Are you passionate collectors of figurines? Then you absolutely must visit the famous Figurine Museum in Modena, which was born out of the passionate collecting work of Giuseppe Panini, founder in 1961 of the company of the same name and creator of the renewal of the figurine in a modern sense. Inaugurated on December 15, 2006 at its current location in Palazzo Santa Margherita, the museum collects hundreds of thousands of small color prints, donated in 1992 by Giuseppe Panini and his company to the City of Modena, through which it is possible to trace the history, customs, sports and passions of the last 150 years. The museum, unique in quantity and quality given the rarity of many specimens, represents a true point of reference for scholars and research in this specific field.

Born in the second half of the nineteenth century in Paris thanks to the new chromolithographic technique, figurines were initially linked to advertising and to the names of firms such as Liebig, Suchard, and Perugina-Buitoni, until the turning point brought about by the Panini brothers, when the figurine changed its status from dependence on commercial products to an autonomous medium. Particularly recommended for families with children, the museum brings together alongside the figurines proper, materials that are related in technique and function: small antique prints, matchboxes, letter closing stamps, paper money, menus, calendars, albums and many other materials.

After passing through an atmospheric “tunnel of wonders,” one enters the exhibition hall, which is divided into 6 major thematic sections, joined twice a year by themed exhibitions devoted to ever-changing topics: from science fiction to advertising, from astrological myths to biodiversity. The 6 sections are: The antecedents, which presents period engravings, original plates and reproductions of a series of printed images that influenced the iconography of figurines; Chromolithography, dedicated precisely to the invention of chromolithography, a printing method that revolutionized the world of graphic arts; The birth and diffusion, from the French debut in the second half of the 19th century to the Italian adventure of prize competitions in the 1930s; The Liebig; with the historical collection of the company that more than any other has linked its name to printed cards; Not Just Figurines; where cigarette cards, calendars, letter-sealing stamps, menus, place cards, hotel labels and other minor collections are brought together; and The Modern Figurine, where sports cards and albums from after World War II can be seen.

The museum is open daily except Mondays and Tuesdays with free admission. Workshops and activities for children are offered during temporary exhibitions.

For more information visit the official website of the Figurine Museum.

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