Discover the museum's exhibitions

The permanent exhibition as it used to be exhibited at the Heleneum

The permanent exhibition is located on the first and second floor of the building. The layout of the exhibition is designed as an imaginary geo-cultural journey through the major areas represented in the MCL collections. In every room, visitors can approach and appreciate the works on the basis of the following four themes: the Journey, the Ethnos, an anthropologically relevant Theme and the artistic Style.

Foto gallery

The themes

  • the ''Journey'' to the South Seas and the primitivist “discovery” of ethnic art (from an ethical viewpoint).  At the same time it corresponds to the interior “voyage” taken by European Avant-garde artists  and the actual journey undertaken by the West to the “farthest” East.  The aim of this approach is to highlight the existence of a sort of cultural and stylistic community (koinè) that encompasses the creative expressions of a vast cultural area, and that ranges from Eastern India to Indochina, Southeast Asia, the Hawaiian islands and up to Easter Island;
  • the cultural and social structures which characterized the so-called ''Ethnos'' of our represented artists. Our monographic choice logically focuses on the cultures that are represented by the works in our museum: India, Southeast Asia, Borneo, Asmat, Maprik, the Papuasian Gulf and the Melanesian Island Chain, Sepik, New Ireland and Polynesia;
  • a ''Theme'' of particular anthropological relevance to the worldview of the cultures in question (emic vision);
  • one or more salient characteristics and particularities of the elaborated Style developed by the cultures belonging to different areas within the exhibition.

The Brignoni Collection

The Serge Brignoni collection forms the foundation of the Museo delle Culture.
The genres and geographical origins of the Brignoni collection items are mostly the same as those found in leading European, North American and Australian collections from the first half of the twentieth century. Furthermore, the collection includes almost all of the "items" which were considered as essential by collectors of that time. The majority of works come from the Far East, India, Southeast Asia, Indonesia and Oceania.

Artworks' list