The Berardo – Art Deco Museum (B-MAD) was inaugurated last Friday (April 23, 2021), in Alcântara, Lisbon, with an exhibition based on the collections of Art Nouveau and Art Deco by the collector and businessman José Berardo , including recent acquisitions. B-MAD is a private initiative of the Collections Association and opened to the public on Saturday, in an old adapted building, with free admission until the end of May, according to the organization.
The opening of the new museum, located at Rua 1.º de Maio, at number 28, in Alcântara, was initially planned for 2017, after which it was postponed to July 2019, but was further delayed due to “complex remodeling and adaptation works of the old building that had residential use ”, explained the collector in statements to the Lusa agency, earlier this year, and, later, due to the context of the pandemic.
Once the works are completed, B-MAD starts its activity with an inaugural exhibition curated by Márcio Alves Roiter, founder and president of the Art Déco Brasil Institute, in Rio de Janeiro, and by Emmanuel Bréon, an art specialist from the 1920s and 1930s, and former director of the Musée des Années 30 in Paris, according to a statement from the organization sent to the Lusa agency.
The exhibition “seeks to recreate the ambience of various eras inspired by the decorative arts of the last decade of the 19th century, when the Second World War broke out”, and one of the great challenges was the placement of objects in the rooms, “respecting the didactic side, but not being obsessive in its elaboration ”, according to the curatorship.
The collection includes works by contemporary creators, such as Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, Alfred Porteneuve, Jean-Michel Frank, Jacques Adnet, Leleu, Sornay, Dufrêne, Follot, Jallot, Majorelle, Kiss, Lalique, Brant, Puiforcat and Perzel, in decorative art components – furniture, ironwork, lamps, glass objects, ceramics, tableware and silverware – associated with painting, sculpture, drawing, fashion and jewelery, in a showcase of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles.
José Berardo’s Art Nouveau and Art Deco collections have already been the subject of exhibitions, namely at the Serralves Foundation, in Porto, at the Sintra Museum of Modern Art – Berardo Collection, at the Berardo Museum, in Belém, at the Casa das Mudas Arts Center , on the island of Madeira, in the Bacalhôa Adega Museu, in Azeitão, and in several foreign museological institutions.
The collection includes Ruhlmann’s original drawings, from Casa de Serralves, in Porto, an icon of the Deco civil architecture, which will be exhibited in the new museum, along with part of the more than 5,000 original silver designs from Ourivesaria Reis e Filhos, also from Porto, which still retains all the furniture filling, in the Art Nouveau style.
This new cultural facility in Lisbon will have a reception and shop space, access to a garden with a terrace, designed in the Deco style, and will work every day, from 10 am to 7 pm, except on December 25 and January 1, with visits only guided tours, but the timetable will be conditioned by the restrictions of the pandemic.
Museum is born in the former summer residence of the Marquis of Abrantes
The project for the creation of the new museum rehabilitated the former summer residence of the then Marquis of Abrantes, built in the first half of the 18th century, which had as its first residence the Palace of Santos, or the Palace of Abrantes, now the French Embassy in Lisbon.
José Berardo, who owns several private museums in the country, also exhibits part of his collection of modern and contemporary art at the Berardo Collection Museum, installed since 2007 at the Centro Cultural de Belém (CCB), in Lisbon, under an agreement with the State .
It also holds, in Bombarral, the Buddha Eden Garden, about 35 hectares, installed in Quinta dos Loridos, where there are hundreds of oriental figures such as buddhas, pagodas, terracotta statues and other sculptures.
In 2010, he opened the Underground Museum in Sangalhos, Anadia, linked to oenology, in an underground space where it displays collections of African art, fossils, ceramics, minerals and ancient tiles. In Estremoz, Évora district, in partnership with the local authority, opened in 2020 a museum dedicated to the collection of tiles, with examples from the 15th century to the present.