Museu Bordalo Pinheiro was founded by Artur Ernesto da Cruz Magalhães in 1916 for his collection of work by Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro (1846-1905), a striking figure in Portuguese culture in the second half of the 19th century. Rafael was an inventor who followed his own path, dedicating himself to the graphic and visual arts, ceramics, product design and decoration. He produced a vast body of work that almost always critically reflected the cultural, political and social daily life of his time.
The museum brings together a notable library and collection of his artistic work and that of his son, Manuel Gustavo, with an emphasis on drawing, engraving, painting, ceramics, tiles, equipment and utensils, photography and documentation. A museum built by a private individual with a philanthropic intention: to offer the city a space for popular education, dedicated to a man of causes, who put his talent at the service of values such as freedom of thought, the denunciation of inequalities and of course, humour.