In this edition of VC Museum Visits, we tour the Museum-School of Portuguese Decorative Arts in Lisbon.
Located in the shadow of an ancient Moorish wall in the hillside district of Alfama, this exquisite museum is run by the Ricardo Espirito de Santo Silva Foundation.* It’s housed in the former palace of the Viscounts of Azurara, which the late Senhor Espirito do Santo Silva (1900-1955), a banker and lavish patron of the arts, purchased in 1947 specifically for the purpose of creating a museum. A lifelong admirer of Alfama, Lisbon’s most historic district, he was also keen to preserve the skills and traditions of the artisans who lived in the area, hence the inclusion of a school in the foundation.
I knew I was going to love it as soon as I saw what was in the vestibule.