Ca’ Pesaro, the most important baroque palace in the city, designed by Baldassare Longhena, has been the seat of Venice City Council’s collection of modern art since 1902. The collection was started in 1897 on the occasional of the city’s second Art Biennale. The main nucleus of the museum’s collections consists of works that won prizes or were acquired in the early decades of the Biennale. These include famous masterpieces, such as Klimt’s Judith II (Salomè, 1909) and Chagall’s Rabbi of Vitebsk (1914-1922).
One of the museum’s strengths is its vast collection of sculptures, including works in wax by Medardo Rosso, donated to the museum by the artist in 1914. Further acquisitions and bequests have endowed the museum with notable works, from Kandinsky to Klee, from Matisse to Moore and Wildt, as well as a rich selection of works by Italian artists and an important cabinet of graphic art.
After the great restoration work of 2002, (a project by Boris Podrecca), since 2009 the exhibition area has been extended to the second monumental piano nobile of the palazzo. On the third floor is the Oriental Art Museum, which can be visited with the same ticket.