Our story

Il giardino delle sculture del Mart

The project

Conceived as a cultural hub rather than a traditional museum, the Mart's public spaces are intertwined with the Biblioteca Civica, Auditorium Melotti, the Teatro Comunale and the University.
As part of the wider cultural scene in Trentino, the Museum is a true contemporary landscape. The suburban nature of the area has enabled the creation of a high-quality tourist-cultural destination that caters to those who love nature, the outdoors, wellbeing and who seek a unique experience.

The Mart’s holdings are inestimable: they include some of the greatest masterpieces of 20th century Italian art, and every year the Museum organises dozens of exhibitions and projects.
It employs a staff of curators, conservators, researchers, archivists and professionals in the fields of education, science and communication.

From its foundation to December 2011, Mart was directed by Gabriella Belli; from February 2012 to 2015 it was under the direction of Cristiana Collu; and in June 2015 Gianfranco Maraniello was appointed as director for a five-year term. Currently, the museum is headed by Diego Ferretti.

Mart before 2002

Ph. Mart, Archivio fotografico e Mediateca


Opening of the exhibition "Giovanni Segantini" at Palazzo delle Albere, 1987

Even before the inauguration of the cultural centre designed by Mario Botta, the Mart had a rich and complex history. The Museum's first site opened in Trento at Palazzo delle Albere in 1987, which has hosted a space dedicated to modern and contemporary art since 1981. Even then, its activities were characterised by a strong commitment to science, research and exhibition, which laid the foundations for Mart’s future.

During this time, the Collections mainly included artists from Trentino, such as Bartolomeo Bezzi and Eugenio Prati. The expansion of the holdings was achieved through the constant acquisition of book and documentary material: libraries and specialist archives, such as those of the critic Carlo Belli and the architect Luciano Baldessari. These and other collections acquired over time have oriented Mart's research towards very specific directions, which are still central to its exhibition activities: Futurism, 1930 rationalist architecture, and visual poetry. The museum’s mission has also developed through the activities of its education department, which is reaching an increasingly wider audience.

The roaring success of the exhibition dedicated to Giovanni Segantini was the momentum behind the establishment of Mart, which was founded in 1987 as a functional body of the Autonomous Province of Trento. Through art, the Museum promotes collection, research and critical production activities. Its exhibition activities cover many areas of research: architecture and design, the historical avant-garde and the 20th century, Central European art, and contemporary art.
Mart was granted the sites of Palazzo delle Albere, in Trento, and Galleria Museo Depero, in Rovereto. This was followed by the opening of a new space in Rovereto to house the Archivio del ’900, and in 2002 the new centre designed by Ticino architect Mario Botta in collaboration with Rovereto engineer Giulio Andreolli.

  • "Giovanni Segantini"
    Ph. Mart, Archivio fotografico e Mediateca

    "Giovanni Segantini"
    [Giovanni Segantini], 9 May - 30 June 1987. Trento, Palazzo delle Albere. Curated by A. P. Quinsac, G. Belli

  • "Depero"
    Ph. Mart, Archivio fotografico e Mediateca

    "Depero"
    [Depero], 12 November 1988 - 14 January 1989. Rovereto, Archivio del ‘900. Curated by G. Belli, M. Fagiolo Dell'arco, N. Boschiero

  • "Adalberto Libera. Opera completa"
    Ph. Mart, Archivio fotografico e Mediateca

    "Adalberto Libera. Opera completa"
    [Adalberto Libera. Complete works], 21 January - 2 April 1989. Trento, Palazzo delle Albere. Curated by G. Belli, V. Gregotti, G. Ciucci

  • "Depero. Teatro magico"
    Ph. Mart, Archivio fotografico e Mediateca

    "Depero. Teatro magico"
    [Depero. Magic theatre], 1 September - 15 October 1989. Rovereto, Archivio del ‘900. Curated by G. Belli, N. Boschiero, B. Passamani

  • "La Collezione Sonnabend. Dalla Pop Art in poi"
    Ph. Mart, Archivio fotografico e Mediateca

    "La Collezione Sonnabend. Dalla Pop Art in poi"
    [The Sonnabend Collection: From Pop Art onwards], 4 November 1989 - 7 January 1990. Trento, Palazzo delle Albere. Curated by G. Belli, J. L. Gromentin, M. Sanchez

  • "Romanticismo. Il nuovo sentimento della natura"
    Ph. Mart, Archivio fotografico e Mediateca

    "Romanticismo. Il nuovo sentimento della natura"
    [Romanticism: The new sense of nature], 15 May - 29 August 1993. Trento, Palazzo delle Albere. Curated by E. A. Angelis, G. Belli, D. Brown, A. Ottani Cavina, J. Gage, H. A. Peters, G. Piantoni, V. Pomarède, F. Rella, P. Rosenberg, P. Schiera, M. Sitt

  • "Crali futurista"
    Ph. Mart, Archivio fotografico e Mediateca

    "Crali futurista"
    [Crali the Futurist], 16 December 1994 - 26 March 1995. Rovereto, Archivio del ‘900. Curated by G. Belli, C. Rebeschini

  • "Trash. Quando i rifiuti diventano arte"

    "Trash. Quando i rifiuti diventano arte"
    [Trash. When waste becomes art], 11 September 1997 - 11 January 1998. Trento, Palazzo delle Albere and Rovereto, Archivio del ‘900. Curated by G. Belli, Lea Vergine

  • "Gastone Novelli. 1925-1968"
    Ph. Mart, Archivio fotografico e Mediateca

    "Gastone Novelli. 1925-1968"
    [Gastone Novelli. 1925-1968], 14 May - 26 September 1999. Trento, Palazzo delle Albere. Curated by P. Vivarelli

  • "Boldini, De Nittis, Zandomeneghi. Mondanità e costume nella Parigi fin de siècle"
    Ph. Mart, Archivio fotografico e Mediateca

    "Boldini, De Nittis, Zandomeneghi. Mondanità e costume nella Parigi fin de siècle"
    [Boldini, de Nittis, Zandomeneghi. High society and customs in fin de siècle Paris], 12 April - 29 July 2001. Trento, Palazzo delle Albere. Curated by G. Belli

The new Mart

Ph. Mart, Archivio fotografico e Mediateca


Inauguration of Mart of Rovereto, 2002

The new Mart opened on 15 December 2002 at the premises designed by Mario Botta on Corso Bettini. The inaugural exhibition was entitled "The Rooms of Art" and through the sequence of the rooms, the themes, works and authors that had been central to the Museum's research for years were introduced anew: Giovanni Segantini's "Springtime in the Alps"; the works of Fortunato Depero presented alongside a critical rereading of the “Manifesto della Ricostruzione Futurista dell'Universo”; the dialogue between 20th-century Italian artists and the experimentalism of Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Oskar Schlemmer, Kasimir Malevich and Natalia Goncharova; early 20th century trends such as Archaism, Metaphysics, Primitivism, Magic Realism and Neue Sachlichkeit; Fausto Melotti's "Seven Sages"; masterpieces by Lucio Fontana, Alberto Burri, Piero Manzoni, but also by Italian artists that Mart wanted to introduce to an international audience, such as Osvaldo Licini, Gastone Novelli, Carol Rama; and American artists of the 1980s and 1990s from the Panza di Biumo collection.

In the years that followed, the exhibition and research projects explored many of these ideas in greater depth. Melotti's ceramic work, for example, was presented in 2003, while Futurist avant-garde’s contribution to the European revival of the early 20th century was one of the inspirations for "The dance of the avant-garde" exhibition in 2005. Depero's legacy was also interpreted by Mart as an invitation to focus on the applied arts: as a result, the Museum showcased automobile design in 2006 with "Mitomacchina" and typographic production in 2007 with "The word in art".

The archive of exhibitions since 2006 can be browsed under the exhibitions and events section: visitors are encouraged to consult it to find out more, by selecting "Exhibitions" and searching by year.

  • "Le Stanze dell'Arte. Figure e immagini del XX secolo"
    Ph. Mart, Archivio fotografico e Mediateca

    "Le Stanze dell'Arte. Figure e immagini del XX secolo"
    [The Rooms of Art. Figures and Images of the 20th Century], 15 December 2002 - 13 April 2003. Rovereto, Mart. Curated by G. Belli

  • "Le Stanze dell'Arte. Figure e immagini del XX secolo"
    Ph. Mart, Archivio fotografico e Mediateca

    "Le Stanze dell'Arte. Figure e immagini del XX secolo"
    [The Rooms of Art. Figures and Images of the 20th Century], 15 December 2002 - 13 April 2003. Rovereto, Mart. Curated by G. Belli

  • "Fausto Melotti. L'opera in ceramica"
    Ph. Mart, Archivio fotografico e Mediateca

    "Fausto Melotti. L'opera in ceramica"
    [Fausto Melotti. Ceramic work], 30 May - 14 September 2003. Rovereto, Mart. Curated by A. Cammellato, M. Melotti

  • "Capolavori della Collezione permanente"
    Ph. Mart, Archivio fotografico e Mediateca

    "Capolavori della Collezione permanente"
    [Masterpieces of the Permanent collection], 19 December 2003 - 27 April 2004. Rovereto, Mart. Curated by G. Belli, N. Boschiero

  • "Il Secolo dell'Impero. Principi, artisti e borghesi tra 1815 e 1915"
    Ph. Mart, Archivio fotografico e Mediateca

    "Il Secolo dell'Impero. Principi, artisti e borghesi tra 1815 e 1915"
    [The Century of Empire. Princes, artists and bourgeoisie between 1815 and 1915], 25 June - 31 October 2004. Trento, Palazzo delle Albere. Curated by G. Belli, A. Tiddia

  • "Da Goya a Manet, da Van Gogh a Picasso. The Phillips Collection, Washington"
    Ph. Mart, Archivio fotografico e Mediateca

    "Da Goya a Manet, da Van Gogh a Picasso. The Phillips Collection, Washington"
    [From Goya to Manet, from Van Gogh to Picasso. The Phillips Collection, Washington], 17 September - 13 November 2005. Rovereto, Mart. Curated by J. Halford-MacLeod

  • "La Danza delle avanguardie. Dipinti, scene e costumi, da Degas a Picasso, da Matisse a Keith Haring"
    Ph. Mart, Danilo Eccher

    "La Danza delle avanguardie. Dipinti, scene e costumi, da Degas a Picasso, da Matisse a Keith Haring"
    [The Dance of the Avant-garde. Paintings, scenes and costumes, from Degas to Picasso, from Matisse to Keith Haring], 17 December 2005 - 7 May 2006. Rovereto, Mart. Curated by G. Belli, E. Guzzo Vaccarino

  • "Mitomacchina. Il design dell'automobile: storia, tecnologia e futuro"
    Ph. Mart, Archivio fotografico e Mediateca

    "Mitomacchina. Il design dell'automobile: storia, tecnologia e futuro"
    [Mitomacchina. The history, technology and future of car design], 2 December 2006 - 1 May 2007. Rovereto, Mart. Curated by G. P. Brunetta, P. Cerri, E. Deleidi, G. Fabris, G. Giugiaro, T. MaLdonado, G. Molineri, A. Orsi, S. Pininfarina, M. Tedeschini and Quattroruote magazine

  • "La parola nell'arte. Ricerche d'avanguardia nel '900. Dal futurismo ad oggi attraverso le collezioni del Mart"
    Ph. Mart, Archivio fotografico e Mediateca

    "La parola nell'arte. Ricerche d'avanguardia nel '900. Dal futurismo ad oggi attraverso le collezioni del Mart"
    [The word in art. 20th-century avant-garde research from Futurism to the present day seen through Mart’s collections], 10 November 2007 - 6 April 2008. Rovereto, Mart. Curated by G. Belli, A. Bonito Oliva, A. Hapkemeyer, N. Boschiero, P. Pettenella, M. Gazzotti, D. Ferrari, J. Trolp, G. Zanchetti