Hello everyone! Here is my first post of Rome content for the art course that I am taking over my winter semester this January 2019. I am leaving the 1st of the year to start my journey to Rome, Italy, and I will be there for about three weeks. Follow me on my journey throughout this beautiful European country and possibly get ideas of places to add to your own travel bucket list!
For my first assignment, I am going to be researching and writing about the Maxxi Museum, located in the Flaminio neighborhood of Rome, Italy, designed by Zaha Hadid. It is a contemporary art and architecture museum that opened in 2010, as an environment that promotes contemporary creativity. It is actually the first of its kind in that is dedicated to contemporary artists and their work. This space is dedicated to experimentation within the artistic world, and a sense of innovation in the arts and architectural fields. This is a really interesting place to study, as it is different than many of the other museums, buildings and other pieces of architecture that are present throughout the country. As a promotion of contemporary work, Zaha Hadid was able to open the door to a new type of art and provide an opportunity for up and coming artists to share their creativity, and the pieces that they are making.
Zaha Hadid is a British-Iraqi architect was born in Baghdad, Iraq on October 31, 1950 and died just recently in Miami, Florida on March 31, 2016. She lived a fairly privileged life, and was able to pursue her dreams and share her creativity with those in many different places in the world. Throughout her career, she earned multiple awards including: The UK’s most prestigious architectural award, the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2011, and in 2015 she became the first and only woman to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects, among many others. Hadid has had creative influence on architecture throughout the world, including buildings in Austria, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Spain, China, Scotland, and London. She has even had opportunities closer to home in places such as Michigan and Cincinnati, Ohio. She has had a busy career, and has made a lot of progress throughout the art world, being recognized by many as the greatest female architect in the world. This was a true honor for her, and she was very blessed to be able to share her love of art throughout the world and have the opportunity for many other people to see.
Doing some research on the museum, I was blind coming in. But, I have learned a lot that I have shared with you all here. This particular museum is unlike the rest in that it is for contemporary artists and something that differs from many other places of art throughout Rome. Some history and background of the museum: “An international design competition for the design of the museum building was won by Zaha Hadid. Her submission included five separate structures, of which only one was completed. It was built on the site of a former military barracks, the Caserma Montello, incorporating parts of it. The museum took more than ten years to build, and opened to the public in 2010. It received the Stirling Prize for architecture of the Royal Institute of British Architects in the same year.” The museum is divided up into two different aspects: Maxxi Art and Maxxi Architecture. The location and division of the museum itself is very unique, and it has many different elements to make it so interesting.
The building itself is made up of an auditorium, library, media archives, a bookstore, restaurant, and different exposition rooms. There is also a large outdoor space that can become a stage for opera and host other events happening live in the city. Among the many different events happening around the area the museum itself includes the following: 300 permanent artworks on display from artists all around the world, as well as many temporary exhibitions. However, the architecture of the museum itself is also a work of art. The construction of concrete and steel has a roof made of glass that allows the museum to be filled with natural light. According to Hadid, the Maxxi “inspires fairy-tale comparisons, like entering the belly of a giant whale. And its slippery surfaces give the feel of a flying carpet.” She continues to discuss her work and the style of it as follows: “But the style she seems most inspired by is baroque. The Maxxi echoes its fluid and sinuous forms, concave and convex spaces, and white curving lines that mysteriously disappear and reappear.” Because a lot of focus is placed on ancient art and architecture throughout the city, it was important for Hadid to have her passion for contemporary art come to life, and provide this opportunity for artists today and in the future as well.
The mission of the Maxxi museum is to “represent an awareness of the importance of promoting the current creative expressions of a nation such as Italy, characterized by centuries of primacy in the artistic and architectural fields. The aesthetic tensions of our time are, in fact, the extension of the artistic and cultural expressions of past eras, albeit through radical different expressive forms… Maxxi intends not only to be a container for the exhibition of the works of art of our century, but also a place for cultural innovation and the overlapping of languages, a laboratory for artistic experimentation, a machine for the production of aesthetic materials of our time,” (maxxi.art.com). Maxxi in general is looking toward the future of art and the future of artists in the world. In order to promote this sense of new creativity throughout for visitors and those who are more interested in ancient art, the museum has started to implement many different programs that would draw more people to it, and they also have lowered ticket prices to approximately 13 U.S. Dollars. Some programs are even offered for free as an incentive to come check out the art that new artists are working to create. There are many fun events that are open to families and visitors, and the museum is really interested in getting more people to come and see all of the creations that are present in the museum. From permanent to temporary pieces, it is important that artists have their chance to share their inspiration with the world, and work to help others achieve their dreams and chase their goals. Art is a powerful way to express oneself, and being able to do so can become something that is an outlet, not only for the artist, but for the audience in which they reach as well.
This museum is a place that I am very excited to be visiting, and I think it will be interesting to compare the modern art in the city to all of the ancient are in the surrounding areas. The comparison, I think, will be eye-opening, but I think that there will still be some similarities and one will be able to notice the influence of the ancient work in the modern creations of artists today. As I travel to the museum and throughout Rome, I will be sure to take note of the commonalities and differences that appear. As I am also traveling to places such as: the Roman Colosseum, Palazzo Barberini, Vatican Museums, Museum Galleria Borghese, Pompeii, among others, I think it will be interesting to note which makes each place unique as well as the story behind each. Stay tuned for future posts on the different places I will be visiting from ancient ruins to more contemporary places, and you can see the differences for yourself! 🙂
Overall, I am really looking forward to see all of the art that is present in this beautiful place. Art is something that can really give outsiders a glimpse into the culture of others in a way that is fairly simple. Traveling to a city, and being able to look around at all the visual aspects can be a fulfilling experience and really powerful in immersing yourself in a new culture. It can be something as easy as trying new foods, learning pieces of a new language, observing clothing trends, etc. Art is a powerful connector between cultures, and it can be something that really is able to bring people together. I am grateful for this opportunity, and I am hopeful that you are inspired to get out, even in your own city, become more aware of your surroundings, and think about all of the beauty that is present in the world.
Comment below and tell me your favorite ways to immerse yourself into a new culture that you are introduced to! What do you think is most beneficial to do when you get to a new destination? How do you respect the culture and societal norms that you may not be used to?
Sources that I found information from: