Freedom and Transgressions in 2024

4 de January, 2024

An exhibition dedicated to the activities of the Contemporary Art Centre will be the highlight of the Soares dos Reis National Museum’s programme in 2024, the year of the 50th anniversary of 25 April, the founding moment of Portuguese democracy.


The date symbolises the beginning of a journey of profound economic, social and cultural transformations, driven by the democratisation and Europeanisation of the country. Therefore, the Soares dos Reis National Museum has adopted the cross-cutting theme of Freedom and Transgressions for its entire programme.


The exhibition will open in June, curated by Miguel von Hafe Pérez, and aims to put the artistic work into dialogue with documentary sources. Its starting point is the artworks acquired by the Soares dos Reis National Museum, but also all the documentary and graphic production of the Contemporary Art Centre’s activity, including exhibition catalogues, posters, invitations and photographic records.

The Soares dos Reis National Museum’s support for contemporary art in the city of Porto is perpetuated in the deposit of around a hundred works, acquired during the five-year period of operation of the Contemporary Art Centre, in what would become the current Serralves Foundation.


The programme under the motto Freedom and Transgressions will be complemented by guided tours, talks, workshops, concerts and conferences.


The Education Department will establish institutional partnerships as a way of implementing education and mediation programmes and projects. An example of this is the “Family Sunday at the Museum” programme which, with the participation of external entities, allows families to enjoy activities every Sunday of the year that include workshops, music, writing, performances and theatre, and to create connections with the different artworks and the Museum.


Courses and artist residencies are also a focus for 2024, as are programmes and projects for and with schools. Of particular note is the Art and Sustainability Programme, which consists of a series of workshops using the creative and conscious reuse of various materials. The programme marks the Museum’s contribution to the UN’s 2030 Agenda and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as institutional partnership projects aimed at working with the collections, triangulating them with the theme of Freedom and Transgressions.


2024 will also mark the consolidation of projects such as Art and Health and Other Places, as well as the start of the Afinidades project, developed by the Soares dos Reis National Museum in partnership with the Quarteirão Criativo Association, which aims to create a network of proximity and encourage creativity among the community of jewellers in the Bombarda Quarter.


In the calendar of temporary exhibitions, 2024 will bring to the Soares dos Reis National Museum, at the end of January, the exhibition Teresa Gonçalves Lobo and Domingos António de Sequeira: a dialogue in time, curated by Bernardo Pinto de Almeida. The exhibitions O azul de safra na cerâmica de Miragaia and José Zagalo Ilharco will complete the first half of the year.


Also noteworthy is the Depositorium – Art and Gastronomy programme, through which the Soares dos Reis National Museum is challenging various chefs to take a gastronomic look at the museum’s various collections, from painting and sculpture to drawing, furniture, ceramics and jewellery. This exhibition will be accompanied by a side programme of talks and themed dinners.

In terms of publishing, the Soares dos Reis National Museum is preparing to launch a line dedicated to collections and artists, with the Complete Catalogue of the Work of Aurélia de Souza being the first in the programme.

Fully reopened in April, the Soares dos Reis National Museum ended 2023 with a total of 74,712 visitors, the second best year of the last decade in terms of public attendance, only surpassed by 2016 (totalling 98,694 visitors), the year in which the Museum presented the temporary exhibition dedicated to Amadeo de Souza Cardoso, Porto – Lisbon, 2016 – 1916 (pictured).