We visited Ca Pesaro, a baroque marble palace overlooking the canal which now houses 19th and 20th century collections of painting and sculptures. The palace was built in the second half of the 17th century for the Pesaro family and it was later bequeathed to the city in 1898 as a museum of Modern art. In 1902 the palace was used to host the Modern Art municipal collection during the second Biennale. Between 1908 and 1924, it also was used to host the Bevilacqua La Masa exhibitions, which, in lively contrast with the Venice Biennale, favoured a generation of young artists. The collection was enriched through acquisitions at both the Biennale and aboard as well as by donations. Acquisitions flourished up to WWII when due to the war these diminished significantly.
At the time the museum was divided into two levels where the top floor was used as space for artists’ studio whilst the first floor was dedicated to the exhibiting of the permanent collection.
The palazzo subdued to a few significant renovations from the 1980’s to the last one scheduled for this coming year.
Although the architecture clearly reflects that of a palace, in the 1980’s the interior environment was re designed as to resemble the default typology of the white cube. The walls were cladded with white panels from where the paintings are hung and which, within their thickness, house ductwork which is meant to control both temperature and levels of humidity.
We had the honour of visiting the William Chase exhibition one day prior to the vernissage on the second floor. Here the white cube mania continued, however at times juxtaposed to a warm blue, which the curator through more appropriate. Spot lights in additional to natural lighting from the canal flead the interior space.