Maria Luisa Pacelli<br/>to be awarded Allegrini prize <br/>‘The Art of exhibiting Art’
09 October 2017

Maria Luisa Pacelli
to be awarded Allegrini prize
‘The Art of exhibiting Art’

Maria Luisa Pacelli, director of Palazzo dei Diamanti in Ferrara, will be presented with the Allegrini prize ‘L’Arte di mostrare l’Arte’ (The Art of exhibiting Art), in the fifth year of the annual award. The official presentation will take place on Wednesday, 25th October at Villa Della Torre in Fumane di Valpolicella, Verona.
With its award to Maria Luisa Pacelli, Allegrini is, in effect, ‘rewarding’ an entire city that has chosen to invest in culture as the driving force of development and the common thread that holds together and reinforces the city’s social fabric. But at the same time, Allegrini is recognizing the talents and abilities of an exceptional professional: Maria Luisa Pacelli has proved capable of taking on a demanding legacy, re-invigorating and renewing a winning formula, and steering it through the difficult years of the international economic crisis.
“In presenting this award to Maria Luisa Pacelli”, explains Giancarlo Mastella, a member of the prize jury and Director of Villa Della Torre, “Allegrini wants to hold up the positive example of Ferrara as a model of local cultural policies that successfully combine the history of a territory with international artistic movements, enabling citizens to participate in a process of cultural enrichment made possible by carefully designed and expertly curated exhibitions”.
Ferrara is one of the Italian cities that has pursued the difficult path of an advanced cultural programme linked to exhibitions with the greatest determination and success, while embracing two stated objectives: project development with public management of exhibitions and achieving profitability via exhibition content of recognizably international quality.
To this end, the Municipal Council of the City of Ferrara created a foundation, Ferrara Arte, which aims to organize the exhibitions at Palazzo dei Diamanti, in collaboration with the Gallerie d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea and the Cultural Activities Sector of the City of Ferrara. For some twenty years, Ferrara Arte has developed its activities with particular attention to ancient art, European art from the 15th to the 20th century, 20th century Italian art and, last but not least, Ferrara’s own great modern and contemporary painting.
Nominated Director of Ferrara Arte in 2011 – after training for some 12 years under the wise guidance of former director-founder Andrea Buzzoni – Maria Luisa Pacelli has successfully created the conditions for exhibitions of the highest calibre, sparking opportunities for international debate and development in the history of art, as well as providing stimuli and ideas for cultural projects that have involved the city, the surrounding municipal area and local schools.
Exhibitions, to name just a few, have included: Sargent e l’Italia [2002-2003]; Rauschenberg [2004]; Corot. Natura, emozione, ricordo [2005-2006]; André Derain [2006-07] Cosmè Tura e Francesco del Cossa. L’arte a Ferrara nell’età di Borso d’Este [2007-08]; Miró: la terra [2008]; Turner e l’Italia [2009]; Chardin. Il pittore del silenzio [2010]; Lo sguardo di Michelangelo. Antonioni e le arti [2013]; Zurbarán[2013-14] e Matisse, la figura [2014].
Ferrara Arte has achieved all this via its careful management of resources and its communication strategies. The last two exhibitions in 2016, acclaimed as exemplary by international critics, were seen by a large number of visitors: 128,187 for De Chirico in Ferrara, and 146,567 for Cosa vedeva Ariosto quando chiudeva gli occhi. In both cases, the balance sheet for the public exhibitions – exhibiting an absolute transparency that is unusual in the industry – has been remarkably positive for Ferrara Arte.
Over several years, Allegrini has sought to distinguish and characterize its company profile by supporting Italian and international cultural institutions with discretion and impassioned enthusiasm. This is the key to understanding its interweaving of relations with the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice and the numerous intellectuals from various sectors and with varying interests who have been invited to participate in events and debates at Villa Della Torre. The Villa is a Renaissance masterpiece designed by Giulio Romano, and the pulsating heart of Allegrini’s activities. It is also the cornerstone of Allegrini’s passion for Art and the context in which the Allegrini Award ‘L’Arte di mostrare l’Arte’ was conceived.
Previous editions of the Allegrini prize have recognized the curators of the following exhibitions: Davide Gasparotto, Adolfo Tura and Guido Beltramini for ‘Pietro Bembo e l’invenzione del Rinascimento’, Paola Marini and Bernard Aikema for ‘Paolo Veronese: l’illusione della realtà’, Salvatore Settis, Rem Koolhaas and Fondazione Prada for ‘Serial/Portable Classic’, and Luca Massimo Barbero for ‘Da Kandinsky a Pollock. La grande arte dei Guggenheim’.