“Giovanni Carandente” Library

Address: inside Palazzo Collicola – Piazza Collicola

Opening hours:
Thursday and Friday 10.30-13.00/15.30-19.00
Closed from Saturday to Wednesday
Info: +39 0743/46434 – +39 0743/218801 

For the richness of its funds on modern and contemporary art, the library is unparalleled in the regional landscape. Established through periodical donations by art critic and scholar Giovanni Carandente since the 1980s, it became one of the most interesting collections for the study of contemporary art.

It also contains a multimedia materials, a photographic library, archival funds and works of art donated by Giovanni Carandente and other artists on purpose.


The library, that was opened to the public in 2006, is in the centre of Spoleto, in the ancient Palazzo Collicola, XVIII-century building which also hosts the Carandente Museum. The library has wide and luminous reading halls that can host up to 30 people.


The patrimony consists of 30,000 volumes, divided into collective and personal exhibitions’ catalogues, monographies of Italian and foreign artists, publications pertaining to the various expressions of art, and Italian and foreign magazines, mostly donated by Carandente. It is also enriched by exchanges and donations between and by public and private institutions, and art scholars. Carandente’s last gift included 7,000 volumes about, spanning across literature, theatre, dance, and a rich discographic collection that characterizes such institution as an “author’s library”.

The library also features Giovanni Carandente’s papers on his numberless institutional assignments, testifying to his committment in a number of exhibitions, for the Spoleto Festival of Two Worlds, for the Venice Biennale, for Palazzo Grassi in Venice and for the Lingotto in Turin. Studies for the outfitting of the City Modern Art Gallery (now Museo Carandente) are also present; the gallery would be opened in 2000, in the shape envisaged by the critic. A conspicuous and remarkable part of the library’s collection includes Carandente’s correspondence with famous gallerists and artists, such as the American sculptor Alexander Calder. The Archives also include a collection on the important Spoletan sculptor Leoncillo and the Archives of the Premio Spoleto (1953-1964), a competition which helped establishing the Modern Art Gallery’s initial core of works.

Special funds

The library also features an interesting photographs’ collection, among which there are those dedicated to the 1962 exhibition Sculture nella città and images coming from Federico Zeri’s photographic archives, with whom Carandent used to have a correspondence in the 1990s. Besides rare, often signed publications, the books collection also offers wide sections dedicated to Burri, Calder, Leoncillo, Moore, Marini, Manzù, Picasso, Arnaldo and Giò Pomodoro, XIX- and XX-century Russian art, and other materials used for publications and exhibitions organized by professor Carandente.


Inside the library it is possible to see works of art, the sign of the great affection and consideration that artists such as Victor Pasmore, Nino Franchina, Isamu Noguchi, Sol Lewitt, had for Giovanni Carandente. Other works have been donated on purpose by artists who took part in the Spoleto biennial Libro d’Artista, interpreting the theme of books that become works of art. Important representatives of Visual Poetry a re featured, such as Eugenio Miccini, Mario Nanni, Toni Bellucci, Carlos Franqui and Holton Rower.

The classified book patrimony is traceable online via Opac regionale


  • catalogue and online bibliograhic search
  • bibliographic information on the phone and via e-mail
  • assisted consultation of archives
  • interlibrary loan (depending on the case)
  • it is possible to send fotocopies upon request
  • guided tours
  • tutoring

Access to the library is allowed to all. To consult the archives, it is necessary to have come of age, and to submit an application along with ID card.

Servizio Biblioteche Comunali – Tel. 0743 218801
Palazzo Collicola Arti Visive – Tel. 0743 46434

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