The Museum is located on the ground floor of the prestigious Palazzo dei Bargellini, designed by the architect Bartolomeo Provaglia. Construction began in 1638 and saw the intervention of other Bolognese sculptors such as Gabriele Brunelli and Francesco Agnesini who worked together on the façade (1658). The sumptuous staircase dates back to the first half of the following century (1730), and may have been designed by Carlo Francesco Dotti. After the Bargellini Family line died out in 1839, the palace was purchased by some members of Davia Family, another illustrious Bolognese family who lived there until 1874. The Museum opened in 1924 and it is still organised as it was from the beginning by Francesco Malaguzzi Valeri, City Supervisor of the Fine Arts. It includes two collections, the Quadreria Davia Bargellini (Davia Bargellini collection of canvasses) and Raccolte d'Arte Industriale (Collections of Industrial Art). It was designed to resemble a true 18th-century furnished apartment.
Davia Bargellini Collection The Davia Bargellini collection is one of the few surviving examples of Bolognese historic art collecting. Along with the gallery of portraits of some of the most illustrious members of the Bargellini family (by Bartolomeo Passerotti, Prospero and Lavinia Fontana), there are also other large works painted by Marcantonio Franceschini at the beginning of the 18th century (Venus, Adonis, Bacchus), still stretched in their elaborate frames. There are also paintings by Bartolomeo Cesi and Alessandro Tiarini, along with other works dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries such as La Madonna dei Denti by Vitale da Bologna, Pietà con Giovanni da Elthinl by Simone dei Crocefissi (1368) and Madonna col Bambino by Cristoforo da Bologna.
Collection of Industrial Art The collections of applied arts (or industrial art as Malaguzzi Valeri called it in the 19th century) derive from different places and periods. They are mainly works of art acquired by antique trade markets or private citizens around 1920 (the collection of wrought-iron objects), and others given to the Museum by the Bolognese Opere Pie (the chasubles of the 17th and 18th centuries) or by the Municipality of Bologna (the late 18th century carriage). There are also samples of Bolognese sculpture spanning the period from the 16th to 19th centuries (by Onofri, Mazza, Piò, Tandolini), as well as Renaissance ceramics and Bolognese furnishings and woodwork of the Baroque period. A marionette theatre and an 18th century model of a furnished building are also exhibited.
guided tours, educational services, bookshop. Guided tours for schools are available by appointment during the school year. Info: Educational Department tel. +39 051 2193922 - Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9am to 1pm and +39 051 2193933 - Tuesday and Thursday from 1pm to 5pm or firstname.lastname@example.org
The museum rooms allow good ability to move and rest. Before the entrance door there are two consecutive steps measuring 17 and 12 cm high, without handrails. At the ticket office it is possible to request a mobile ramp, which, once installed, has a slope of approximately 15%. The intercom is at a height of 130 cm. Currently there are no public restrooms.
The museum is situated entirely on the ground floor. Orientation is possible with the help of maps in each of the rooms. Each map is printed front and back, and for each of the four walls it indicates, marked with letters, the name of the numbered works on display. Not all works are included and some have been moved. An autonomous visit may be difficult due to the brief description of what is present in the hall and its origin. The visibility of some works from the permanent collection may be limited in case of temporary exhibitions. In some rooms there are explanatory panels that are not always easy to read.
The items are mainly preserved under glass, but with the assistance of museum educational staff it is possible to explore some of them tactilely. Operators show great commitment to compensate for the lack of specific training in working with the visually impaired. There are no explanatory materials in Braille or in large print and captions are difficult to read for visually impaired visitors.