A gallery that will host the temporary exhibitions of the Textile Collection of the National Museum of Ancient Art (MNAA), consisting of 4,600 pieces, is today inaugurated at 18:00 and opens to the public on Wednesday.
According to the MNAA, the space, which will show a collection gathered over more than 180 years, “is one more step” in the remodeling of the north wing of the museum’s first floor, begun with the creation, at the end of 2015, of the current Portuguese Presepio Room.
The projects for its configuration began a year ago, and the museography “meets the need to change the exhibition presented there in cycles of eight months, a rotation of the collection on display that is justified by the fragility of the pieces,” according to museum.
In the inaugural exhibition, which opens to the public on Wednesday, the MNAA will evoke the very chronology of the collection’s constitution through its founding nucleus, that of the embroidered faces, crossing the history of objects with that of the museum.
This history begins with the incorporations resulting from the extinction of religious orders in 1834 and the application of the Law of Separation of the State of Churches of 1911, followed by a long period of adoption of strategies for the organization and enrichment of this estate – between 1915 and 1975 – and, from 1980, the consolidation of its patrimonial identity.
The central nucleus of the collection of textiles results from the confiscation of the artistic assets of the religious orders, most of them made up of liturgical vestments, and was initially reunited at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Lisbon, after 1884, National Museum of Fine Arts and Archeology.
From this estate would be heir and continuing the current MNAA, which succeeded him from 1911.
The remodeling of the MNAA will continue through the ongoing intervention in the area of the Albertas Chapel, which will allow – according to the museum – in mid-December, to open to the public the large room of the crib where will be, as centerpiece, the so-called Nativity Scene of Belas, already restored.
Created in 1884, the MNAA is home to the most important public collection of the country’s ancient art, painting, sculpture, Portuguese and European decorative arts from the Portuguese Maritime Expansion, from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. number of works classified as national treasures.