his quest and obtained consent to keep the museum open to the public.
In 1934 the museum was expanded by his nephew, Don Tito Paponi, in order to accommodate the monumental fresco of Christ in Glory Among the Angels and Saints from the Church of the Convent of St. Augustine.
Unfortunately, a serious theft resulted in the closure to the public in January 1980.TAKE ME THERE
2. "Dino Scalabrino" Acadamy of Art
Located on Viale Diaz, the art gallery includes collections of works of important modern and contemporary art, as well as extensive documentation on the historic town of Montecatini Terme and its illustrious guests. The Academy is currently closed for restoration works
You can access part of the collection at the headquarters of the Fondazione del Credito Cooperativo della Valdinievole, located in Viale Ugo Foscolo 16/BTAKE ME THERE
3. "Water Duet" and "Water Sculpture"
WATER DUET. Along the Viale Verdi, you will come across the "Duetto D’Acqua" (Water Duet) fountain. Commissioned in 1997 by the municipality, the work of Japanese artist Susumu Shingu, who is well-known in the Far East and also popular in Europe where he worked with Renzo Piano, was placed in the center of the Domenico Giusti Square. The sculpture, a mobile masterpiece of steel, stands a little under three meters high and produces surreal musical effects. Water falls from the top of the structure, passing from one to another of the elements that are in the form of goblets. The sculpture truly comes alive by both it’s movement as well as its suggestive musical effects.
WATER SCULPTURE. The most recent of the fountains of Montecatini is the ‘Scultura d’Acqua’ (water sculpture), and is the work of Belgian, Pol Bury, who had already exhibited works in the Guggenheim in New York in the seventies. The fountain was inaugurated in 2004 in the presence of the artist. Gifted by the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Pistoia e Pescia, it is located in the Thermal Park Tower near the former factory. It is presented as a mechanical structure formed from steel cylinders moved by the force of the water that flows, producing evocative musical effects.TAKE ME THERE
4. City Hall and MOCA
The Communal Palace in Montecatini represents the identity of the city which in 1905 had obtained its independence from the old village, Montecatini Alto, which until then had been the seat of the Municipality. Montecatini Terme, in fact, had been founded as the "Bagni di Montecatini" in the eighteenth century due to the presence of hot springs. The palace which has an eclectic historical style, was built in 1913 by Raffaello Brizzi, along with the municipal engineer Luigi Righetti, while the entire fresco decorations (windows, curtains and frescoes) are the work of the Florentine artist Galileo Chini and his factory, Chini in Borgo San Lorenzo.
In the lobby there is a cascading fountain in stainless steel, constructed by the company, Nuovo Guastapaglia of Pescia, built in 2011. There are bas-reliefs on the walls, dedicated to the two heroes of the Risorgimento (Giuseppe Mazzini and Giuseppe Garibaldi) and a commemorative plaque dedicated to the fallen Montecatini from the World War.
Also situated in the lobby, is an impressive staircase with iron decorations that take their inspiration from nature. Above the staircase hangs the series of paintings by Galileo Chini, using the theme of civic values of good governance: "Building", "Knowing", "Working", and "Keeping Peace."
The first floor of the building houses the Gallery Moca, the new exhibition space dedicated to contemporary art in Montecatini, which was opened on December 4, 2012.
That occasion allowed the restoration of wonderful places, that originally, untill 2007, were used as offices of the postal services. That original postal function is taken by Galileo Chini as the theme of the narration of his Vetrate, all focused on communications. Nowadays is considered the first civic gallery of Montecatini, this place proudly hosts major work of world known artist, as the canvases of Pietro Annigoni and Joan Mirò. The Annignoni's canvas, named "vita ('57-'60), is a real manifesto of ideas and fears about the '900 century Man, the main spectator of the deep changes of the world he was living in, moving more and more toward materialism and consumerism. These elements are symbolized in Annigoni's work with the representation of an upside-down coca-cola logo posed in the place of the "INRI" letters carved on the Cross at the center of the scene (he removed INRI and put upside-down coca cola instead). The Mirò painting, named "Donna avvolta in un volo d'uccelli" (woman wrapped in a birds' flight) ('80), was donate to the city of MNTCTNI in the event "Maggio Mirò" (80), a cultural festival dedicated to the Catalan painter
The Moca is thought of as "big brother" to associate with another exhibition space of the city, the gallery MC Terme. Opened in November 2011 by Toti, it was solely intended as a space, free of admission, for young, local artists under 35. The young artists showcase themselves in temporary exhibits that enrich the municipal collection.
Montecatini is experiencing a new season full of culture and charm and the password is: Contemporary Art!TAKE ME THERE
5. MC Terme
On November 26, 2011, the Municipality of Montecatini Terme opened The Contemporary Art Space. The first of its kind to be opened, the exhibition space was created in the old, abandoned bus station in the city center, thus boosting positive activity in an area that had been run-down and colorless.
As an informal gallery, you feel more comfortable trying to discover a deeper insight of the young artists, usually under 35, who work in the fields of creativity and contemporary art in Valdinievole and its surrounding areas.
It is not just an exhibition space that showcases and sells art, but a meeting place that promotes ideas, creativity and finally, executing those ideas. If anyone is interested in buying any of the pieces, we will put you directly in contact with the artist.
Visitors to MC Terme leave with the satisfaction of having discovered something special in an urban space. Due to the popularity of the space, word of mouth has been affective, and each opening is crowded: often reaching and maintaining maximum capacity of 200 people, as people enjoy the welcoming and informal atmosphere and tend to spend long periods of time there.
For the up and coming artists: we invite you to submit your work publicly, because contemporary art is not to be explained to be heard and understood, but for the artist to introduce you to the world through their eyes.TAKE ME THERE