The Center for Contemporary Art - Municipal Museum was created in 2004, when Professor José-Augusto França donated a relevant part of his personal art collection - the result of several decades of work as an art critic and historian - to the Municipality of Tomar.
The set of more than two hundred works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs, covers a period in time that goes from 1932 to the present day. It reflects well the work and friendship relations established for more than sixty years by Professor José Augusto França, born in Tomar, in the course of his activity.
Jorge Mascarenhas is the architect responsible for the adaptation project of the building where the Center is installed. It has an exhibition area of about 500m2. Outside, two large-scale works welcome visitors: the sculpture “Blue Tree” by José de Guimarães and the tile panel “Luminous Modulation X” by Eduardo Nery, both specifically designed for the Museum and offered by the artists.
The collection includes works from different periods. Mário Eloy, Júlio and Almada Negreiros mark the Modernism of the second quarter of the 20th century. Surrealism is represented in the collection with a significant number of works from the late 1940s and early 1950s. These are works produced by the Lisbon Surrealist Group, which includes names such as António Pedro, Fernando de Azevedo, Vespeira, Moniz Pereira and Fernando Lemos. In this context, due to the plastic innovation they embody, the photographs of the latter stand out, or the productions of Fernando de Azevedo and Moniz Pereira, which, through surrealist automatism, configure the transition from figurative painting to lyrical abstractionism. A work by Fernando Lanhas illustrates the line of geometric abstractionism. From the 60s and 70s, the collection includes a set of works representative of the new figurative glow. The figure, understood in a broad sense, recovers the prominence.
In this trend, the productions of the KWY Group stand out: René Bertholo, Lourdes Castro, José Escada, Costa Pinheiro and João Vieira; or the very personal ways developed by Ângelo de Sousa, Joaquim Rodrigo, Noronha da Costa and João Cutileiro - with the marble model of the controversial King Sebastião that he designed for Lagos - in the construction of the New Figuration.
The varied production that marks the last decades of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century is represented with works by Jorge Martins, Manuel Casimiro, António Sena, José de Guimarães and Ana Vidigal, among others.
The Center for Contemporary Art plays an important role in the dissemination of Portuguese art of the 20th century, functioning as a kind of compendium of what was done in Portugal in the last century, as it integrates many of the works currently studied in art schools, for this period.
Summer (April to September): Thrusday to Sunday, from 10am to 1pm and from 2 pm to 6 pm. terça-feira a domingo, das 10h00 às 13h00 e das 14h00 às 18h00;
Winter (October to March): Wednesday to Sunday, from 2 pm to 5 pm.
Closed on January 1, May 1 and December 25.