Located on Lugano's lakeside in the historic Villa Malpensata, the MUSEC - Lugano’s Museum of Cultures - offers a rich program of exhibitions and events dedicated to ethnic and oriental arts, photography, modern and contemporary art. The "Spazio Maraini" is entirely dedicated to historical and contemporary photography. The "Spazio Mostre" hosts major exhibitions on two floors, whereas the "Spazio Cielo" allows you to discover new collections or contemporary artists. In addition, the "Spazio Tesoro" (with free admission) presents highlights from the numerous permanent collections.


MUSEC preserves masterpieces of southern seas ethnic art, donated by Swiss artist Serge Brignoni to the City of Lugano. Over the years, numerous other prestigious collections have been added, including one of the most important collections in the world of hand-painted Japanese photographs from the late 19th century.

The activities of MUSEC

The museum is an important centre of research on the anthropology of art; a multidisciplinary structure that is able to meet the demands not only of the academic audience, but also of those visitors eager to learn about art movements far away from the Western ones. Hosting a rich permanent collection, constantly in expansion, and different funds, it is also home to a well equipped library open to the public and a fully digitized archive, rich in iconographic, photographic, video and sound contents.

Research and development constitute the engine of the museum and act as an organic interconnection tool of the general system. The research activities are devoted to art anthropology subjects and are made on the field, as well as through the historical and critical studies, with a particular interest in defining multidisciplinary operating models. The development activity is related to museology, museography and disciplines related to conservation and restoration.

These activities are supported by the presence of a well equipped library and an archive, specializing in particular on cultural issues of anthropology, anthropology of art and architecture, ethnic arts, the primitivism of museology.

The results of the research take shape in the rooms of the museum and offer each visitor a cultural and at the same time artistic perspective.
For the exhibition calendar see the website of MUSEC.


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