Stories of the Collection II

The art collection (1990-97)

Big Wide (1991) by Michael BibersteinCulturgest - Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos

Michael Biberstein

Big wide, 1991
Acrylic on canvas
295 x 495 cm
Acquisition 1992/12/30
Inventory 334326
© DMF, Lisbon, 2009

Spanning the period from 1983 to the present day, Stories of the Collection summarises key moments in the formation of the Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) Collection. Across eight distinct points and through the presentation of its most important acquisitions, we follow the desires, tastes, policies and circumstances of each specific moment of the collection’s development: The Decorative Collection (1983-89); The Art Collection (1990-97); Diversification (2000-04); Photographs (1991 and 2005); Precision (2004-08 and 2014); Prints (2008); In-kind donations and Donations (1987-2021); and Resuming Acquisitions (2020-21).

Untitled, From the collection of: Culturgest - Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos
Untitled, From the collection of: Culturgest - Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos
Show lessRead more

JOSÉ PEDRO CROFT,  Untitled, 1990, painted bronze,  90 x 102 x 54 cm, acquisition 1992/12/27,  inventory 334325, © Laura Castro Caldas / Paulo Cintra

On 18 July 1990, by means of Memorandum 103-B/90, Emílio Rui Vilar, the CEO of CGD, a post he occupied between 1989 and 1995 simultaneously with other positions he held in the cultural sphere at Europalia (1989-92) and the Serralves Foundation (1989-90), proposed to the Board of Directors the guidelines for Caixa Geral de Depósitos' artistic acquisitions: that the Collection should be subject to analysis by two experts, if possible, from the Secretary of State for Culture (SEC) and/or the Portuguese Institute of Cultural Heritage (IPPC); that acquisitions should be carried out by one or two curators; that artworks to be acquired should have been produced between the year of the CDG's foundation (1876) and the present day; and that the Directorate of Procurement and General Services be responsible for the inventory and custodianship of artworks.

Debaixo da pele XIV (1992) by Rui ChafesCulturgest - Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos

Rui Chafes

Debaixo da pele XIV, 1992
Painted iron
30 x 126 x 19 cm
Acquisition 1993/07/27
Inventory 337191
© Laura Castro Caldas / Paulo Cintra

In January 1991, Fernando Calhau (SEC) and Margarida Veiga (IPPC) were invited to analyse and appraise the Decorative Collection that had been formed thus far. Learning that the inventory was incomplete and at times inaccurate, they undertook a photographic survey and created identification sheets for each artwork. In a report handed down in May 1991 they concluded that the Decorative Collection suffered from several flaws, absences and gaps that they proposed to remedy, enhancing the collection by giving priority to reference works from the 1970s and to new acquisitions from the 1980s onwards.

Untitled, From the collection of: Culturgest - Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos
Untitled, From the collection of: Culturgest - Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos
Untitled, From the collection of: Culturgest - Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos
Untitled, From the collection of: Culturgest - Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos
Show lessRead more

GAËTAN, Untitled, 1981, graphite on paper,  59 x 42 cm, acquisition 1993/07/30,  inventory 337280, 337281, 337282, 337283, © Culturgest – Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos

On 6 November 1992, Fernando Calhau took over as the Board's consultant for the acquisition of new artworks. Various memoranda approved by the board of the New Facilities Office included details which revealed a collection that was seeking to grow and develop, including indications of which artists and works should be acquired, their value and location, and a rationale for their integration in the collection. The first artists to be acquired were José Pedro Croft, Julião Sarmento and Michael Biberstein. Up to 19 March 1997, the day Fernando Calhau presented his last proposal, 219 works by 51 Portuguese artists had been acquired, including works by Álvaro Lapa, Francisco Rocha, Gaëtan, Helena Almeida, Jorge Molder, Jorge Queiroz, José Loureiro, Lourdes Castro, Pedro Cabrita Reis, Pedro Casqueiro, Rui Chafes and Vítor Pomar.

Caixa de alumínio (lagostins) (1962) by Lourdes CastroCulturgest - Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos

Lourdes Castro

Caixa alumínio (lagostins), 1962
Mixed media (assemblage)
36 x 24 x 26,5 cm
Acquisition 1994/06/26
Inventory 348001
© DMF, Lisbon, 2011

At this important moment in the formation of a collection structured on principles of quality and representativeness of the Portuguese artistic context, the inaugural exhibition held at Culturgest, entitled Arte Moderna em Portugal and curated by Fernando Calhau, was held between October and December 1993 in the new CGD head office building. A second iteration of this exhibition was held between March and June 1995, showcasing the most important artists in the collection alongside new works acquired in the meantime. With Fernando Calhau's departure in 1997 to take up the direction of the recently founded Instituto de Arte Contemporânea (IAC), acquisitions became sporadic until 2000.

Untitled (1970) by Helena AlmeidaCulturgest - Fundação Caixa Geral de Depósitos

Helena Almeida

Untitled, 1970
Acrylic on canvas, foam stuffing
135 x 54 x 30 cm
Acquisition 1995/01/05
Inventory 352896 
© Laura Castro Caldas / Paulo Cintra

Credits: Story

Hugo Dinis
Lúcia Marques 

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Related theme
Wonders of Portugal
By train or by coach, discover Portugal's wonders and hidden gems
View theme
Google apps