The Collection from the Arpad Szenes - Vieira da Silva Museum holds a significant core of drawings, paintings and engravings, spanning a vast period, summing up the life work from both artists.
The collection of art works belonging to the museum can be grouped according to three major nuclei, selected according to the date and type of incorporation.
A first set comprising the largest volume of works, about 3,200 drawings, paintings and engravings, donated by Maria Helena Vieira da Silva to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in 1987. This donation supposed that all these works were to be deposited in the future Museum Arpad Szenes - Vieira da Silva. She annexed to this donation a small set of 71 works from various artists (friends, admirers or disciples) from her private collection.
The second group of works to be admitted to the Museum is composed of twenty works by Arpad Szenes and eighteen works by Vieira da Silva, selected by Arpad himself and reiterated in a will, destined for the Portuguese State and negotiated between the Governments of France and Portugal. These works arrived in Portugal in August of 1994 and immediately integrated the collection of the Museum.
The third nucleus, and one of the most representative in terms importance and value, consists of a collection of privately owned works, that several institutions and individual collectors have been depositing in the Museum over the years. Highlights include the collection of Jorge de Brito, now owned by his heirs, which is undoubtedly one of the largest and most outstanding collections of Vieira da Silva, bringing together about sixteen paintings inescapable in the painter's career. Recently, five of those works were acquired by the Portuguese Government, now integrating the Museum’s permanent Collection. Also worthy of mention are the works of the Modern Art Center collection of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Metropolitano de Lisboa Collection.
The collection also holds special editions illustrated by Arpad Szenes and Vieira da Silva, a very important core of photography from their personal archive and an epistolography core containing circa 4000 items dating back to 1930, including the couple’s correspondence with each other since the beginning of their relationship as well as with Portuguese and foreign artists and intellectuals.