Venice’s Museum of Punk – the biggest collection in the world

At the heart of Venice, on Piazza San Marco, the Museum of Punk is home to the largest private collection in the world dedicated to the most subversive genre in music history. Amongst no less than 75,000 pieces – including some 9,000 posters, flyers and artworks – there are coveted memorabilia such as the poster for the first Joy Division concert at Bowdon Vale, which was hand-drawn by a Fine Arts student over a pre-existing landscape. As unique as it is, it is only one of the extraordinary objects on showcase here.

The museum has filled a whole apartment with anything that might have to do with punk, from 1977 to 1979. There are a large number of photographs and books dedicated to bands and live performances, as well as T-shirts such as Vivienne Westwood’s from 1976. The concept behind the museum was to give life to a place that could bring together every aspect of the subject, displaying rare finds that nobody else in the world would have. For example, you can see here – and only here – the original artwork for the cover of the Ramones’ “Rocket to Russia” album, with the logo by Arturo Vega; and thanks to special devices you can listen to acetates, with masters for records that were never launched. Finally, the collection includes a series of posters that were considered extremely avant-garde at the time – featuring fluorescent colors, or the groundbreaking idea of having male names written in pink.

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