Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

This richly illustrated publication presents the history of the Gulbenkian Museum in chronological order and brings together research by the conservators and curators of both collections. The introduction by Isabel Mota, President of the Board of Trustees of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, outlines the story of its founder, Calouste Gulbenkian, and the events that brought him to Portugal, where he spent the last days of his life and where he would lay the groundwork for the foundation that bears his name.

Penelope Curtis, the Director of the Museum between 2015 and 2020, examines how the Founder’s Collection and the Modern Collection were created. She also looks at the construction of the buildings in which they are housed, as landmark designs that have received input from internationally renowned architects.

The Founder’s Collection is presented according to a geographical and chronological scheme by the conservators responsible for the various collections, who highlight the most remarkable pieces brought together by Calouste Gulbenkian in his lifetime. The high-quality images that accompany the text allow us to examine the exquisite level of detail used in the production of these exceptional works, which include paintings, sculpture, furniture, items produced by silversmiths, printed books and manuscripts, rugs, textiles, ceramics, jewellery and miscellaneous pieces.

Acquired by the Foundation from 1957 onwards, the Modern Collection is considered to be one of the most important collections of modern and contemporary Portuguese art, and tracks alongside the history of Portugal from the First Republic to the present day. The publication reproduces a selection of the key works from the collection, including names such as Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, José de Almada Negreiros, Paula Rego, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, Ana Hatherly and Helena de Almeida.

It also includes photographs of the works on display within the galleries of the Museum. 

Technical information

Ana Barata, Ana Vasconcelos, Clara Serra, João Carvalho Dias, Jorge Rodrigues, Leonor Nazaré, Luísa Sampaio, Maria Rosa Figueiredo, Nuno Vassallo e Silva, Patrícia Rosas and Penelope Curtis
Editorial coordination:
Calouste Gulbenkian Museum
Updated on 25 march 2022

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