The family’s last descendent, in 1945 Alvise Nicolò bequeathed the palazzo to the city on the condition it became an “Art Gallery to complete the Correr Museum“; thirty years later, following his wife’s death, it was then left to the city.
Opened to the public in 1985, it became the seat of the Study Centre of the History of Fabrics and Costumes, housing the vast collections of ancient fabrics and clothes belonging to the Venice Civic Museums – most of which came from the Correr, Guggenheim, Cini and Grassi collections. Palazzo Mocenigo also contains a well-stocked library specialising in the history of fabrics, costumes, and fashion. The library is situated in the rooms on the first-floor piano nobile that have not conserved their original furnishings; the stocks of fabrics and costumes are situated on the first mezzanine and on the top-floor.
Completely renewed and expanded at the end of 2013, the itinerary winds its way through twenty rooms on the first piano nobile, therefore doubling theamount of exhibition area compared to when it opened in 1985. As a whole, the rooms skilfully evoke the different aspects of the life and activities of a Venetian nobleman between the 17th and 18th century, and on display are mannequins wearing valuable ancient garments and accessories that belong to the Study Centre connected to the Museum.
Paying particular attention to the history of the city, fashion and costumes have therefore always played a key role in the studies and exhibitions of the museums in the aristocratic setting of the Palazzo Mocenigo.