Year founded: 1895
Organiser: La Biennale di Venezia Foundation


The Venice Biennial has for over a century been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world.

The Venice Biennale has for over a century been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. Ever since its foundation in 1895, it has been in the avant-garde, promoting new artistic trends and organizing international events in the contemporary arts in accordance with a multi-disciplinary model, which characterizes its unique nature.

The Venice Biennale is famous for the International Film Festival, for the International Art Exhibition and for the International Architecture Exhibition, and continues the great tradition of the Festival of Contemporary Music and Theatre, now flanked by the Festival of Contemporary Dance. The Biennale promotes numerous publishing initiatives in the same sectors.

Its visibility is high in all the media. Through the ASAC, Historic Archives of Contemporary Arts, the Biennial conserves the documentation of its history. The Foundation’s venues, which receive a vast international public are not owned by it but are made available by law by the Venice City Council – the Giardini di Castello (visual arts and architecture), the Palazzo del Cinema and the Palazzo del Casinò on the Lido (cinema) – or are obtained through plurennial agreements with the Italian Navy and the Inland Revenue – the Arsenale (visual arts and architecture), the Teatro alle Tese and the Teatro Piccolo Arsenale (dance, music, and theatre).

The legislative reform decree of January 2004 has transformed the Biennale into a Foundation. The challenge of the new Foundation lies in reviving the potential of the Biennale and its unique nature as a centre of attraction not only during the major exhibitions but also for artistic production in every sector, throughout the year. For this, private partners are being sought to set up a permanent ‘home’, its own venue, which reinforces and establishes the identity of the Biennale, and which can at the same time become a permanent exhibition centre, a laboratory of culture, the arts, and ideas which reach the whole world from Venice.

For the history of Venice Biennale see