In today’s globalized world, private collectors have played an increasingly important role in cultural life and their categorization has become more complex. As discussed in Marta Gnyp, The Shift, 2015, leading cosmopolitan collectors dominate the global art system, metaphorically enhance art history, help to create artistic values, exercise patronage and commission new artworks. Sometimes they collect for the public domain (James Stourton, Great Collectors of our Time, 2007), opening private museums or giving their collections to public museums.
The narrative about private collectors has been changing. As collectors turn into iconic figures and cultural models, arguably shaping the taste and the artistic canon, academic and institutional narratives follow these changes. At the same time, we can see the collector interfering with the collection’s narrative and with the image he/she intends to associate with their social role. This is the case with the Berardo Collection.
José Berardo is a Portuguese millionaire mentioned twice on ArtReview Power100, who has assembled a modern and contemporary art collection. This collection, containing an overview of the twentieth century’s most important art movements, is unique in Portugal. Formed with a view to public display, the collection has been known as The Berardo Collection Museum since 2007 (Lisbon), through an agreement with the Portuguese Government, with the collection being lent in exchange for the museum’s opening.
In this presentation, the narrative that has been created around the collection will be analysed, both in academic terms and through the catalogues, as well as in the periodical press, from the collector’s perspective. The purpose is to confront the motives for gathering the artworks, the methods used by the collector, and to relate them to the cultural importance of the collection, emphasizing the controversial image that the collector has in current Portuguese society.
Adelaide DUARTE is an art historian, researcher, and assistant professor at the Institute of Art History, School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa. She is the Executive Coordinator of the Postgraduate Program “Art Market and Collecting” at Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, since it began in 2016, and also the coordinator of TIAMSA subcommittee Art Market and Collecting in the European Southern Countries and Brazil. Member of the research group “Museum Studies: Art, Museums, and Collections”. She is vice-president of the Friends Association of the Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporânea – Museu do Chiado in Lisbon: http://ihapgmercado.weebly.com/equipa.html
To register, please book your place via: https://www.history.ac.uk/events/museu-colecao-berardo-deviation-a-collectors-narrative. Please allow at least 24 hours before the event.
All are welcome!
Conveners: Susan Bracken, Andrea M. Gáldy, Adriana Turpin