James Bradburne on the future of Brera Modern & its Milanese collections


October 18, 2018

Join us for a special evening with James Bradburne, Director General of the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan, on the eve of opening to the public CIMA’s newest exhibition, Metaphysical Masterpieces 1916–1920: Morandi, Sironi, and Carrà

Palazzo Citterio, a historic palace mere steps from the Pinacoteca, was purchased in 1972 to hold the museum’s extraordinary 20th-century collections. At the core of the project Towards the Grande Brera, initially envisioned by the renowned director Franco Russoli (1923-1977), was the desire to expand the collection’s galleries as well as to make a permanent home for the Brera’s incredible holdings of Italian modern art, mostly donated to the museum by prominent Milanese collectors Emilio and Maria Jesi, Lamberto Vitali, and Gianni Mattioli (currently promised gifts on long-term loan). Great connoisseurs and passionate art patrons throughout their lives, these collectors gifted to the Pinacoteca di Brera unique masterpieces of 20th-century Italian art, including futurist paintings by Umberto Boccioni, metaphysical canvases by Giorgio Morandi, and expressionist works by Amedeo Modigliani.

James Bradburne will discuss the fascinating history of these preeminent Milanese collections in addition to providing an exclusive look into the latest developments of Brera Modern at Palazzo Citterio, currently scheduled to open in 2020. Erica Bernardi, one of CIMA’s two fall fellows, will moderate. This event serves as the inaugural public program of CIMA’s 2018-19 season and the first opportunity for audiences to see these extraordinary exemplars of metaphysical art.

Missed the event?

Watch the video here! Part 1; part 2.

Program schedule:

5:30pm: Doors open, exhibition preview and prosecco

6:15pm: Program begins, followed by audience Q&A

7:30pm: Program concludes

8pm: Evening concludes

James M. Bradburne is a British-Canadian architect and museum specialist. He was appointed Director General of the Pinacoteca di Brera of Milan in October 2015, one of twenty such appointments made by the Minister of Culture Dario Franceschini as part of a historic shake up of the state museum sector in Italy. From 2006 to 2015 he served as the founding director of the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, one of Italy’s first public-private partnerships and Florence’s largest temporary exhibition space.

Erica Bernardi received her Ph.D. from the University Ca’ Foscari in Venice. Her research focuses on Franco Russoli, the art historian, museologist, and director of the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan; most recently she published the book Senza utopia non si fa la realtà. Scritti sul museo 1952-1977, based on her PhD dissertation. She is currently the curator of the Franco Russoli archive and collection, as well as collaborating with the Brera on historical research projects, and coordinating a work team regarding contemporary museology for ICOM – Italy. Read more about Erica’s research and her project at CIMA here.