Casa de Serralves: Citizens, to the Arts!
Casa de Serralves is located in Parque de Serralves in Porto, Portugal. It was built in 1940 and is a unique example of streamline modern architecture in Portugal. So apart from the exhibitions inside the museum, the architectural design of the building is in itself a tourist attraction.
The museum is owned by a local public foundation and is dedicated to public interest. The key objective of the Casa de Serralves museum is to make accessible to the public a great collection of Portuguese as well as international contemporary art. It commits itself to initiating a multicultural dialogue between national and international artists which in turn greatly promotes local interest in contemporary art.
Another important objective of the museum is to provide a stimulating environment for young, ambitious local artists so that they can have a better prospect of career. So far the museum has developed quite a number of projects with local artists which have proved very successful.
The museum boasts a rich collection of fine art from 1968 to the present day. Some are acquired by direct purchase; others by donation. The year 1968 has a symbolic significance for the museum, as back then happened a succession of socio-cultural movements that sought to express through new art forms new political and social ideas.
The “To Arts, Citizens!” is one of the most popular exhibitions of the museum. It focuses on the social significance of art and the subjects of the artworks vary from local citizenship, cultural memory to revolution and utopia. Some collections deal with the most knotty problems of the present age, for example environmental protection and ideological conflict.
Another exhibition called “On the Margins of Art” also expresses interesting ideas. It is a collection of artworks from newspapers, magazines and other publications that explore the blurred boundaries between reality and unreality.
A tour in the museum is both a cheerful and sober experience. You get to appreciate the beauty of fine art while being in touch with the deepest speculations upon humanity.
A visit to this Parque is not only about art, it is also about the unique beauty of local gardens. A region famous for its beautiful landscape, Serralves in Porto has a rich gardening history. It was opened to the public in 1987 after much repair and renovation. For the next twenty years, local authorities have always been sparing part of the budget to make considerable enhancement to the park. Their dedication to the park has successfully aroused a general awareness among local people of the importance of protecting cultural and natural heritage. So far the parque de Serralves has won two awards: the Innovation Award in 1996 and the “Henry Ford Prize” in 1997. Both prizes are highly honorable in the field of environmental education and preservation, and they are absolutely one great local pride.
To facilitate tourists, a good many restaurants, cafes have been set up in addition to a few entertainment centers. So you may get some relaxation after a tour in the museum or in the park.
Dedicated to the promotion of art and environmental preservation, Casa de Serralves in Porto is an ideal tourist spot for people who are artistically and ecologically-minded.