The exhibition entitled “1907-1914: the first golden age of French cinema” poster collection of the Municipal Museum of Faro” shows part of the estate of Joaquim António Viegas, born in Faro and who throughout his life collected cinema posters, and advertising, later donated by his son to the museum.
Among the posters, some of which are large, are covered in various cinematographic genres, from comedy, to the police and biblical history, as well as art films, inspired by theatrical dramas and literary works, such as the one announced in the film “Os Miseráveis” , based on the work of Victor Hugo.
According to the exhibition's scientific commissioner, Jorge Carrega, the film inspired by the work of the French writer of the 19th century was a true 'blockbuster' from the beginning of the 20th century, having premiered in Paris on 3 January in 1913 and in Faro only nine weeks later, in mid-March.
The researcher at the Center for Research in Arts and Communication (CIAC) of the University of Algarve said that he found reference to the premiere of the film, composed of four parts, in newspapers at the time. The film “Os Miseráveis” was shown in what was the main cinema of this period in Faro, the Theatre Circo, inaugurated on 11 December, 1909, with a capacity for more than 1,000 spectators.
The director of the Municipal Museum of Faro, Marco Lopes, underlines that in the 1910s and 1920s there was an “intellectual elite” in the city that attended operas, recitals and exhibitions, “an artistic and cultural swarm that few people have any idea of”. The collection of around 300 posters, due to its “rarity and excellent state of conservation”, is in the process of being classified as a national treasure, having already received a positive opinion from the Portuguese Cinemateca, said Marco Lopes.
The collector of the posters, Joaquim António Viegas, was a painter and set designer who worked in several theaters in Lisbon and Porto, including some of the first cinemas in the country, such as the Chiado Terrasse (Lisbon) or the High Life salon (Porto) . In these spaces, where variety, circus and animatography shows were held, the artist and collector collected 141 cinema posters (dated from 1904 to 1916), including 70 French copies, in addition to others, of Italian, Scandinavian and Northern cinema. -American.
The director of the Municipal Museum of Faro also revealed that an exhibition with the collector's personal collection is being prepared, scheduled for next year. The inauguration of the exhibition is scheduled for Saturday at 6pm, the day on which a catalog alluding to the exhibition is also released, with a study that reveals an investigation by Adelaide Ginga, Marta Mestre and Jean-Louis Capitaine. The exhibition, which will have a parallel program, with the exhibition of films, lectures and workshops, will be open until the 2nd January.