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Artwork from the 1960-1990 Berardo Collection | © Courtesy of Museu Coleção Berardo
Artwork from the 1960-1990 Berardo Collection | © Courtesy of Museu Coleção Berardo
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A Brief Introduction To Museu Colecao Berardo

Picture of Nina Santos
Updated: 30 March 2017

Society has not yet devised a way of traveling back through time, but Lisbon’s extensive modern and contemporary art exhibits in the Museu Coleção Berardo can take travelers on a visual journey. Influenced by José Berardo’s life and personal adventures, his main collections (which make up the permanent exhibits at the museum) are laden with artwork from international and national sources that show the transition of art through the 20th century and into the 21st.

Located in the Cultural Center of Belém, the museum (which has free entry) is an interesting landmark to visit, whether you appreciate modern and contemporary art, have an interest in art history, or need something to do between visiting the other iconic landmarks in the neighborhood.

Art piece by Jean Debuffet in Museum Entrance © Photo by David Rato / Courtesy of Museu Coleção Berardo

Art piece by Jean Debuffet in Museum Entrance © Photo by David Rato / Courtesy of Museu Coleção Berardo

The two permanent exhibits come from Berardo’s private libraries and are divided into modern and post-modern pieces. They begin with the onset of the 1900s and artists like Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, and a little later with more famous names like Salvador Dalí.

Artwork by Picasso © Photo taken by David Rato / Courtesy of Museu Coleção Berardo

Artwork by Picasso © Photo by David Rato / Courtesy of Museu Coleção Berardo

 

Artwork by Marcel Duchamp © Photo taken by David Rato / Courtesy of Museu Coleção Berardo

Artwork by Marcel Duchamp © Photo taken by David Rato / Courtesy of Museu Coleção Berardo

Through the artwork in the first collection, you can see the transition from Impressionism to Abstract and Cubism, followed by Surrealism (and much more). These works portray progressive thinking from a time that saw a lot of (and rapid) change. The pieces below are products of Andy Warhol, an American artist who focused on a style called pop art.

 

From the 1900-1960 Berardo Collection © Photo taken by David Rato / Courtesy of Museu Coleção Berardo

From the 1900-1960 Berardo Collection © Photo taken by David Rato / Courtesy of Museu Coleção Berardo

Dutch artist “Piet” Mondriaan, on the other hand, focused on De Stijl art, a simple style that was also known as “new plastic art”.

Work from Dutch "Piet" Mondriaan © Photo taken by David Rato / Courtesy of Museu Coleção Berardo

Work from Dutch artist “Piet” Mondriaan © Photo taken by David Rato / Courtesy of Museu Coleção Berardo

The second collection highlights Minimalism, Conceptualism, Earth art and hybrids of a few styles. The point of many of these pieces is to turn the observer into a questioner, making people think and see outside of the box.

From the 1960-1990 Collection © Museu Coleção Berardo

From the 1960-1990 Collection © Photo by David Rato / Courtesy of Museu Coleção Berardo

 

From the 1960-1990 Collection © Museu Berardo

From the 1960-1990 Collection © Photo by David Rato / Courtesy of Museu Coleção Berardo

 

From the 1960-1990 Collection © Photo taken by David Rato / Courtesy of Museu Coleção Berardo

From the 1960-1990 Collection © Photo by David Rato / Courtesy of Museu Coleção Berardo

Since it opened in 2007, the museum has showcased a large number of temporary exhibits, usually offering a few at a time. The two permanent collections, however, continue to be the main feature.

Room view of the 1960 - 1990 Collection

Room view of the 1960 – 1990 Collection © Photo by David Rato / Courtesy of Museu Coleção Berardo

 

Room View of 1960-1990 Collection © Photo by David Rato / Courtesy of Museu Coleção Berardo

Room View of 1960-1990 Collection © Photo by David Rato / Courtesy of Museu Coleção Berardo

While walking through, note the diverse range of photographs, paintings, and sculptures that are systematically displayed throughout the showrooms. Berardo’s collections and the temporary exhibits are not a type of “one trick pony” but, as you can see from the above pieces, it is an eclectic array that provide a glimpse of world art through the 1900s and into contemporary times.