What is the MAMT?

The Museum of Modern Art was founded by the Provincial Council of Tarragona in 1976 to promote the study and knowledge of modern and contemporary art, as well as to preserve, display and share its artistic heritage

The MAMT

The Museum of Modern Art was founded by the Provincial Council of Tarragona in 1976 to promote the study and knowledge of modern and contemporary art, as well as to preserve, display and share its artistic heritage

To this end, MAMT was set up in the old quarter of Tarragona with a library, a documentation centre and a photographic archive.

The building that houses the museum is the result of joining three 18th century houses. It was renovated by the architect Jaume Mutlló and the building as we know it today, fully equipped and restored, was opened to the public in 1991.

In 2008 the Museum of Modern Art updated its permanent display with a new museological project that adds an important didactic dimension to the presentation of the collections.

To bring art closer to a younger audience, the Museum of Modern Art Education Service provides guided tours for school parties by appointment. The Education Service extends the range of its services every year in an attempt to involve the teaching community in transmitting knowledge about modern and contemporary art.

 

 

 

 

History

In 1976, the Diputació de Tarragona founded the Museum of Modern Art in order to conserve and exhibit the Institution’s artistic heritage. In fact, the collections of the Diputació began in the early 1960s, when it acquired from the brothers of the sculptor Julio Antonio all the works of the artist in their possession

From this moment on, under the advice of the Director of the Tarragona School of Art, Lluís M. Saumells, collections of the works of the sculptors Santiago Costa i Vaqué and Salvador Martorell i Ollé, and the collections of paintings of Josep Sancho i Piqué, were purchased.

Also, since 1943, initially on an annual basis and then every two years, the Diputació has awarded the Julio Antonio sculpture prize and the Josep Tapiró painting prize, maintaining ownership rights over the prize-winning works.

In fact, the Diputació of Tarragona conserved a considerable amount of artistic heritage that could not be accessed by the general public.

Since 1976, following the transfer of the School of Art from its former premises in Carrer de Santa Anna to the new site at Sant Pere Sescelades, it has occupied part of Casa Martí, which previously housed the aforementioned School.

The building. Casa Martí

In its current state, this building is the result of the merger of three former houses in the old quarter of the city. The first had been owned by the Sants Reis Jesuit College of Tarragona. In the 19th century, the grandson of Martí i Gatell, Gaietà Martí i Veciana, bought the two adjoining houses and immediately extended and restored the original residence. In 1983, the Diputació acquired the building in Carrer Santa Anna, and two years later the architect Jaume Mutlló i Pàmies was commissioned to redesign the building. The Museum reopened in 1991.

In its current state, this building is the result of the merger of three former houses in the old quarter of the city. The first had been owned by the Sants Reis Jesuit College of Tarragona. Seized from the Order by the Crown following the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767, in 1772 it was purchased by Antoni Martí from the Municipal Body responsible for selling the assets of the Jesuits in Tarragona. After reforming it, the new owner made it his residence in 1781. The house was also lived in by the illustrious scientist from Altafulla, Antoni Martí i Franquès, the son of Martí i Gatell, who lived in our city from 1798 until his death in 1832. In the 19th century, the grandson of Martí i Gatell, Gaietà Martí i Veciana, bought the two adjoining houses and immediately extended and restored the original residence.

In 1951 the School of Art of the Diputació de Tarragona was established at Casa Martí, where it remained until moving to its present location at Sant Pere Sescelades, in 1976.

In 1976, in order to make use of the space offered by the house, work began on creating a new Museum for the city. First of all, it was necessary to make an inventory of everything in their possession, select the most interesting items and exhibit them.

Owing to a shortage of space, the area dedicated to permanent exhibition was small; in spite of this, a series of temporary exhibitions were held, which increasingly helped attract visitors to the Museum. 

In 1983, the Diputació acquired the building in Carrer Santa Anna, and two years later the architect Jaume Mutlló i Pàmies was commissioned to redesign the building.  The Museum reopened in 1991.

In 2008 the Museum of Modern Art updated its permanent display with a new museological project that adds an important didactic dimension to the presentation of the collections.