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EDP Foundation Art Collection

The EDP Foundation Art Collection was started in 2000 with the aim of encompassing several generations of contemporary Portuguese artists, as well as assorted expressions of artistic creation such as painting, photography, video and installation. Continuously evolving with yearly acquisitions, the collection comprises approximately 2,400 works by more than 330 artists.

Although the oldest piece dates back to 1942, chronologically, this collection was set to begin with the 1960s, a decade of revolutionary change not only in society, with the emergence of civil rights movements, the sexual revolution and counterculture protests, but also in art, with the rise of Pop Art, Minimalism and Conceptual Art, among many other movements. This was also the time when the Portuguese Electricity Company, the precursor of EDP (Energias de Portugal), was created.

Starting with works by artists such as Jorge Pinheiro, Ângelo de Sousa and Lourdes de Castro, and continuing to the following decades with Jorge Martins, Alberto Carneiro, Helena Almeida, Eduardo Gageiro and Luísa Correia Pereira, but also João Louro, Joana Vasconcelos, Leonor Antunes, Rui Toscano, among many others, the collection maps Portuguese art up to the present day by including artists from more recent generations, such as João Maria Gusmão + Pedro Paiva, André Romão, Mariana Silva or Horácio Frutuoso.

With the acquisition of the Pedro Cabrita Reis Collection in 2015, consisting of 388 works by 74 artists, the EDP Foundation holds now one of the most significant collections of contemporary Portuguese art from the turn of the 20th century.

EDP Foundation Energy Heritage Collection

The EDP Foundation Energy Heritage Collection was started in 1998. It gathers around 3,500 pieces linked to the history of electricity in Portugal, some of them dating back to the 19th century. These include items of domestic, personal and industrial use, including machinery and equipment — measuring devices and meters, household appliances, illumination and lab equipment — as well as a vast collection of documents.

The 1870 dynamo electric machine and the 1901 Booster generator are the oldest pieces in the collection. The Landis & Gyr coin counter, together with the more than 400 counters in the collection, contribute to the study of technical and technological developments in electricity metering equipment. The Francis, Kaplan and Pelton turbines illustrate the three main types of hydraulic turbines. The Magneto filament lamp of the 1920s relates to the development of the technology used to light Portuguese streets and homes. The AEG refrigerator, the General Electric fan, the Luxor radio and the RCA portable television, among other electrical devices, are examples of the introduction of home appliances in Portuguese homes from the 1920s.

The EDP Foundation has the most important national archive on the history of electricity in Portugal, a collection comprising more than 180,000 documents from the end of the 19th century to the present day. These include posters, leaflets and magazines advertising the coming and use of electricity and gas throughout the 20th century; drawings of electrical machines and buildings linked to the production and distribution of electricity; and scientific and technical books and journals related to electrotechnical engineering, industry and economics. A rich collection of photographic materials document moments, places, people and their occupations in 20th-century Portugal.

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