The Palazzo Bracaccio in Rome, which used to house the National Museum of Oriental Art, used to be owned by the New York socialite Mary Elizabeth Bradhurst Field, whose daughter was married to Prince Salvatore Brancaccio. She had bought it from the city in 1879.
Palazzo Brancaccio Rome
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Viale del Monte Oppio, 7 – Rome. (This is a side entrance to the main building. The much more impressive Via Merulana facade used to be the entrance to the museum, which was closed in December 2017 and moved to a new location in the EUR district.)
History and description
In an earlier reincarnation the Palazzo Brancaccio was a church with an attached convent belonging to the Clarisse Franciscan Sisterhood of Santa Maria della Purificazione ai Monti, but after the Unification of Italy religious congregations were abolished and the building was declared public property.
When urbanization led to the construction of the Via dello Statuto Bradhurst Field was forced to destroy the convent and to turn the rest of the building into a residential palazzo.
Later, when it became to small for the Brancaccio‘s and the Fields, the palazzo was enlarged along the Via Merulana.
The paintings and other decorations in the building are by Francesco Gai, a Roman artist who was the Brancaccio’s house painter.
Later, the Palazzo Brancaccio was restructured in order to accommodate the collection of the Museo Nazionale d’Arte Orientale. In order to return the palazzo to its original state, a number of fake walls and ceilings needed to be destroyed.
The Oriental Arts Museum has since been moved to a different location, in the EUR district.