The City-Luogo Pio Museum of Contemporary Art, opened in 2018, is housed in the former Baroque church of Luogo Pio and adjacent spaces, a full section dedicated to contemporary art, with some of the most significant works from Livorno’s civic collections. Il Grande Rettile by Pino Pascali, La corsa di Alma by Emilio Isgrò and works by fundamental artists from the second half of the twentieth century, including Gianfranco Baruchello, Mario Castellani, Piero Manzoni, Fausto Melotti, Mario Nigro, Tancredi Parmeggiani, Mario Schifano, Mino Trafeli, Giuseppe Uncini...
While Livorno gained its placed in the history of art with Giovanni Fattori, the leader of the Macchiaioli school and to whom a museum at Villa Mimbelli is dedicated, attention on contemporary art blossomed in the period after World War II, after the destruction by bombing, when Livorno started to reorganise its own cultural institutions. The idea was born to open a new museum of contemporary art and several works were purchased during the Casa della Cultura exhibitions (since 1951), and during the eight editions of the Premio Modigliani (1955-1967). The project for the new museum became a reality in 1974, with the Progressive Museum of Contemporary Art, thanks to the intervention of a prestigious scientific committee that purchased the works of many artists present on the Italian scene at a symbolic price and for some years, thematic exhibitions were ordered, together with conferences and other initiatives aimed at recording progress in the artistic search.
The Progressive Museum closed in 1989, which meant a sudden halt to this plan for a visual update.
However, today, the civic collection of contemporary art is once again on show in the new spaces in Luogo Pio, a path that wishes to be a renewed starting point. As part of this logic, a series of inaugurations were in progress in 2019 which enriched the exhibition, with site-specific works that communicated with the permanent exhibition.