The MUSEC - Lugano’s Museum of Cultures - preserves and enhances art collection mainly from the Far East, India, South East Asia and Oceania. Its renovated headquarters, housed in the Villa Malpensata on the shores of Lake Lugano, has a design layout that evolves continuously, and is based on the most modern standards of museology. The museum is an important centre of research on the anthropology of art, and offers the public the option several exhibitions simultaneously. Each of these exhibits, according to their own specific thematic characteristics, is designed to demonstrate the wealth and overall complexity of the museum’s cultural project.
The "Spazio Tesoro" (situated at the entrance and with free admission), whose design layout is updated periodically, hosts the works from the Brignoni Collection, in addition to some of the museum’s other main collections. This stimulating itinerary enables visitors to engage with the themes and works showcased in the museum’s other exhibition spaces, at times anticipating them and, at others, providing invaluable keys to their interpretation which are useful to understand the holistic nature of the museographic project.
The "Spazio Maraini" presents the exhibitions of the cycle "Esovisioni", which is dedicated to travel photography and the theme of exoticism in the work of famous photographers.
The "Spazio Cielo" is entirely consacrated to the expositions of the "Cameredarte" project, that displays both the new acquisitions and the works of collectors who collaborate with the MUSEC, as well as those of artists who have been involved with the museum’s activities over the past few years.
In the "Spazio Mostre", which occupies two floors of the museum, are displayed in rotation the cycles "Altrarti" and “OrientArt”. The first one is a section dedicated to different genres of ethnic arts; whereas the second one deals with the various forms of derivation and integration between contemporary art and local cultural traditions, from where Asian, African and Oceanic artists have drawn inspiration for their work.
The same "Spazio Mostre" also hosts the exhibitions of the cycle "Ethnopassion", which is dedicated to analysing the role played by tribal, oriental and mainstream arts in developing avant-garde European languages.