The Museum of Contemporary Art in Cassino (Camusac, Museo d’arte contemporanea di Cassino) – which opened in October 2013 – is at the foot of the hill on which the ancient abbey of Montecassino was built.
It is interesting to think that this new spot for contemporary art is so close to one of the most important places in European medieval culture – where precious documents in the vernacular, illuminated manuscripts, and incunabula were preserved and passed on for centuries thanks to the Benedictine monks’ hard work and research, and to their writing and miniature schools.
Camusac, like the Montecassino abbey, strives to preserve knowledge and culture: its permanent collection – the fruit of Sergio and Maria Longo’s work and dedication for thirty years – includes works by world-famous artists such as Michelangelo Pistoletto, Beverly Pepper, David Tremlett, Eliseo Mattiacci, Alighiero Boetti, Marco Tirelli, Sol LeWitt, Jannis Kounellis, Mario Merz, Julian Opie, Giovanni Anselmo, and Louise Bourgeois.
Camusac, like the abbey, is also a place of research: the museum’s curators, Tommaso Evangelista and Brunella Longo, have launched an educational initiative to introduce younger generations to contemporary art – from the “tactile workshop” for kindergarteners to guided tours and seminars on arte povera, minimalism, conceptual art, and land art, with in-depth analyses for high school students.
What a perfect example of how tradition and contemporary art can be deeply connected.