Palazzo Reale is Milan’s central exhibition hub; for many years it has curated and produced major art exhibitions for the general public. Based upon its strong artistic tradition that initiated in the fifties, the commitment of the last decade has placed Palazzo Reale at a high level of excellence both for the quality of its scientific projects and for the appeal of its exhibitions. An undertaking that has been much appreciated by the public - resulting in annual entrance numbers that have steadily exceeded a million visitors for many years - and the Palazzo Reale exhibitions are increasingly and resolutely ranked top of the most-visited locations in Italy.
Although important, this achievement is not only due to the visitor numbers. The reasons for its success are many: medium and long-term programming, important relationships and partnerships with museums around the world, collaborations with highly-experienced curators, the structure’s increasing competence and the continuous support of the municipality of Milan.
The most important role is played by the excellence of the curatorial projects, entrusted to the most eminent Italian and foreign historians who assure the authenticity and creativity of the exhibitions. Each retrospective at Palazzo Reale is always an exceptional show.
Palazzo Reale also boasts increasingly significant collaborations with the most prestigious names in Italian architecture: we are convinced that the ‘mise en scène’ of an exhibition contributes greatly to improve not only the enjoyment of the visit but also the interpretation of the works, recreating a unique atmosphere and placing the visitor at the centre of a unique experience.
We prominently support education for schools and families, thus, we provide the exhibition visitors with tools to help them understand the works and we also place great importance on communication; we have implemented this in recent years by the use of new technology and new media and we are increasingly oriented to public involvement. The Expo 2015 experience was very challenging, a test that Palazzo Reale passed with flying colours by offering two major exhibitions on Leonardo and Giotto and by attaining utmost levels of quality.
Today Palazzo Reale casts its gaze to the future. It will continue to offer a programme of excellent exhibitions but it also feels the need to reassemble the pieces of its identity: it is necessary to understand where we come from in order to envisage where we want to go. Above all, this identity is related to Palazzo Reale’s architectural complex. In this regard many challenges have already been won: thanks to the reopening of the Museo del Duomo (Cathedral Museum) and the Museo del Novecento (Museum of the twentieth century) Piazzetta Reale is now vibrant and the recent restoration of the Palatine Church of San Gottardo has given Milan, and Palazzo Reale, an authentic cultural treasure.
Now the time has arrived for Palazzo Reale to reflect upon itself, on its history spanning almost ten centuries. A first step was taken with the beautiful exhibition of Lombard art from the Viscontis to the Sforzas. For the next few years the programme will be structured in two main directions: the great movements and characters that have shaped the history of ancient and modern art, plus, a reflection on the chapters on the legendary names of Italian twentieth-century art, an essential starting point for understanding contemporary art.