The decision to publish on-line the two collections belonging to the Monte dei Paschi Foundation arises from the desire to acquaint the public with the works in the Foundation’s art collection and the Malandrini photo archive and to make the images and information available for use.
The Collection of Art Works is a project initiated in 2004 for the purpose of bringing back to Siena the art works and objects important for the history of art in the territory of Siena which have been dispersed over the centuries. The initiative is led by a special Art Works Commission set up by the Monte dei Paschi Foundation in collaboration with specialists in the field, which has focused its efforts on two primary objectives: the creation of a collection of masterpieces assignable to the Sienese school between the thirteenth and eighteenth centuries, and the acquisition of a selection of works testifying to the cultural wealth and production in the Siena area from the nineteenth to the first half of the twentieth century. To date, 57 pieces have been acquired for the collection.
The Malandrini Collection of Sienese Photography was put together starting in 1975 by Ferruccio Malandrini who, with deep feeling and attention, has gathered together images and documents concerning Siena and the surrounding area, dated from 1853 to 1950. Malandrini is a professional photographer and a lover of photography, a passionate expert on historic photographs on a national and international level. The collection is divided into 135 units. These units correspond to Malandrini’s categories based on core themes, provenance, technique, and historical characteristics. The units, labeled “series,” heterogeneous in quantity and quality, are made up of 11,389 works and complex documentary material. The cataloguing of this collection has respected the archive’s original order, bearing witness to the activity of the person who created and safeguarded it, and at the same time as a fundamental connection between the history of photography, the history of collecting, and the identity of this area. The wealth of information contained in the works has been integrated with research carried out during the cataloguing process and enriched by the meticulous organization of the digitalized collection in order to make it easy to use and consult.