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Popular Art Museum

Inaugurated in 1948, as born from the reformulation of the old pavilion of the “Section of Popular Life”.

Inaugurated in 1948, the Museum of Popular Art was born from the reformulation of the old pavilion of the “Section of Popular Life” created for the Exhibition of the Portuguese World of 1940, with a project by the architects António Reis Camelo and João Simões. It was conceived in accordance with the program formulated in 1946 by António Ferro, then director of the National Propaganda Secretariat (SPN) under the name “Museum of the People” and organized according to the administrative division of the national territory of the Portuguese Constitution of 1933. Today it is assumed as a place of encounter and dialogue of different disciplinary areas, a document-museum, a place of Memory that is projected in contemporary times.

 For the date of its inauguration, the building is adapted to a museum designed by the architect Jorge Segurado, in collaboration with the program designed by the ethnographer Francisco Martins Lage and the artist Tomás de Mello (Tom), combining decorative elements of modernist taste with others extracted of a more traditional aesthetic. The various MAP rooms recreate the various regions of the country. Outside, the building is punctuated by bas-relief compositions that recreate scenes with a rural theme.

In the process of creating the Museum of Popular Art, the project also had the collaboration of an extensive team of “decorator-painters” made up of Carlos Botelho, Eduardo Anahory, Estrela Faria, Manuel Lapa, Paulo Ferreira and Tomás de Mello (Tone).

In this context, the Museum of Popular Art presents a significant set of mural compositions, characterizing the different regions of the country, authentic essays of modernist painting that portray the people both in their daily lives and in popular festivals and pilgrimages.

In addition to the patrimonial and historical relevance of the architectural ensemble, there is the importance of the collection collected since 1935, during the Universal Expositions and during the various initiatives promoted by the Estado Novo in the 1930s.

The collection of the Museum of Popular Art has since been transferred to the National Museum of Ethnology, where it is displayed in visitable reserves.


Source: DGPC (www.patrimoniocultural.pt)