Foundation Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva (FRESS)

A guardian of the Portuguese cultural tradition in the field of art and traditional crafts, the Fondation Ricardo do Espirito Santo Silva, was established in 1953 as a teaching museum. Its task is to collect, revive, maintain and teach new generations the rigour and mastery acquired by the ancient masters. The aim is to safeguard these old methods and techniques, so as to pass them on to future generations, a centuries-old tradition that should be preserved. In its nineteen separate workshops – a true living museum – the mission is renewed daily with participating children, students and teachers, as well as visitors and tourists. Increasingly there is involvement too from contemporary artists and individuals who wish to learn a traditional craft. As well as safeguarding and handing on the techniques embedded in our cultural heritage, the policy ensures also the actual conservation and restoration of both artefacts and the intangible heritage, in both national and international contexts.

“The great initiative taken by this museum 60 years ago, to offer a high quality facility to train new craftspeople in a wide range of techniques required to restore and create a large variety of cultural heritage objects, made a huge impression on the Jury. The enthusiasm and the consistent competence, by means of which many techniques that would otherwise have been lost are now being passed on to future generation, is highly laudable.”

Foundation Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva (FRESS), Lisbon, PORTUGAL