“The Contemporary Art Center of the Soares dos Reis National Museum”

30 de August, 2023

A new issue of MIDAS Magazine is now available. This is a thematic dossier on “Museology: Iberian Dialogues and Encounters”, coordinated by Ana Carvalho and Susana S. Martins.


Among the various articles published, we highlight “The Contemporary Art Center and the Soares dos Reis National Museum. Analysis of an institutional partnership”, by Inês Silvestre.


The Contemporary Art Center (CAC) operated between 1976 and 1980 at the Soares dos Reis National Museum (MNSR) in Porto, with a view to exhibiting, studying and disseminating contemporary art.

In this article, the author aims to analyze the institutional partnership established between the CAC and the MNSR during those four years. To this end, “the creation of the CAC is contextualized from the perspective of the absence of a modern art museum capable of meeting the needs of the national artistic community, as well as from the panorama of the intense artistic dynamics developed in Porto from the middle of the 20th century”.


In the aftermath of the 1974 revolution, the city of Porto was the scene of a number of movements that demanded that the city create a space to exhibit the art produced at the time, the best-known example of which was the so-called “Burial of the Soares dos Reis National Museum”, a performance event held on June 10, 1974.


The importance of the existing Contemporary Art Center was a determining factor in the Secretary of State for Culture choosing Porto as the location for the future National Museum of Modern Art. In 1986, the State acquired Quinta de Serralves for this purpose, and in 1989, the Serralves Foundation was created.


At the end of last year, Inês Silvestre (PhD student in Art History at the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences of the New University of Lisbon) presented a paper on the same theme at the VI Iberian Forum of Museum Studies: New Research Perspectives, organized by the University of Évora.


MIDAS is a biannual, open-access journal dedicated to museums as a field of interdisciplinary work and reflection. The magazine is published in Portugal, but takes an international approach, favoring a close relationship and dialogue with Portuguese and Spanish-speaking countries.



Image credits ©Archive MNSR DGPC/ADF

Photograph of the work Um campo depois da colheita para deleite estético do nosso corpo (A field after the harvest for the aesthetic delight of our bodies) (1973-1976), presented at Alberto Carneiro’s retrospective exhibition at the MNSR in September 1976.