Perhaps not a lot of people know that, in the eminent Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, in the old Max Mara’s building, besides the rich collection of Italian and European post-war art, there is also a library and a small but important archive.

The library, constantly updated thanks to a serious activity of acquisition, holds the greatest contributions about the artists present in the collection but also a good selection of the main contemporary art magazines published from the Fifties until today.

The archive – who holds more than 5000 documents like letters, artists’ books, photographs and various items that belonged to the collector Achille Maramotti and his colleague Mario Diacono – is for the main part, already available online.

Collezione Maramotti, Exhibition view, open space 2nd floor, artworks by: Erick Swenson, Barry X Ball, Tom Sachs, Mark Manders, Kiki Smith Ph. C. Carlo Vannini, Courtesy Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia

Collezione Maramotti, Exhibition view, open space 2nd floor, artworks by: Erick Swenson, Barry X Ball, Tom Sachs, Mark Manders, Kiki Smith Ph. C. Carlo Vannini, Courtesy Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia

Fosca Ugoletti, the archive’s supervisor states that “the archive, like the library, have been created together with the collection and they are both strictly linked to the artists we display”. They are both open, library and archive, to the public on appointment, for students and researchers who are looking for information about these artists and about their art works.

The foundation’s director, Marina Dacci, gladly gives us some information about this hidden section of the collection. She tells us about the fruition policy: there is no entrance fee, but the collection can be visited only by appointment and with the presence of a museum operator, who is not only experienced on the archive and the library’s holdings, but also ready to give us a 360° vision of the collection. This is the reason why, even if the records are available online, the foundation follows a policy of closing and prefers to abstain from sharing its material with other institutions. Concerning the online sharing “ We are not willing to put everything online: our material is organized in respect of the collection’s history. The way we collect and organize documents is absolutely decided internally and the fruition is always mediated”.

Collezione Maramotti, Exhibition view, artworks by: Enzo Cucchi, Mimmo Paladino, Ph. C. Dario Lasagni, courtesy Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia

Collezione Maramotti, Exhibition view, artworks by: Enzo Cucchi, Mimmo Paladino, Ph. C. Dario Lasagni, courtesy Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia

The policy of sharing is strictly regulated: “ We use a software that is not made for sharing information with other online catalogues. For us it is not simply the book that we put on the internet, it is the book linked to the documents, to the artworks and to the artists. The register system interconnects archive and library’s documents and it is created to be used internally only”.
It is very interesting to see how the archive is constantly updated. The Collezione Maramotti operators do their best in preserving every remarkable document about an artwork or the artist’s poetics. They also print e-mails of living artists, because: “ It’s essential to conserving documents about the artists’ philosophy who collaborated with the foundation for some projects , because in the future they will become an historical archive”, the director states. A very good example of conservation and protection of contemporary art in anticipation for the future.

This post is also available in: Italian