The exhibition The Great Mother, which will be open to the public from August 26 to November 15, 2015, is a collaboration between the public and private sectors to bring contemporary art into Palazzo Reale, the city’s most prestigious exhibition venue, as the pivotal event on the Expo in Città calendar for the second half of Expo 2015 in Milan.

“The programming for Expo in Città will feature a prestigious exhibition – housed in one of Italy’s most popular exhibition venues, Palazzo Reale – which offers a sweeping panorama of the history and languages of art,” says Filippo Del Corno, the city’s Councilor for Culture. “Not only will this project offer the public the chance to take an extraordinary journey through Italian and international art history and culture, it will be a special opportunity to explore the figure of the mother, the quintessential symbol of nourishment, which is the key theme of Expo 2015. This achievement is made possible by the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi as part of a broader dialogue between the public and private sector, which are joining forces to help spread art and culture.”

“The Great Mother examines motherhood and the condition of women through a century of artworks that raise issues which are not only still topical but often still unresolved,” explained Fondazione Nicola Trussardi President Beatrice Trussardi. “This allows us to deal with questions related to the overall theme of the Expo from a perspective that underscores the central role of women in society, a role that all too often goes unrecognized. Despite the enormous strides that have been made over the last few decades and the social and political work that has helped defend and spread awareness of women’s rights even in poorer countries, there are many dangers that threaten to check or block this path of liberation. That’s why The Great Mother can and should be an important opportunity to reflect on the values that women bring into every sector of society, helping to make the Expo a showcase of concrete strategies and visions for the future of our planet”

"With work by 127 international artists and an exhibition layout that will cover some 2000 square meters (20,000 square feet) on the piano nobile of Palazzo Reale, The Great Mother will analyze the iconography of motherhood in the art and visual culture of the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries, from early avant-garde movements to the present," declared Massimiliano Gioni, Fondazione Nicola Trussardi Artistic Director and curator of the exhibition. "From the Venuses of the Stone Age to the bad girls of the postfeminist era, and through centuries of religious works depicting innumerable maternity scenes, the histories of art and culture has often centered on the figure of the mother, often adopted as a symbol of creativity and metaphor for art itself. In the more familiar version of “Mamma”, it is also a stereotype closely tied to the image of Italy. The Great Mother will be an exhibition about women’s power: not just the life-giving creative power of mothers, but above all, the power denied to women and the power won by women over the course of the twentieth century. In undertaking an analysis of the representation of motherhood, the exhibition The Great Mother will trace a history of women's empowerment, chronicling gender struggles, sexual politics, and clashes between tradition and emancipation."