The art and history collections include a rich and diverse patrimony; from contemporary to ancient art, from paintings to prints, from puppets to ceramics, from miniatures to antique shop signs. The patrimony mostly derive from old collections belonging to the Cassa di Risparmio in Bologna that, since the early 20th century, has started collecting testimonies related to the history of the city. Today, the Fondazione Carisbo collections continue to grow thanks to new and precious donations and acquisitions.
Bologna with its territory, its history and excellences, remains the main subject of Genus Bononiae’s cultural activity but it also expands to include important national and european contemporary artworks.
For example, some of the most important acquisitions are the models and drawings belonging to Aemilia Ars, a popular experience of Emilian "Art and Craft" that transmits a knowledge otherwise destined to be lost, or the two paintings by Donato Creti, Mercury and Venus, commissioned by Luigi Ferdinando Marsigli for Pope Clement XI.
Regarding contemporaneity, some of the most important artworks are the terracotta sculpture by Arturo Martini, La madre folle, and the original mural painting, Battaglia, that Lucio Fontana realized for a private apartment in Milan in 1951 (today permanently on display in Palazzo Fava. Exhibition Centre), or the great canvas by Filippo De Pisis, Il piede romano.
The artworks are periodically on display in Genus Bononiae’s museums and buildings.