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  • Writer's pictureFrancisco Teles da Gama, MA

A Brief History of Museu do Design e da Moda (MUDE)

What is MUDE?

The Museu do Design e da Moda (English: Design and Fashion Museum), or MUDE for short, is a museum of design and fashion that reflects major trends from the 1930s to the end of the 20th century.

Museu do Design e da Moda

Daderot, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

MUDE History

In 2002, Lisbon City Hall acquired the design and fashion collection of businessman Francisco Capelo, a renowned collector who helped found several cultural institutions in Portugal, including the Berardo Collection Museum. After being exhibited in various locations across the city, this collection, which charts the main movements and trends in international design from the 1930s to the end of the 20th century, finally found its permanent home. In 2009, the Design and Fashion Museum (known as MUDE from its Portuguese acronym) opened in the spectacular former headquarters of a bank. There are reminders of its previous function in the building’s solid, rectangular structure and its preserved cabinets, safes, and marble counter.

Capelo’s collection, which forms the nucleus of the museum’s exhibits, is vast and impressive, containing many examples of 20th-century furniture, lighting and clothing – some unique, some produced in series. The museum’s permanent exhibition features work by many icons of modern design, including sculptures by Anish Kapoor, furniture by Hans Wegner, and haute-couture dresses by Christian Lacroix, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Kenzo Takada.

In addition to Capelo’s collection, there are other holdings here at MUDE, introduced following its inauguration. The Fashion Travel Collection 1965-1975, composed of 88 summer garments, extols the spirit of flower power and is also influenced by Op Art – the process of using geometric forms to create optical illusions. Among the many designers represented in the collection, perhaps the one who stands out most is Yves Saint Laurent, while the Storytailors Collection presents 123 21st-century fashion pieces created by Portuguese designers João Branco and Luís Sanchez.

Further sections of the museum celebrate individual artists, including the António Garcia Collection, filled with his emblematic furniture; the Carlos Rocha Collection, which consists of more than 6,000 design pieces; the Carlos Galamba Collection that presents the legacy of the famous automotive and furniture designer; and the Daciano da Costa Collection, featuring works by one of the nation’s most celebrated artists, with examples of his furniture, graphic design, scenography and costumes. MUDE's multifaceted walk-through modern design is as grand as it is detailed and will repay a long and leisurely visit.

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