The Berardo Collection Museum in Lisbon

Stuart Forster visits the Berardo Collection Museum in Lisbon, Portugal, to view its modern and contemporary art.

The Berardo Collection Museum, within Lisbon’s Centro Cultural de Belém (Cultural Centre of Belem), houses one of Europe’s largest privately owned collections of modern and contemporary art.

Belem has long been a popular destination for tourists, thanks largely to attractions such as the Manueline-style Hieronymites Monastery and Tower of Belem, which are jointly inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Yet surprisingly few visitors to Lisbon set aside time to wander across the road from the monastery and visit this museum, known as the Museu Colecção Berardo in Portuguese.

Rodrigues Berardo’s art collection

In 2006 it was agreed that works from José Manuel Rodrigues Berardo’s art collection would be housed and displayed in the district’s cultural centre, which is known locally simply as the CCB. A ten-year loan was signed, providing an easily accessible exhibition space for the collection, whose value has been estimated at greater than €300 million.

The Berardo Collection includes works of art by many of the most resonant names of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Works by Picasso, Dali, Mondrian and Francis Bacon number among the 4000-piece collection.

Contemporary art in Lisbon

Berardo, a successful entrepreneur, has put together his collection over the past three decades and it now encompasses works by around 500 artists. The pieces displayed represent some of the most influential movements of the past century and explanatory legends are provided in both Portuguese and English.

In addition to the Berardo Museum’s permanent collection, temporary exhibitions of work by contemporary artists are also shown. These include sculptures, sound installations and photography exhibitions.

The museum has a sizable gift and bookshop that proves a pleasure to browse if you’re interested in art, design, architecture and photography.

Further information

Find out about exhibitions, opening times and entry prices on the Berardo Collection Museum website.

Photos illustrating this post are by Why Eye Photography.

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The entrance to the Museu Coleccao Berardo (Berardo Museum) which houses modern and contemporary art in Lisbon, Portugal. Photo by Stuart Forster.
The entrance to the Museu Coleccao Berardo (Berardo Collection Museum) which houses modern and contemporary art in Lisbon, Portugal.

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