Vatican Documents, Architecture Recycle, Ancient Glasses & Sculptures: Not Just Painting on Show in Rome!

Vatican Documents, Architecture Recycle, Ancient Glasses & Sculptures: Not Just Painting on Show in Rome!

Our previous two stories on the best exhibitions in town were about painting and so will the next one – to come out in a few days. But there is not just painting in Rome’s showings! Here is a varied selection of good displays in Rome from all kinds of art and times.


Let’s start with what will probably end out being the exhibit of the year in Rome: Lux in Arcana. If you have been to Rome recently or are planning to visit the city soon, I am sure you’ve heard of it.

It is a display of about a hundred secret documents coming from the Vatican Archives regarding many of the key moments of the history of the Catholic church, major trials and disputes from the 8th century onwards, including Martin Luther, Galileo Galilei and so on. Weirdly, though, it’s not being held at the Vatican but at the Capitoline Museums. Through September 9.


But our favorite showing of 2012 so far is “Recycle, strategies for architecture, city and the planet” at MAXXI, Rome’s best contemporary art museum. This architecture exhibit is a real feast of first-class global creativity. The best practices of re-adapting old buildings into new uses, without destroying and polluting, will really enlighten and surprise you. Case-studies by the best world architects will show how recycling is so much better than building something new from scratch and can lead to unexpectedly original and effective solutions. More than 80 sketches, models, projects on display through May 20 (new, extended date; originally it was April 29).


If your favorite art is not painting, after the architecture exhibit at MAXXI, we couldn’t help talking of a sculpture showing. It’s “Sculture dalle Collezioni Zeri e Santarelli”. 90 artworks – statues, fragments and low reliefs – from two private collections never shown to the public, going from ancient times to the 18th century. The most interesting objects are the coloured marbles and the pieces telling the history of Rome.


A very interesting showing is also the one at the Roman Forum on ancient glasses. 300 pieces – mostly Roman – on loan by other Italian museums, will be on display through September 16. “Glasses in Rome” will show materials, techniques, decorations, uses, the evolution and the expansion of glass objects from rich families to the majority of the population in the Roman Empire.