NEXT MUSEUMS AND CONTEMPORARY ART︎︎︎

Chiara Nenci



Professor of Museology and Contemporary cultural heritage, coordinator of the School of Cultural Heritage.
Full Professor of Cultural and Environmental Heritage at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan (Italy), where she currently teaches Contemporary Cultural Heritage, Museology and History of Collecting, Communication and Valorization of Museum Collections. Since 2003 she is Conservator of the Painting Collection of the Accademia di Brera, where she is responsible for the management, cataloguing, conservation and valorization of the works (600 paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries). She has coordinated several research projects in the field of 19th century figurative arts and cultural heritage, with a particular focus on the Italian and Lombard archives. She has been manager of funded cataloguing projects of artistic collections for Regione Lombardia (Cultural Heritage Sector) and Mibact. Since 2008 she is the referent for the Accademia di Brera as part of the "Museum Network of 19th century Lombardy" (rete800lombardo). Since 2019 she is member of the Scientific Committee of the “Cesare Lombroso” Museum of Criminal Anthropology (University of Turin museum network), with which she has been collaborating since 2017 on projects to catalogue and study the materials in the Museum's Historical Archive.

Fellowship and Research project management
  • 1998-1999 CNR-Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (National Research Council), Cultural Heritage Project, Fellowship. Title: “Il tirocinio artistico nella prima metà dell’Ottocento attraverso le raccolte didattiche di Brera: gessi, stampe, disegni, libri, fotografie” (Arts apprenticeship in the first half of the 19th century through Brera's didactic collections: plaster casts, prints, drawings, books, photographs). The research focused on materials from Brera's historical collections (paintings, drawings, prints, plaster casts, books) and their cataloguing into a specifically devised computer system. The research results were made public through conference presentations and scientific publications.
  • 1999-2000 Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche. Cultural Heritage Project, Fellowship. Title: “Giardini da leggere. Le raccolte naturalistiche, la biblioteca e il giardino storico di Ercole Silva a Cinisello”. (Gardens to read. The natural history collections, the library and the historic garden of Ercole Silva in Cinisello) The research resulted in the new edition of the treatise by E. Silva, Dell’arte dei giardini inglesi (Olschki editore, Firenze 2002,edited by C. Nenci, G.Guerci, L. Scazzosi).
  • 2000-2001 Funded research, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche/Young Researchers Project, Scientific Responsible. Title: “Grandi e felici furono gli antichissimi tirreni, i Greci e i Romani…”: l’esempio dell’antico nell’educazione all’arte e al bene pubblico nella Milano napoleonica. Dalla formazione accademica alle professioni. (The ancient Tyrians, Greeks and Romans were great and happy …: the role of antiquity in education for art and public good in Napoleonic Milan. From academic training to the professional sector). Subject of the study: the pensionnaires of the Brera Academy in Rome in the 19th century.

Scientific tutoring of funded projects in cultural heritage
  • 2008 Scientific project head and coordinator of the historical sources indexing project “Le Esposizioni di Belle Arti a Milano 1805-1881” ︎︎︎rete800lombardo.net/fonti
  • 2009-2010 Scientific project responsible and coordinator of the digital cataloguing of the Accademia di Brera paintings (18th-19th centuries), funded by Regione Lombardia
  • 2010-2011 Scientific project  responsible  and coordinator of experimental cataloguing “Scheda conservativa SirBec. Opere pittoriche” funded by Regione Lombardia
  • 2011 Scientific project responsible and coordinator of “Gestione e valorizzazione del patrimonio artistico camerale”: cataloguing of the contemporary art works owned by Camera di Commercio di Milano, funded by Centro per la Cultura d’Impresa di Milano.
  • 2012 Scientific project responsible of the digital cataloguing of the corpus of drawings by Giuseppe Bossi of Accademia di Brera (Album Borromeo, 19th century) for Mibact
  • 2017- today Project manager for Accademia di Brera for the agreement with the Museum System of the University of Turin. Seminars of the study, cataloguing and valorization of the artistic works of the "rather mad” people of the XIX-XX centuries of the Historical Archive of the Museum of Criminal Anthropology "Cesare Lombroso". 

Workshop and event organization focused on cultural heritage
  • 2004 “Musei in attesa. I patrimoni delle Accademie di Belle Arti”, International Congress, Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Soprintendenza ai Beni Storicoartistici di Milano, Ecole des Beaux Arts, Paris; Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid; Akademie der Bildenden Kunst, Vienna.  Organized by C. Nenci, F. Valli.
  • 2011 “Laboratorio dell’arte ininterrotto. I luoghi e le opere“, MIBACT, XVIII° 18th Culture Week. Accademia di belle arti di Brera. Presentation of the restoration of the drawing by Giuseppe Bossi I dannati from the Giudizio Finale di Michelangelo, organized by C. Nenci
  • 2012 “Le Raccolte storiche di Brera in mostra.” Giornate FAI di primavera, Accademia di Brera
  • 2016 “Per Busto ed il suo carcere austriaco. Primo incontro per un osservatorio sulla prison culture in Italia: esperienze di riutilizzo a confronto” Study Day organized by C. Nenci, R. Pizzoli
  • 2017 “Il patrimonio di Brera.” Giornate FAI di primavera, Accademia di Brera
  • 2018 “Il ritorno in Accademia di un grande quadro per Napoleone” Study Day developed by A. Mariani, C. Nenci as part of the MiBACT events "2018: European Year of Cultural Heritage".

Academic engagements
  • Since 2019 she is Coordinator of the two-year Master’s Degree in Creative Communication for Cultural Heritage of the School of Communication and Valorization of the Artistic Heritage. 
    Cultural heritage assignments
    Since 2003 she is keeper of the painting collection of the Accademia di Brera, where she is responsible for the management, cataloguing, conservation and valorization of the collection of the 600 paintings of the XVIII and XIX centuries.

Curatorship and participation in scientific committees for art exhibitions 
  • 2010 C. Nenci, Il paesaggio ideale della tradizione classica. I pittori lombardi a Roma, exhibition section and essay available on catalogue Il paesaggio dell’Ottocento a Villa Reale. Le raccolte dei musei lombardi tra Neoclassicismo e Simbolismo, edited by F. Mazzocca
  • 2015 “Francesco Hayez. Il laboratorio di un pittore” (edited by L. Lombardi, C. Nenci, V. Rosa, F. Valli), Milano, Accademia di belle arti di Brera. Exhibition curatorship and essay on catalogue
  • 2016 “Il corpo e le arti. Accademie, disegno, anatomia” (edited by M. Ciampolini, G. De Simone, C. Nenci, P. Ricci). Exhibition curatorship, essay and factsheets on catalogue
  • 2017 “Giuseppe Diotti (1779-1846)”, edited by V. Rosa. Member of the Scientific Committee; essay on catalogue.

Educational activity
  • Professor at Accademia di Brera since 2001, she has also taught at Accademia di Belle Arti di Carrara and at Politecnico di Milano (English-language Master's Degree Course in Architectural Preservation Studio)

Scientific Qualifications
  • Her fields of research cover 19th-century art history, with a focus on the role of European academies in art education, preservation and development of national cultures of the period. In the cultural heritage area, she focuses on the rehabilitation of existing buildings, with special attention to historic buildings and the urban growth of the late 19th century (Project “Piazza dei Mercanti ritrovata”, Centro per la cultura d’impresa, Milano).
  • With a multidisciplinary perspective, she is committed to the valorization of the academic heritage of the 19th century (archives and historical didactic material), a field of study she pursued after her PhD in Art History through a fellowship and research project granted by the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche. She in charge of the restoration projects of the Brera heritage, for which she also handles and oversees the online valorization and the social communication proposals.
  • The subject of 19th century fine art exhibitions and the connection between the artists’ atéliers, patrons and the art production system is a field of exploration that she has been examining not only by means of written contributions and conference presentations, but also through experiences in database creation. In recent years, she has combined her work as a professor and coordinator of the two-year Master’s Degree in Creative Communication for Cultural Heritage with the creation of websites and databases to disseminate cultural heritage to a both specialist and non-specialist audience. ︎︎︎raccoltestorichedibrera.altervista.org.

Experiences abroad (key speeches at conferences, seminars, staff training)
  • 2001 C. Nenci, Materiali per la diffusione del classicismo in Europa fra Sette e Ottocento: i gessi delle collezioni storiche dell’Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, International Conference Science and Technology for the Safeguard of Cultural Heritage in the Mediterranean Basin, Universidad de Alcalà de Henares (Spain)
  • 2018 C. Nenci, Historical Academies and the Future Heritage. The cases of Milan and Carrara between the critical study of materials and audience development, International Symposium The art academy collections - learning from objects , Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • 2018 Staff Training at Centre for Advanced Studies in Master Drawings, National Statens Museum fur Kunst, Copenhagen (Denmark)
  • 2019 C. Nenci, In principio era il tema. Ideali didattici e pratiche di aequa potestas all’Accademia di Brera, seminar, Programa de Doctorado Estudios avanzados en Humanidade, Universidad de Malaga, Facultad de Filosofia y Letras

Editorial commitments
  • 2020 Member of the editorial board of “Wunderkammer” (double blind peer Review)