Colóquio internacional Legados de Artistas Preservação, Estudo, Disseminação, Institucionalização Lisboa, 20-21 Maio 2021 [Online]
Colóquio internacional Legados de Artistas Preservação, Estudo, Disseminação, Institucionalização Lisboa, 20-21 Maio 2021 [Online]

International conference


Preservation, Study, Dissemination, Institutionalisation

Lisbon, 20-21 May 2021 [Online]



The treatment of artistic legacies in all its different aspects involves great responsibility. Several players may take part in it: artists, their heirs or legal representatives, galleries, museums, foundations or academic institutions are the main promoters of the preservation, study, dissemination and management of artistic and documentary estates which make it possible to systematically trace the career path of a specific artist.

The management of artists’ estates often involves public or private institutionalisation solutions. These may take many forms: the deposit of the so-called “documentary” estate in public libraries and archives; the musealisation of the artist’s living space; the integration of the estate (by acquisition, donation or deposit) in existing art museums, foundations or documentation centres; the creation of artists’ foundations, art centres and / or monographic museums based on the estate; and the dissemination of those estates through digital projects (online catalogues raisonnés; virtual museums and documentation centres, etc.).  

Safeguarding artists’ legacies is a complex and not always easy task, physically, materially and even emotionally. The issue has been debated in recent years within international organisations such as The Institute for Artists’ Estates (Germany), the Joan Mitchell Foundation / CALL (Creating a Living Legacy) Program (USA), or the Swiss Institute for Art Research (SIK-ISEA) (Switzerland). Their projects problematise some of the aspects related to the management of artistic legacies: mediation with artists or their representatives, legal specificities in the reception and institutionalisation processes of works of art and documents, cataloguing and archiving, creating catalogues raisonnés, and study and dissemination strategies to keep legacies “alive” through academic and curatorial action. In Portugal, the questions related to this issue are part of the everyday work of institutions that have the responsibility to manage artistic legacies in many different ways. Among numerous possible examples, this is the case with Fundação Arpad Szenes-Vieira da Silva (FASVS), Atelier-Museu Júlio Pomar / EGEAC or the recent research projects BAC - Banco de Arte Contemporânea and Laboratório de Artes na Montanha - Graça Morais.

Besides these issues, the debate on artists’ legacies also involves broader topics related to the fields of artistic and cultural studies, such as:

-      The safeguarding processes of artists’ legacies stimulate market dynamics, namely by valuing artists and works that had previously been outside of the main trade circuits, and therefore away from the spotlight of artistic players (museums, galleries, critics). How do these relations take place and relate to the development of new critical discourses around works, periods and geographies? Do these movements contribute to a revision or a historiographical rethinking on a greater or lesser scale?

-      In what way is the artists’ active positioning in planning the future of their estate – besides personal concerns – framed by contemporary self-determination movements of artists regarding the work’s processes of meaning and its exhibition contexts?

Organised by Arpad Szenes-Vieira da Silva Foundation, in collaboration with Institute of History of Art of Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Laboratory Arts in Montanha-Graça Morais, and Atelier-Museu Júlio Pomar / EGEAC, the International Conference «ARTISTS’ LEGACIES. Preservation, Study, Dissemination, Institutionalisation» intends to be a platform for debate on the active management processes of artists’ legacies, in their multiple facets. The one-and-a-half-day meeting will bring together several academics, professionals, and descendants of artists who have addressed these themes within the scope of their professional duties or for personal reasons.

The International Colloquium «Legacies of Artists. Preservation, Study, Dissemination, Institutionalization » integrates communications in English and French, selected after a process of call for papers, and is organised in 5 sessions:

-      Artists’ Estates: challenges | Successions d’artistes: quels défis?

-      Institutionalising and preserving artistic legacies | Successions d’artistes: institutionnalisation et préservation

-      Preserving artistic legacies: artists, their heirs, and other agents | Préserver les successions d’artistes: artistes, leurs héritiers et autres acteurs

-      Documenting and activating artistic memories| Documenter et activer les héritages des artistes

-      Disseminating artistic legacies: catalogues raisonnés | Diffuser les héritages artistiques:  la question des catalogues raisonnés


The papers will be compiled in an e-book available in open access on the websites of the Arpad Szenes - Vieira da Silva Foundation and the Institute of Art History, Universidade Nova de Lisboa.




Participation is free, limited to available online places.

Mandatory registration, until 15 May, via email (name and institutional affiliation must be mentioned).


Scientific Commitee


Marina Bairrão Ruivo (FASVS)

Raquel Henriques da Silva (IHA, FCSH/NOVA)

Sandra Santos (FASVS)

Sara Antónia Matos (Atelier-Museu Júlio Pomar/EGEAC; projeto BAC)

Scarlett Reliquet (Musées d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie, Paris)

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