Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

Lisbon, Portugal

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum was founded in conformity with Calouste Gulbenkian's (1869-1955) last will and testament. He was a British businessman and philanthropist of Armenian origin. He played a major role in making the petroleum reserves of the Middle East available to Western development and is credited with being the first person to exploit Iraqi oil.

The permanent exhibition and galleries are distributed chronologically and in geographical order to create two independent circuits within the overall tour.

The first circuit highlights Greco-Roman art from classical antiquity and art from the ancient Near East including Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Persian and Armenian art as well as Persian art from the Islamic period.

The second circuit includes European art, with sections dedicated to the art of the book, sculpture, painting and the decorative arts, particularly 18th century French art and the work of René Lalique. In this circuit, a wide-ranging number of pieces reflect various European artistic trends from the beginning of the 11th century to the mid-20th century.



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Founded: 1957
Category: Museums in Portugal


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Francesca Bouaoun (2 years ago)
The collection here is almost overwhelming - Ancient Egypt to Rembrandt. And a stunning selection of Lalique jewellery. Had a bit of trouble when we first arrived - we bought our tickets in the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation building and weren't told there was a tour that morning (which is a little extra) - so we had to do a bit of running back and forth between there and the Founder's Collection building to sort it out. But the tour of the Founder's Collection was excellent. A friendly tour guide showed us some highlights of the collection and I would absolutely recommend it for extra insight. The gardens around the museum are also a lovely green space in the city. The well-priced cafe (with plenty of selection) has an outdoor patio that's a great place to enjoy the surroundings.
Doug Taff (2 years ago)
It's a beautiful museum however getting from the modern art exhibit to the permanent art exhibition, which is in a separate building, is ridiculously difficult due to lack of signage in the expansive grounds. we ended up entering through a cafeteria as that was the only available entrance on the day we went. I'm sure there's a better way but the trustees have failed in making it simple.
Subrata Chakrabarti (2 years ago)
A very interesting museum with the exhibit spread over a couple of buildings in a large walled campus. The modern art is in a smaller building. The Gulbenkian collection is in the larger building. The museum contain the vast collection amassed by the Gulbenkian foundation. The museum has art collection from many countries - Africa, Iran, India and China to mention a few. I was impressed with the display of the carpets. There is a nice cafe on the ground floor. There is also a very nice gift shop on the second floor. You can easily spend the whole day here in this museum.
Rob Jones (2 years ago)
The gardens are lovely, and popular with both locals and visitors. They are of modern design with large concrete platform slabs for paths, hidden recessed spaces, and mature trees and shrubs that give shade and a haven for wildlife. Alongside mallard, there is a pair of Egyptian geese and on our last visit in Jan 2018 we saw a night heron. There are at least three cafés, all good. We didn't visit the main museum this time, but did enjoy the temporary exhibition of 19C French sculpture.
Kate Fulop (2 years ago)
Nice collection. The museums are located in a beautifully designed garden. The cafes and many of the galleries had lovely tranquil spaces that are designed to allow you to just sit and enjoy the experience. It would be the perfect place to spend the day if it was raining
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