Museum of the year: Madeira Photography Museum

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 27-12-2020 12:00:00 · 0 Comments

The Madeira Photography Museum - Atelier Vicente's, the only one in the country dedicated to photography, has been awarded the Museum of the Year Award 2020, awarded by the Portuguese Association of Museology (APOM)

After five years of requalification, worth €1.7 million, the Museum of Photography of Madeira - Atelier Vicente's, reopened in July last year.

The museum space was founded in 1863 by Vicente Gomes da Silva, and remained active until 1978, when the building, in the centre of Funchal, and the estate, with more than 1.5 million negatives, were acquired by the Regional Government of Madeira.

During the reopening, in an interview with Lusa agency, the Secretary of Tourism and Culture, Paula Cabaço, highlighted that, through the museum, four generations of the same family passed. Three years after the opening of the house in 1866, Vicente Gomes da Silva received the title of photographer of the Empress of Austria, Isabel of Bavaria, the mythical Sissi, and, in 1903, that of photographer of the Portuguese Royal House, which contributed even more to its importance, making his studio one of the best equipped of the nineteenth century.

The space opened to the public in 1982 as a museum and, in 2014, closed for works, and the executive invested €1.2 million in the rehabilitation of the building, and 500,000 euros, with community contribution of 85%, in the restoration and safeguarding of the collection.

"We want to go further in this museum space, we want the Museum of Photography - Atelier Vicente's to be a reference at the national level and we want it to be able to highlight Madeira internationally in this area," Paula Cabaço said at the time. The space reopened with a temporary exhibition entitled "Treasures of Portuguese Photography of the nineteenth century", maintaining a permanent exhibition representative of the various authors included in the collection, of which is part of the estate of virtually all the large Madeiran houses of photography of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The Museum of the Year Award is one of the main distinctions awarded by APOM, in a total of 32 categories to be tendered this year, which distinguish, among other areas, the best intervention and restoration, the best catalogue, the best exhibition, the mecenato and museum project. APOM receives annually a few hundred applications from institutions in mainland Portugal and the Autonomous Regions, as well as Portuguese exhibition projects abroad.

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