The Fado Museum permanent exhibit is a tribute to Fado and its promoters, promoting its history since nineteenth century Lisbon.
The museological circuit was drawn around the need to incorporate renewed thematic contents, from the recently incorporated museological spoil to the theoretical constructions about fado brought to light by research projects under the museum’s tutelage, or even the information included in the institution’s archive, which still has not been concluded to this date due to space contingencies and the recent evolution of Lisbon’s urban song, and the subsequent studies on it.
Aiming to significantly increase the quantity and quality of the information offered to the visitor, and allowing its constant update and renewal, the museographical discourse also contemplated an interactive multimedia component, arousing a multidisciplinary reading on this performing practice - alive and dynamic, and, today as yesterday, structured on the systematic dialogue between traditions of the past, technologic evolutions and media processes and the new generations approaches.
Throughout the exhibit, visitors are invited to discover the history of Fado, from its origins in the nineteenth century up to present, the main means that urban song used to get media coverage: theatre, radio, cinema and television – the technical and historical evolution of the Portuguese guitar, Fado Houses’ environment, as well as the biographic and artistic portrait of hundreds of Fado personalities.
Besides documenting the biography of artists that wrote, and are still writing Fado’s history, the exhibit also reflects the relationship between the Portuguese society and Fado, through an important collection of fine arts’ works.
In this exhibit, visitors may admire the emblematic work entitled “O Fado”, by José Malhoa (1910), temporarily ceded by Museu da Cidade, “O Marinheiro” triptych, by Constantino Fernandes (1913), ceded by Museu do Chiado/IMC or “O Mais Português dos Quadros a Óleo”, by João Vieira (2005), apart from numerous other testimonials from the universe of Fado: music instruments, specialized newspapers and magazines, music scores, trophies, garments, etc.
While developing this project we also gave special attention to the technologies most suited to music hearing, in order to increase the hearing and cultural fruition of the different fados throughout the museological circuit. In this sense, the use of an audio guide system in a relatively small exhibition space is connected to the need to equip the Museum with the instruments capable of fulfilling its interpreting function, thus giving the visitor the possibility to know fado’s universe according to his interests and will, without felling constrained by time or pressured by other visitors or groups.
In parallel, the interactive consultation stations which are now available throughout the museological circuit - enabling to consult the documental bodies or the biographies of interpreters, musicians, authors and composers accompanied by voice and videograms - will by systematically updated.