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The building

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Casa Martí

Casa Martí. In its current state, this building is the result of the merger of three former houses in the old quarter of the city. The first had been owned by the Sants Reis Jesuit College of Tarragona. Seized from the Order by the Crown following the expulsion of the Jesuits in 1767, in 1772 it was purchased by Antoni Martí from the Municipal Body responsible for selling the assets of the Jesuits in Tarragona. After reforming it, the new owner made it his residence in 1781. The house was also lived in by the illustrious scientist from Altafulla, Antoni Martí i Franquès, the son of Martí i Gatell, who lived in our city from 1798 until his death in 1832. In the 19th century, the grandson of Martí i Gatell, Gaietà Martí i Veciana, bought the two adjoining houses in 1838 and 1857 and immediately extended and restored the original residence. The building works were completed in the early 1860s.

In 1951 the School of Art of the Diputació de Tarragona was established at Casa Martí, where it remained until moving to its present location at Sant Pere Sescelades, in 1976.

In 1976, in order to make use of the space offered by the house, work began on creating a new Museum for the city. First of all, it was necessary to make an inventory of everything in their possession, select the most interesting items and exhibit them.

Owing to a shortage of space, the area dedicated to permanent exhibition was small; in spite of this, a series of temporary exhibitions were held, which increasingly helped attract visitors to the Museum.

In 1983, the Diputació acquired the building in Carrer Santa Anna, and two years later the architect Jaume Mutlló i Pàmies was commissioned to redesign the building. The Museum reopened in 1991.

In 2008 the Museum of Modern Art updated the exhibition of its permanent collection, presenting it in a more didactic way.