Mission, Vision e Values
The Soares dos Reis National Museum intends to be a place of belonging, identity and construction of meaning based on its collections.
The museum also aims at being a plural space; sharing identity and belonging through art and culture; promoting reflection, creativity and contemporary critical thought based on the collections it safeguards, preserves, carries out research and disseminates.
A Museum of the People, by the People for the People
Taking into account the mission that we present and the positioning that we consider the museum should have, we see the MNSR as a cultural structure that:
– Thinks globally and acts locally;
– Seeks to integrate contemporary thinking in its activities and programming, not merely by engaging with works by contemporary artists, but also through ideological discussion and reinterpreting its collections;
– Is a reference centre for knowledge on modern and contemporary art both in Portugal and abroad;
– Is a nodal point in both the city and the country in its approach and positioning within the education sector; in the development and promotion of equality and in debating political, social and cultural themes. Attracting a new and larger public through its activities, the MNSR aims to become a pole of cultural democracy;
– Promotes the dissemination of its collection with an innovative, up to date approach, using digital tools that attracts more visitors and welcomes social diversity;
– Is moving steadily towards affirming its patrimonial and financial sustainability.
Cooperation and networking
Valuing the role of both the heritage and neighbourhood communities
Contemporaneity in thematic approaches
Respect for the local
Rigour, transparency and efficiency in resource management
Integration and inclusion
Education and social justice
Message from the Director, António Ponte
Museums are places of power… Today, museum management is taking on increasingly important challenges, given the impact of cultural heritage on today’s societies and museums in particular, given the new definition of a museum approved at the 2022 ICOM General Assembly.
Thinking about the direction of the Soares dos Reis National Museum and reflecting on the role of a bicentenary institution that seeks to assume a role in the cultural, social and tourist fabric of the region that is commensurate with its institutional importance and the relevance of its collections is a challenge that arises every day.
Thus, we understand the museum as a cultural and heritage unit that aims to be a place of belonging, identity and the construction of meanings from the collections, as a starting point for contemporary and global thinking, acting from the local level, involving its community of neighbours and from there moving towards international action.
We have taken on the challenge of rethinking the museum on the way to its bicentenary, reflecting on its past but also looking to the museum’s role in the future, a museum that we want to be of people, by people and for people.
We think about the artists and producers of the past, we respect the people who make the museum today and we work for the people who visit and use the museum’s services today and in the future.
OUR museum is built on its collections, as the referential basis of our action and the matrix of the entire institution. An essential place for knowledge, a special place for leisure, a place for People, a place of History and stories… come in, visit, see, enjoy and… come back.
Director of the MNSR since 1st April 2021, António Ponte has a PhD in Museology from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Porto (2014).
António Ponte has been Regional Director of Culture of the North (December 2013 and March 2021), Director of the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza, in Guimarães (2009 – 2012) and Coordinator of the Vila do Conde Museum (2012 – 2013 and 1994 – 2009). Since 2020, he has been Vice-President of the International Committee of ICOM – DEMHIST. He was State representative in the Administration of the Coliseu-Porto (2014-2020) and President of the Côa Parque Foundation (October 2014 and June 2017). He has also published several articles on Museology and Heritage in national and foreign journals. In the field of education, he has taught in higher education as Guest Adjunct Professor at the School of Hospitality and Tourism and the School of Education (since 2015) of the Porto Polytechnic, as well as being Affiliated Professor at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Porto (since 2015). He also regularly participates as a trainer and speaker in several courses, seminars and conferences, both national and international, in the field of Museology and Heritage.
Previous Directors |
Ana Anjos Mântua
(2020 – 2021)
Appointed substitute Director from June 2020 to March 2021. Ana Anjos Mantua is an art historian and has extensive experience as an exhibition curator. She is currently coordinator of the Fernando de Castro House-Museum and has invested in the creation of new communication channels for greater dissemination of this space. Among other activities, she launched the radio programme Divina Proporção, which addresses the relationship between music and the fine arts and, from 2013 to 2020, also coordinated the Dr Anastácio Gonçalves House-Museum. She is, moreover, the author of books and scientific articles on collecting and the Portuguese royal family.
Maria João Vasconcelos
(2006 – 2020)
Maria João Vasconcelos took up the Directorship of the Soares dos Reis National Museum in 2006, a position she held until her retirement in June 2020. A History graduate from the University of Porto, she coordinated major exhibitions centred on the MNSR collection, such as the exhibition, João Allen Colecionar o Mundo (João Allen Collecting the World), and others featuring leading Portuguese artists, such as Amadeo de Sousa Cardoso 2016-1916, Porto-Lisboa.
Maria Teresa Viana
(2002 – 2006)
Initially curator at the Soares dos Reis National Museum, Maria Teresa Viana was appointed Director in December 2002, remaining in the post until her retirement in September 2006. With a degree in Historical-Philosophical Sciences. Her dissertation was entitled “Os museus do Porto no século XIX, subsídios para o estudo da museologia em Portugal”. At the Soares dos Reis National Museum, she coordinated various exhibitions, such as Esta é a cabeça de São Pantaleão (This is the Head of St. Pantaleon) and Cores Figura e Luz – Pintura Portuguesa do século XIV (Colours Figure and Light – Portuguese Painting from the 14th century).
(1999 – 2001)
Lúcia Matos took over as Director of the Soares dos Reis National Museum in September 1999. She was responsible for the reopening of the museum to the public in 2001 with a new permanent exhibition, which concentrated Painting and Sculpture on the first floor, and the Decorative Arts on the second. During the reopening, she also coordinated a temporary exhibition dedicated to Vieira Portuense, represented in the MNSR collection. She holds a degree in Philosophy from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Porto and a PhD in Art and Design from the same university.
(1986 – 1999 | 2001-2002)
Mónica Baldaque was Director of the Soares dos Reis National Museum between 1986 and 1999, and between 2001 and 2002. With a degree in Fine Arts, she organised events providing a deeper knowledge of the MNSR’s collections. Her main exhibitions include O Desenho e a Modelação na obra de Soares dos Reis (Drawing and Modelling in the Work of Soares dos Reis) and Fábrica de Loiça de Massarelos (Massarelos Crockery Factory), as well as the publication of the catalogue, As Belas-Artes do Romantismo em Portugal (The Fine Arts of Romanticism in Portugal).
Maria Emília Amaral Teixeira
(1966 – 1986)
Maria Emília Amaral Teixeira was the first woman appointed Director of the Soares dos Reis National Museum, in 1966, a position she held for 20 years. With a degree in Historical-Philosophical Sciences from the School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon, she brought the experience she had accumulated in other Portuguese museums to the MNSR. In the 1970s, she was in step with the 25th April’s revolutionary dynamics and was involved in the installation work for the Contemporary Art Centre, the origin of the Serralves Museum. She was also responsible for welcoming other art forms, such as photography, cinema, music, dance, literature and theatre to the MNSR, which led to an increase in visitors.
Manuel de Figueiredo
(1961 – 1968)
Director from 1961 to 1968, Manuel de Figueiredo was responsible for creating the Soares dos Reis National Museum’s educational service and for encouraging the teaching and reading of works of art. With a degree in Law, he was also Director of the Porto Trade Association, a Porto City Councillor and member of the Municipal Art, Archaeology and Urbanism Commissions.
Salvador Barata Feyo
(1950 – 1961)
Director of the Soares dos Reis National Museum from 1950 to 1961, Salvador Barata Feyo became known for his dynamic policy of purchasing works of art. He created a room dedicated to Contemporary Art, re-issued the Museum’s short brochure, and launched the Lapidary collection catalogue, as well as the guide to the MNSR collection. A renowned modernist sculptor, he produced a vast and diverse body of work, as well as teaching at the Porto School of Fine Arts.
(1932 – 1950)
Director of the Soares dos Reis National Museum from 1932 to 1950, Vasco Valente was responsible for the Museum moving to the Carrancas Palace. In 1940, he inaugurated an exhibition dedicated to the sculptor, Soares dos Reis, in the new space and, in 1942, opened the permanent exhibition to the public. This was organised in diversified areas, from Painting to Decorative Arts, on to Lapidary and Archaeology, also including pieces from the former Porto Municipal Museum. He also promoted the study and promotion of the collections through temporary exhibitions and the publication of catalogues.
João Batista Ribeiro
(1833 – 1839)
A major figure in Porto liberalism during the civil war (1832-1834), João Baptista Ribeiro was appointed by Pedro IV to organise the Porto Museum of Paintings and Prints, collecting the artefacts seized from the absolutists and taken from the city’s abandoned convents. Also known as the Museu Portuense, this would become Portugal’s first public art museum. In 1833, he drew up the Museum’s regulations, which emphasised the social and cultural dignification of the artist and the role of the museum as a public institution. In 1836, he was appointed Director of the Museum and inaugurated the exhibition Creação do Museo Portuense: com documentos officiaes para servir à História das Bellas Artes em Portugal, e à do Cêrco do Porto (Creation of the Museo Portuense: with official documents to serve the History of Fine Arts in Portugal, and that of the Siege of Porto). Due to his work as head of the Museum until 1839, he was considered a pioneer of Museology.
In the period that followed, between 1839 and 1932, the Director of the Porto Academy of Fine Arts was also the Director of the Museum.