About the Collection

After its creation in 1956, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation began supporting artists and cultural activities both in Portugal and in countries such as the United Kingdom, France and Iraq. This early internationalisation was related to the fact that Calouste Gulbenkian was a British citizen and that his fortune had been made in the oil industry emerging in the Gulf region.

After the inauguration of the CAM building in 1983, it was possible to exhibit the Collection that had been gathered up to that point. The intense activity of the CAM provided for the purchase of works exhibited at its regular temporary exhibitions, a practice which has remained one of the criteria for the acquisition of artworks for the collection.

With CAM’s building closed for renovation, the Collection is currently being held in reserve, though a significant number of loans allow the public to see some of the works in national and international exhibitions and museums.

The formation of a collection

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