Founded in 1956 by Armenian oil magnate and art collector, Calouste Gulbenkian, the modern complex houses a library, an auditorium, a space for temporary exhibits and two museums. Fine art collections from the 15th to 20th century include works by Turner, Degas, Rodin, Corot, Monet, Picabia and Lléger.
Calouste Gulbenkian Museum
From West to East, the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum collection brings together the Founder’s personal taste for the very best of decorative arts and furniture, as well as Ancient Egyptian, Oriental Islamic and Greco-Roman Art and paintings by Rubens, Rembrandt, Turner, Monet and many more.
Specially designed to display the more than six thousand pieces owned by Calouste Gulbenkian, the Museum presents a valuable private collection which includes the beautiful jewellery designed by René Lalique, which the collector acquired directly from the artist.
Modern Art Centre
The Modern Art Centre (CAM) brings together the largest, most complete collection of contemporary Portuguese art, as well as an important selection of 20th century British and Armenian art. From Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso to Paula Rego and Vieira da Silva, the CAM collection shows some of the most prestigious and internationally renowned Portuguese artists.
In addition to the museums, the Gulbenkian Foundation also has various galleries that show temporary exhibitions, generally in dialogue with the work of the museums and the values of the Foundation.
The modernist building complex, which includes the Foundation headquarters and the Gulbenkian Museum, as well as
the surrounding Garden, was classified as National Monument in 2010, making it the first contemporary work in Portugal to be considered a piece of heritage. A horizontal complex built of sober materials (primarily concrete), its interiors lend themselves to diverse uses. The three Portuguese architects who designed it – Ruy d’Athouguia, Alberto Pessoa and Pedro Cid – envisioned it as an enormous cultural centre, where the public could flow freely between auditoria and
Strolling among the trees and plants, enjoying an open-air concert or simply relaxing by the lake, watching the birds
on the water’s edge, are just some of the possibilities in the Gulbenkian Garden which surrounds all the Foundation
buildings. At one of the entrances, visitors can learn about the Garden’s history in the Interpretation Centre named after Gonçalo Ribeiro Telles, the architect who was involved in its creation, at the end of the 1960s, as well as the renovation that started in 2002.
The Centre also includes a cafe / ice cream parlour, which is open until sunset.
An annual music season, a jazz festival in the summer, cinema and other shows all form part of the regular programme at the Gulbenkian Foundation. The Gulbenkian Orchestra and Choir are at the core of Gulbenkian Music, alongside the big names in international erudite music who take to the stage in the Grand Auditorium, located in the headquarters building.
The Amphitheatre in the Garden plays host to musical and theatrical performances throughout the summer, as well as the Jazz Festival in August.
Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Avenida de Berna, Lisbon, PortugalGet Directions