In the historical heart of Naples, the three floors of the 19th-century Palazzo Donnaregina host the Madre Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina: 7,200 m2 of exhibition space, with site-specific installations, as well as works from the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.
The Madre is located in the heart of old Naples, on what is known as the “Via dei Musei,” just a stone’s throw away from the Duomo, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale and the Accademia di Belle Arti (Galleria d’Arte Moderna), where the ancient San Lorenzo district is situated.
The Museum takes its name from the building that hosts it, the Palazzo Donnaregina, which like all the surrounding area owes its name to the Monastery of Santa Maria Donnaregina, founded by the Swabians (13th century) and then expanded and rebuilt in 1325 by Queen Mary of Hungary, wife to Charles II of Anjou. All that remains of the ancient monastic complex is the church of the same name, which overlooks Piazza Donnaregina, built in the Baroque period, and the “old” 14th-century Gothic-style church of Donnaregina, which has previously hosted exhibitions and special events organized by the Museum.
On June 10, 2005 the Madre inaugurated its spaces with the opening of site-specific installations in the rooms on the first floor; between 2005 and 2006 the whole building was completed, and the rooms on the second floor were opened to the public. These rooms host part of the collection, while the rooms on the third floor are used for temporary exhibitions.