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Museum Gallery of Suzzara Prize

The Civic Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art opened in 1975, and it became a museum in 2002, making more than 800 works available to the public, and the number is continuously expanding through private donations and acquisitions, not to mention from the prize that still runs every two years.

From Prize to Museum. Suzzara Prize was born in 1948. It was made up by Dino Villani, one of the creators of Italian adverts, with the support of the mayor Tebe Mignoni, and the writer and director Cesare Zavattini. The Suzzara Prize immediately stood out due to the composition of its jury, made up of gallery owners, art critics and historians, but also by a labourer, a clerical worker and a farmer, as well as for the nature of its prizes, which often consisted of products that had been grown locally or made by workers, the like of Parmesan, a veal, a colt, wine, a pig, salami, chickens, eggs, etc. The strong symbolic value was found in equating the value of artistic work, which became property of the town council, with that of the local farmers and workers. Villani put all the meaning of the Prize in the brilliant motto “A veal for a painting doesn’t lower the painting, it raises the veal”. The subject from the first exhibition was “Work and workers in art”. Suzzara Prize was the epitome of a surprising and slightly utopian idea that art should be for everyone. Among the artists in the collection: Pizzinato, Guttuso, Zigaina, Birolli, Aligi Sassu. Even during the Sixties, the years of the economic boom, the subjects of work and civic commitment kept characterizing the Prize. The Civic Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art opened in 1975, and it became a museum in 2002, making more than 800 works available to the public, and the number is continuously expanding through private donations and acquisitions, not to mention from the prize that still runs every two years.

Museum Photos.

Museum Photos.

Historical images of the Premio Suzzara.

Dino Villani

Dino Villani (1897-1989) Born in Nogara, he lived many years in Suzzara. Painter, engraver, art critic, collector, writer, above all Villani has been one of the greatest protagonists of the advertising industry in Italy. He moved to Milan in 1933 to work at Modern Office. Shortly afterwards he was hired at Motta, where he worked with Carboni, Sepo, Cassandre. In 1939 he worked for Gi.vi.emme where he launched the contest "5000 lire for a smile", which in the post-war time will become "Miss Italy". He established the Omnia advertising agency and invented numerous competitions, including the "Valentine's Day" for Saiwa and then for Alemagna, the Mother's Day, the Italian Kitchen Academy with" Dishes of Good Memories ". In 1946 he became President of the Italian Association of Advertising Technicians and Artists and appointed Chairman of the Adjudication Advisory Committee. In 1948 he invented the Suzzara Award.