The library of the Fondazione Merz specialises in the history and criticism of modern and contemporary art and is flanked by the Archivio Merz. Library and archive are aimed at an audience of specialists, researchers and students, making available around 8,000 volumes, periodicals, and leaflets.
The holdings of the Archive comprise texts concerning the work of Mario and Marisa Merz.
Established in 2007 on the basis of texts already belonging to Mario and Marisa Merz and thanks to the donation of the Marcello Levi collection, the library opened to the public on 27 March 2008 and has expanded through donations, bibliographic exchanges – implemented in collaboration with approximately a hundred libraries belonging to Italian, European and worldwide institutions and museums – and other acquisitions.
The bibliographical collection consists principally of the Marcello Levi holdings (1922-2014). One of the greatest collectors of works of art in Italy, he was among the first collectors of works by the Turinese artists of the Arte Povera movement. In the 1960s, he contributed to the creation of the Deposito d’Arte Presente, a space for the production and display of new art of Turin, but also dedicated to experimentation in the field of visual arts, music and theatre. He was also secretary of the Associazione Torinese degli Amici dell’Arte contemporanea.
This important donation consists of about 4000 volumes belonging to his private library: texts of art history, in particular modern and contemporary, catalogues of personal and collective exhibitions, periodicals. There are also a large number of other printed items, in particular invitations to exhibitions from the 1960s to the 1970s. There are also some dozens of artist’s books, rare books or with dedications by the artists to Marcello and the Levi family.
Since 2016, the Fondazione Merz has expanded to include two other important book collections, which are now being catalogued, and added to the open-stack collection:
Sergio Ariotti collection: the donation consists of volumes of art history, essays, catalogues of personal and group exhibitions, especially in Turin and Piedmont.
Sergio Ariotti, theatrical and television director, RAI journalist, a live-music scholar, a fan of contemporary art, is the founder and artistic director of the Festival delle Colline Torinesi. Since 2000, he has taught the history and criticism of cinema at the Università del Piemonte Orientale Amedeo Avogadro in Vercelli. He works with the Applausi future of Rai 1 TV and Chi è di scena on RAI’s TG3. He is the author of some publications on theatre, cinema and contemporary art.
Lorenza Bravetta collection: this is a holding consisting of photographic volumes, catalogues of Magnum Photos, texts about some of the greatest photographers in history, monographs and exhibition catalogues from Italy and around the world.
Lorenza Bravetta is advisor to the Cultural Minister Dario Franceschini for the promotion of the national photographic heritage at the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism, with the task of exploring themes concerning the protection and promotion of Italian photography, in dialogue with other International experiences. He created, started and, from January 2015 to September 2016, directed CAMERA – Centro Italiano per la Fotografia. From 2011 to 2014, Lorenza Bravetta was Director of Magnum Photos for Continental Europe.
Readers may consult the volumes arranged on open bookshelves, carry out bibliographic research and consult on-line catalogues from the multimedia stations available. It is possible to make photocopies and scans for study, research and teaching activities (according to L.S. 248/2000 regarding the reproduction of works). External loans are not permitted.
The library is open from Tuesday to Friday and every first Saturday of the month, from 2 to 6 pm.
In accordance with that established by the competent authorities to contain the coronavirus (COVID-19), the library will be closed to the public until further notice.
For specific research needs please call or write to firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: + 39.011.19719437
Librarian: Nadia Zito