The m.a.x. museo’s primary objective is to present a series of appropriate temporary exhibitions.
Its range of temporary exhibitions derives from and is governed by multi-year plans of activities and other documents planning and programming its activities, periodically brought up to date.
In principle, it is not possible to have a permanent exhibition at the m.a.x. museo together with the temporary exhibitions (the galleries are too small), but depending on the theme of the temporary exhibition, an exhibition devoted to Max Huber and his materials is mounted in a gallery once a year.
Among the requirements for temporary exhibitions is an integrated project in the Chiasso Cultural Centre with the other sectors of the Department of Cultural Activities and the network of privileged partners of the museum’s activities.
The m.a.x. museo designs and presents its temporary exhibitions by organising them in three annual events:
- The first cycle is titled “Masters of the 20th Century” and is devoted to a monographic study of an artistic figure, a product designer or graphic designer, or more generally a painter or architect who has left a particular mark on 20th-century culture (September–November)
- The second cycle is titled “Historical and Artistic Graphics” and is devoted to the analysis of a master of historical graphic design reviewed in relation to the 20th-century gaze and contemporary culture (February–April)
- The third cycle is entitled “Phenomenology of the language of advertising (graphic design and lettering)” and covers the creative and innovative relationship between graphic design and artists in the field of visual communication and advertising (May–July).
Each exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated scholarly catalogue and offers a number of related activities.
- A fourth, biennial cycle, is devoted to a study of visual communication in photography (photography in advertising, journalism and art or video art). This takes place within the Biennial of the Image, a well-established photographic event that traditionally has a public organisation coordinated in multiple venues – including private galleries – and urban installations. The Biennale of the Image is always themed.
- The medium and long-term programme may envisage for the future a change or increase in the number of display cycles or their exemplification, by alternating an exhibition from the permanent collection.
The m.a.x. museo devotes the utmost care to ensuring the replication of its exhibitions in other prestigious venues, and takes advantage of collaborations offered by other museums and publishers that specialise in the field of art. In principle, the first exhibition is always held at the m.a.x. museo and in each integrated exhibition the partnerships are already present in the colophon of the catalogue, which will be valid for the different exhibition venues.
The m.a.x. museo also devises, designs and presents occasional exhibitions in collaboration with other partners at the local, national and international levels. These events are based on specific scholarly or educational events or are conceived as instruments for increasing the museum’s scholarly standing and/or economic resources. In this context, the m.a.x. museo’s exhibition programme may include multiple exhibitions in its programming outside its own venue.
Communication and external relations – Communication activities and the external relations of the m.a.x. museo are intended to ensure and enhance enjoyment of the museum’s offerings and activities in its environs and beyond, in the widest possible sphere. This starts from its natural catchment area (Zurich-Milan) defined in the targets of its three-year plan. They help to extend and clarify the support for the museum’s activities, identifying the best policies to secure the loyalty of its public. Its external relations also work to establish and increase the network of qualified personnel associated with the m.a.x. museo and to support its policies for increasing self-financing, primarily through sponsorships. These activities consist, in brief, of
- communications of the museum and its activities, including information campaigns, the creation and dissemination of promotional and advertising materials in print and on the Web, and the activities of the press office, including the maintenance and development of relations with the media
- conducting public relations to disseminate and promote the m.a.x. museo in specific contexts that offer opportunities to develop the network of qualified subjects or increase available financial resources. The activities are aimed at the development of the Association of the Friends of the m.a.x. museo, fund raising, retaining sponsors and renting the museum venue
- management and updating of the website and periodic publication of the newsletter
- the control of internal accounting and the earnings of the bookshop, control of accounts with specific publishers and suppliers, as well as drafting exhibition budgets to be submitted on request to the official sponsors (Federal Office of Culture, Pro Helvetia, Department of Education, Culture and Sports) and to private sponsors as well as contacts with them. Final cost statement (sponsorships).
The museum’s activities comprise participation at all levels in working committees and scholarly organisations , as well as participation in special projects coordinated by other museums and scientific or academic institutions. In all these cases, the museum is represented by its director, who may appoint a delegate chosen as fit for the purpose from its staff or scholarly associates.