Casa-Museu Medeiros e Almeida
Lisbon has many museums covering a wide variety of different subjects. One of the smaller and, possibly, most rewarding may be found just off the Avenida da Liberdade. The Medeiros e Almeida Museum contains a wonderful collection of decorative items that should delight any lover of beautiful things.
António de Medeiros e Almeida was born in Lisbon at the end of the nineteenth century to prosperous parents. In 1917, after three years of study, he gave up medicine to pursue a career in business. Six years later he persuaded William Morris (later Lord Nuffield) to let him become the Portuguese importer of his company’s Morris, Riley and Wolseley cars. Later interests included civil aviation, hotels and various businesses in the Azores from which both his parents had originated.
From the mid-1920s, he was able to indulge his passion for collecting beautiful antiques which he later housed in the small mansion that he purchased in Lisbon in 1943. Not having any children, António and his wife Margarida decided, in 1971, that the house and the collection should become a museum and they moved their home to the adjoining property. Margarida died in that year and António lived on until 1986 having set up a charitable foundation that administers the museum which opened in 2001.
The collection is housed in twenty-seven rooms and among the highlights are many clocks and watches, ceramics, silverware, furniture and paintings including those by both Jan and Pieter (the Younger) Brueghel, Tiepolo and Delacroix. There is also a collection of ladies’ fans used not only for cooling but also covert signalling of amorous intent or otherwise as the informative labelling details.
The museum is situated on the corner of Rua Rosa Araújo and Rua Mouzinho da Silva. Closed on Sundays, entrance is €5 with a reduced rate for seniors and free on Saturday mornings.
More information at www.museumedeirosealmeida.pt
By afpop member Chris Wallen, April 2023