Venice just got a brand-new photography museum on a historic island and is just a hop, skip and a vaporetto ride from St Mark’s Square.
Venice is already bursting at the seams with museums and cultural events, and now Italy’s city on the water has a brand new addition to its art scene. It’s called Le Stanze della Fotografia, and you’ll need to take a ride on the vaporetto, Venice’s public waterbus, to see it.
The new temple to photography opened on March 29 in a historical building on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, just opposite St Mark’s Square. To get to Le Stanze, you’ll need to head to the San Zaccaria vaporetto stop B, where boats leave regularly for Giudecca island, and take the red line 2 across the water.
The museum is built across two floors in a former customs warehouse that was turned into a boarding school in the ’50s. Since then, major restoration work has opened up the space, uncovering its high vaulted ceilings and exposing two large windows, giving visitors a breathtaking view of the lagoon. Thanks to architects and set designers from Venice’s famous theatre Teatro Fenice, the gallery uses moving set pieces to adapt the space to different exhibition layouts.
The inaugural exhibition at the new space is a retrospective of the Italian photographer Ugo Mulas, starting with his end-of-career experimental work then taking visitors through his extensive catalogue, from his portraits of major artists of the twentieth century and journalistic work covering the Venice Biennale to fashion shots for publications like Vogue.
A large exhibition showcasing the work of photographer Paolo Pellegrin will follow in the autumn, displaying his photojournalism covering conflicts and the ravages of climate change. And spring 2024 will bring a blockbuster retrospective of Helmut Newton to the island, to mark a hundred years since the risqué German fashion photographer was born.
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