Empedocle Restivo Museum of Modern Art (GAM Palermo) & temporary exhibitions

Empedocle Restivo Museum of Modern Art (GAM Palermo) & temporary exhibitions

See the visual arts heritage of the exciting Belle Epoque - when cultural life was flourishing all over Europe and in Palermo...

Atmosphere and charm await you.


Henri Cartier-Bresson. Photographer
Until 02/25/18

The exhibition includes 140 shots of the great master, inviting us to immerse ourselves in his world, to discover the richness of every image, each of them testimony of a conscious, lucidly thoughtful man capturing historical and sociological reality.

When shooting the image that was chosen for this new monographic review, Henri Cartier-Bresson is just 24 years old. He has bought his first Leica just two years ago, but is still looking for his professional future. He is uncertain and tempted by many paths - by painting, by film. "I'm just a nervous guy, and I love painting."... "As far as photography is concerned, I don't understand anything," he said.

Not understanding anything about photography means, among other things, not personally developing his own shots: it is a task he leaves to specialists in the sector. He does not want to make any improvement to the negative, does not want to revise the shots, because the shot must be judged according to the here and now, by the immediate response of the subject. Henri Cartier-Bresson never returns to frame his photographs, he only accepts or discards them.

When speaking of Henri Cartier-Bresson – says Denis Curti, curator of the exhibition in Palermo  –  it is good to keep his biography in mind. His experience in the photographic field is totally merged with his private life. Two episodes say a lot about the character: In 1946 he learns that MOMA in New York intends to dedicate a "posthumous" exhibition to him, believing he died during the war. When he contacts the curators to clarify the situation with immense irony, he dedicates over a year to the preparation of the exhibition, inaugurated in 1947. In the same year he founded, together with Robert Capa, George Rodger, David Seymour, and William Vandivert the famous Magnum Photos agency. In short, Cartier-Bresson is a photographer destined to remain immortal, able to rewrite the vocabulary of modern photography and to influence entire generations of photographers to come.

The exhibition “Henri Cartier-Bresson Photographer” is a selection curated originally by the friend and publisher Robert Delpire and created in collaboration with the foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson, an institution created in 2003. The current layout is curated by Denis Curti and Andrea Holzherr on behalf of Magnum.

The aim of the exhibition is to make known and understand the modus operandi of Henri Cartier-Bresson, his search for contact with others, in the most diverse places and situations, in search of the surprise that breaks our habits, thanks to the camera that helps us to catch and immortalize the wonder that will free our minds.


GAM Palermo - Empedocle Restivo Museum of Modern Art:

Discover the varied and enthralling world of (mostly) Sicilian and Italian painting and sculpture, reflecting Palermo’s atmosphere and charm as one of the premier modern European capitals during the Belle Epoque. The Museum of Modern Art displays a permanent collection of over two hundred paintings and sculptures, from the early 19th century to the mid-20th century - including monumental canvases by Giuseppe Sciuti, landscapes by Francesco Lojacono and Antonio Leto, Hector De Maria Bergler's Art Nouveau references, the sparkling luminism of Giovanni Boldini, as well as 20th century art represented by artists such as Massimo Campigli, Felice Casorati, Mario Sironi, Renato Guttuso, and Franz von Stuck.


Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm.

Ticket office closes 1 hour before the museum itself.


Accessibility: The Museum’s management has placed great importance on making the venue easily accessible and pleasant for all visitors. The venue is totally accessible and is equipped with electric and manually operated wheelchairs. All sections of the exhibition itinerary have informative information panels in Italian and English illustrating the content of each section.


IMPORTANT NOTE: The time you select on the order form is your preferred time. The museum or attraction will automatically confirm the closest available time, which can be any time during opening hours on the selected date, if your preferred time is no longer available.


Cancellation Policy: Once a confirmation code has been assigned to the reservation we can refund the ticket cost minus a service fee (reservation fee and online booking fee) for cancellations as well as for no shows (upon request).

Save time ordering! Add all the museum tickets you want to your basket, then fill in the form and send your request.

PLEASE NOTE: Immediately after submitting an order, you will receive an email with your order summary plus a second email confirming your successful payment. A confirmation email with links to the vouchers will be sent one business day after you place your order (Monday afternoon for orders submitted on Friday and during the weekend). Please make sure that your anti-spam filter does not block automatic emails from [email protected]


How to reach the Museum of Modern Art:

From the central railway station

  • on foot: walk along Via Roma for about 700m, then turn right on Via Discesa dei Giudici (walking time: approx. 10 min)
  • by bus: take Lines 101, 102, 107 or 122; get off at the third stop, walk along Via Roma, then turn right on Via Discesa dei Giudici
  • by AMAT shuttle bus serving the pedestrian areas: Yellow Line, Stop “Sant’Anna”
  • by City Sightseeing Tour, Line A from Teatro Politeama (142 of Via Emerico Amari): get off at Stop no. 3 called “Quattro Canti”, then cross Piazza Pretoria to via Discesa dei Giudici ( approx. 5 min)

From the Falcone-Borsellino International Airport of Palermo to the central railway station

  • by bus service operated by Prestia & Comandé (departures every 30 min)
  • by train (leaving approx. every 30 min)

In over a century of history, the Gallery of Modern Art has gone through a long evolution towards increasing its collections by acquiring new pieces and, most of all, gaining credit as one of the most modern and vital cultural institutions in Palermo. The Museum, named after Empedocle Restivo as a tribute to the man who promoted its foundation at the beginning of the last century, opened in the foyer of the Politeama Theater on May 24, 1910. It immediately set as its main goal that of offering people the opportunity to enjoy the heritage of the exciting period of the Belle Epoque when cultural life was flourishing all over Europe and new projects stirred the development of Palermo.

The museum has continuously grown and expanded, and continued to do so in its new venue at the architectural complex of Sant’Anna since 2006, a former Franciscan convent.

In its renovated spaces, with a new display-plan, more than two hundred works of art, including both paintings and sculptures, distributed in fourteen thematic and monographic sections, illustrate the evolution of Italian figurative arts in the period between the 19th and the 20th centuries. They bear witness to the role that painters and sculptors of national renown played in Modernist Palermo.

Its numerous masterpieces include large-scale paintings by Giuseppe Sciuti, landscapes by Francesco Lojacono, naturalist works by Antonio Leto, art nouveau style paintings by Ettore De Maria Bergler, and glowing canvases by Giovanni Boldini. The intense period of the Novecento Italiano movement in the 20th century is presented through works of artists like Massimo Campigli, Felice Casorati, Mario Sironi, Renato Guttuso, and Franz von Stuck, who succeeded in putting the distinctive air of a genuinely European capital on canvas.

The 214 works on display – 176 paintings and 38 sculptures – reflect the trends in fashion and taste that, since its foundation, have guided the acquisition of pieces that best represent modern art in Italy. New works were added to the museum collection through purchases from famous national and international events (such as the Venice Biennale) of the early 20th century, at prestigious private art galleries, or through gifts and donations.

Full Price Tickets


Reduced Price Tickets:

  • groups with at least 15 participants
  • visitors aged 19 and 25
  • senior citizens (65 and above)
  • university students
  • holders of special discount cards (valid in Italy) 


Free Admission:

  • for all visitors on the first Sunday of each month and for the permanent collection only
  • visitors under the age of 18
  • school groups
  • teachers
  • persons with disabilities and their escorts
  • accredited journalists
  • students of the Palermo School of Fine Arts
  • ICOM members
  • tour guides
  • travel and tour operator agents



Service fees (pre-sale and online booking fees), as well as fees for temporary exhibitions happening during your visit are due for ANY KIND OF TICKET as well as for free admission days.

When picking up a reduced or free ticket, you will be asked for a document proving your right to the price reduction. Entrance will be denied without it.

WARNING: Admission to booked site or service will be denied without presenting the voucher or the ticket. Presenting a copy of the order form does by not give you the right to be admitted. No exceptions can be made to this rule.
Technical organization Galleria d'Arte Moderna Empedocle Restivo Provided by Galleria d'Arte Moderna Empedocle Restivo
From 2.76€
Palermo by Bike
From € 56.00
Syracuse and Noto Day Tour
From € 102.00