Sunday 25 February 2024
at 5:00 pm – Gottarelli Foundation Hall - "I colori ...

> read more

Wednesday 13 March 2024
at 9:00 pm – Gottarelli Foundation Hall – “Imola Medals: ...

> read more

Who We Are

The "Tonino Gottarelli Study Center Foundation", which was founded in 2002, is a rare example of a foundation set up by a living painter.

The purposes of this non-profit foundation are to preserve the legacy of Tonino Gottarelli; to spread knowledge of his work through shows and exhibitions; to take care of photos and documents in the collection as well as general sources concerning the painter’s life and his artistic career; to establish study grants or awards so as to stimulate the study of 20th century art in addition to Gottarelli himself and to develop partnerships with local and central bodies and cultural institutions.

On November 11th 2006 the Foundation moved to its current location (at number 13, Via Caterina Sforza) in lmola, with the purpose of creating a meeting place for artists, where they can reflect and discuss art; a starting point from where to take a wider view of the art world and society as a whole, based on the experience of Tonino Gottarelli.

Consequently, the aim of the Foundation is not only to promote the work of the lmola maestro, but also to collaborate with the Town Council of Imola and other groups, starting with the Open University, in order to organize shows, events and meetings that promote art and culture in general.

These objectives complement one another and are closely connected; so their achievement depends on the harmonious, contextual and integrated development of all these activities as a whole.

We believe that art has recognized and foreseen what is a positive aspect of the present age, within which value comes not only from a single identity but also from the synthesis of the whole. In this process art does not lose any of its symbolic meaning, on the contrary it is amplified.

So the Foundation offers to maintain the modernity of thought, with care and sensitivity, while in the company of art and culture too.

In brief, these are the aims of the Tonino Gottarelli Study Center Foundation, as set out in the statute, which gives precedence to public benefit in the name of art and culture.


        The President
            Guido Soglia

In the true spirit of the human and artistic side of its founder, with his generosity and concern for the future, the Gottarelli Foundation intends to pursue the path traced by the Imola artist in strengthening the love of culture, fostering dialogue between the arts, preserving the values on which belonging and identity are based, working concretely to spread awareness of Gottarelli’s work and thus opening new horizons, showing the sheer dimension of the thirst for knowledge that is still urgent and deserves to be quenched. In an age like ours, with its problems and constant changes, culture can offer the community intellectual and human resources that provide reassurance, by accepting or challenging the present time, proposing a new kind of "humanism", which may become the distinctive character and function of the Foundation in contemporary life.

Art and its meaning today appear to have a direct relationship with what we call the legacy and testimony of the past and define the best perspective from which to view the future. Intercultural and intergenerational dialogue represent an equally important perspective for the Foundation, whose sensitivity finds a new, dynamic and harmonious reference point here, since they constitute the best guarantee of sensitive, caring and effective growth.

Imola Town Council and the local Open University together represent the natural cultural and institutional references and supporters of the Gottarelli Foundation, and guarantee the quality and authority of the initiatives that are the lifeblood of proposals and cultural events it intends to offer to the public and to scholars, always in harmony with the statutory guidelines that rule the Foundation, in full correspondence with the will of its founder.

The Foundation is convinced that its existence and activities must be able to listen and dialogue with other institutions, with the same principles and objectives, so it is open to the possibility of establishing a fruitful collaboration with them.

Our Seat

The Tonino Gottarelli Study Center Foundation is located in the SS. Annunziata complex, which is one of the oldest and most important archaeological sites in the town center of Imola, next to the Sforza fortress.

The main building dates back to 1590 when Faustina Machirelli, widow of Ottaviano Carradori, chose to turn her own house into a nunnery for Capuchin Sisters following the rules of Saint Claire.

Within a few years the nunnery took over the buildings and gardens of the whole block situated between Via delle Cappuccine (this road is named after the Nunnery), Vicolo Santa Apollonia, the areas next to the Sforza fortress and the town walls. The nunnery area was then enclosed by a high wall to ensure the closed order of the nuns. In 1635 the external church was consecrated by Bishop Millini in the name of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin. It was the work of Beligazzi and included a covered vault and three altars. An internal church was later built next to it for the nuns’ use only.

During the 17th century extensive work was carried out on the convent in order to adapt it to the increasing number of nuns (starting with 12 and growing to over 40). Evidence of this can be seen in the lists of the rooms and their functions, taken from the written records of pastoral visits.

In 1694 they began to renovate the internal church so as to eliminate the damp, according to Cardinal Legate Francesco Barberini’s directions, but only in 1762 did Bishop Bandi allow the nuns’ chancel to be modified, as stated on a plaque that is still in place. This work was assigned to Cosimo Morelli after his father Domenico had served as taskmaster to the nunnery for more than 40 years.

From 1745 to the end of the century (the nunnery was closed in 1805) much modernization work was carried according to plans by the architect Domenico Trifogli. This included a new staircase, a new dormitory, the closure of the arcades and so on.

After renovation in 1823, the convent was adapted for its first new use as the academy of music for pupils attending the San Giuseppe hospice for underprivileged girls, who were given a basic education and taught a job.

The hospice became the IPAB Girls’ Orphanage of Imola soon after the Unification of Italy and the reformation of charitable institutions in 1890.

In 1905 the "Regina Elena" public vocational school for girls was established on the site and the engineer Felice Orsini was in charge of several improvements to the south-facing side of the building as well as the construction of an inside staircase so as to separate the upstairs and downstairs school rooms from the living area.

Some further work was carried out starting from 1970, when the orphanage was closed and the rooms taken over by a public school.

The building has an imposing façade featuring its exposed bricks and Tuscan-style roof, with clear evidence of changes to the entrances along Via Fratelli Bandiera. The church front shows doric and ionic pilasters and frames and there are wall decorations all along the side of the building by Vicolo Santa Apollonia, which unlike the façade shows a compact and precise structure, ending with a short eave frame made of molded bricks.

The southern end and all the other internal and external walls are plastered, they have large, well spaced and aligned windows, quite clearly the result of Orsini’s modernization. Inside, unlike the rooms that belonged to the original building (covered by lunette vaults) the remaining flats downstairs have "barrel vault", covers or cloister vault covers, evidence of the 18th and 19th century remodeling.

Various restoration projects and structural renovations have been carried out in recent years, including work on the SS Annunziata Church (now deconsecrated and adapted for use as and exhibition and convention space). The complex now belongs to the United Institutions of Imola and is increasingly a "bastion of culture" because it houses many of the town’s cultural institutions, which besides the Tonino Gottarelli Study Center Foundation include the Municipal School of Music, the Distance Learning University, the Town Band and many other groups.