The Palazzo Comunale and the MOCA

Building on the current Palazzo Comunale began in 1912 and finished several years after the end of World War One and was designed in eclectic style by architect Raffaello Brizzi with the assistance of Engineer Luigi Righetti, then head of the town council’s technical department. The interior – opening out onto a majestic staircase – is enriched by a great many decorations including art deco frescoes and a skylight designed by celebrated Florentine artist Galileo Chini. Since 2012 its ground floor rooms, which were once the site of the Royal Post offices, has hosted M.O.C.A. Montecatini Terme Contemporary Art, an exhibition space dedicated to modern and contemporary art.

The MOCA collection contains masterpieces by twentieth century artists such as Pietro Annigoni whose Vita dominates the entranceway. The first rooms contain work by Antoine Claraz, Salvatore Fiume and Umberto Buscioni while other masterpieces focus on Montecatini town depicted by various artists such as Sigfrido Bartolini, Mino Maccari, Walter Piacesi and Antonio Possenti. The central room contains recently acquired work donated by artists such as Massimo Biagi, Fabio De Poli, Marco Lodola, Sosso, Enrico Visani and Zeb.

The exhibition route reaches its apex in the last room dedicated to Carlos Franqui who organised the May Mirò exhibition event here in 1980 in which work by internationally famous artists such as Arroyo, Rebeyrolle, Cuevas, Tapies, Pignon and Arp was shown together with work by Joan Mirò who donated his Woman Encircled by the Flight of a Bird, the undisputed star of the collection, to the town. The painting is one of the largest works completed by the famous artist who decided to pay tribute to Montecatini with a dedication written in his own hand on the back.

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