Learn more about the history of the iconic Serralves Foundation.
Located in the city of Porto, the Serralves Foundation is a cultural institution constituted by a park, open to the public, where a Villa, a Museum of Contemporary Art and a Library are located.
All the space is of great beauty and creativity, extolling the Portuguese culture and contributing to its enrichment, as well as providing varied public contributions.
See our past post about Serralves Festival
“Encompassing the Serralves Villa, Park, Museum of Contemporary Art, Auditorium and Library – managed within the orbit of its mission, the Foundation annually presents a diversified programme of initiatives, aimed at promoting debate and reflection on art, nature and the landscape and provide an innovative form of art education while taking an active part in reflection on contemporary society”. In Serralves.pt
Considering its relevant architectonic interest, the real estate property of Serralves was classified in 1996 as “Property of Public Interest”
In the post-revolution period, the population of Porto began to create some movements that demanded for a space to promote the culture in the city, namely exhibition of the art produced at that time. Because of these constant initiatives, the Secretary of State for Culture ordered the implementation of a National Museum of Modern Art which consequently led to the acquisition of Serralves farm by the State in 1986.
In the following year, Serralves Villa and Serralves Park were opened to the public. The Serralves Foundation was created in 1989, and consisted of an Installation Commission composed of Jorge Araújo, Teresa Andresen and Fernando Pernes.
The Serralves Park is a green space, opened to the public, which extends over 18 hectares and involves the Museum of Contemporary Art, also involving the garden that composes around the Serralves Villa
The park is the result of a landscape in development over more than a century, including traces of a 19th century garden and the Mata-Sete Farm. It is composed of typical flora of the Northern Region of Portugal, and currently works of art by various contemporary artists are exhibited throughout the Park.
Located in the Serralves Park, Serralves Villa is considered a unique example of the “Art Deco” architecture of the country.
The project was commissioned by the 2nd Count of Vizela in the early 20th century. The project was entrusted to the French architect Charles Siclis and gardens entrusted to Jacques Gréber. Both projects were coordinated and developed also by the architect Marques da Silva, who after hesitations and successive alterations saw the work finished in 1940.
In 1944 the Count of Vizela finally settled in the house, but about a decade later sold the property to Delfim Ferreira, Count of Riba de Ave. Until the 80’s the space remained inaccessible to the public until, in 1986 , The state acquired the land from the heirs of Delfim Ferreira, allowing its opening to the city.
It was in the 80’s that Serralves Villa became the center of a project that culminated in the installation of one of the most important cultural and artistic centers of the country: the Serralves Foundation.
Museum of Contemporary Art.
Designed by the architect Siza Vieira, the most awarded Portuguese contemporary architect, the Serralves Museum is located in Serralves Park and serves as an exhibition of works of art by various artists.
Built in 1996 and inaugurated in 1999, it is considered an international reference space for the exhibition of contemporary art.
The space has a permanent collection consisting of works carried out from the 60s to the present day. Among some names of artists contemplated in the museum are: Helena Almeida, René Bértholo, Álvaro Lapa, Adrian Piper, Ângelo de Sousa, among many others.
Located within the museum, the Serralves Foundation also has a Library, an auditorium and a restaurant.
How to get to Serralves Foundation
From Yours Guesthouse & Bistro, where you can rest in a genuine Guest House or have a meal in a cozy Bistro, walk a few minutes to the Trindade Station where you can take any westbound metro line to get off at Casa da Música Station. From there you can take 201, 203, 502 or 504 line bus in the Rotunda da Boavista.