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Serralves online visit
The framework for the Museum of Contemporary Art was developed with the creation of the Serralves Foundation in 1989. In 1991, award-winning architect Álvaro Siza Vieira was commissioned to design the new museum in the grounds of the Serralves Estate. In 1996, construction of the building and the planning of a museographic programme begun. Vicente Todolí was appointed by the Board of the Serralves Foundation as the first Artistic Director, with João Fernandes as Deputy Director.
The Museum was inaugurated on 6 June 1999 with the exhibition, ‘Circa 1968’. This ground-breaking exhibition, reflecting a radical decade of art-making that corresponded with a period of social and political change in Portugal and around the world, was a manifesto of the Museum’s international ambitions and the historical starting point for the Museum´s future collection and artistic programme. In 2003 João Fernandes was appointed Director of the Museum, with Ulrich Loock as Deputy Director. In January 2013, Suzanne Cotter assumed the role of Director. In January 2018, João Ribas assumed the role of Director. In April 2019, Philippe Vergne assumed the role of Director.
The Serralves Museum is the foremost museum for contemporary art in Portugal, uniquely sited in the grounds of the Serralves Estate, which also comprises a Park and a Villa. Through its collection, temporary exhibitions, performance, education and public programmes, publishing initiatives, and national and international collaborations, the Museum fosters the understanding and appreciation of contemporary art and culture. Introducing the work of the most important artists working today to diverse publics, strengthening ties with the local community, and encouraging reflection on the relationship between art and the environment that is intrinsic to the context of Serralves, are central to the Museum´s mission.
Monographic and thematic exhibitions of established and emerging artists and the Serralves Collection are featured as part of a changing programme in the Museum galleries. The Serralves Villa and Park are also privileged sites for the presentation of special exhibitions, commissions and Collection displays, together with travelling exhibitions organized in collaboration with cultural partners in Portugal and abroad. A dynamic programme of cinema, contemporary dance, music and performance is presented in the Auditorium and other spaces of the Museum. The Auditorium and the Museum Library are also hosting to conversations, lectures, symposia in which the public can participate in discussions and debates on artistic and cultural issues of our time.