Vicente's Photography Museum
In 1848, when Vicente Gomes da Silva set up his studio he did not imagine that this would lead to a museum. This is precisely what happened though and today the 'Photographia - Vicentes Museum' is the oldest photography studio in Portugal. It has a vast collection that combines Vicentes' collection with the unique photographic heritage of several families in Funchal.
Besides the importance of the collection of original photography, one of the most impressive aspects of the above, is the presence of practically the entire organisational structure of a photography studio from the nineteenth century, with scenarios, furniture, machinery and other photographic artifacts, used for more than a century.
The museum has about 400,000 negatives of the Vicentes collection which are already catalogued dating between 1870 and 1978 and recorded in 47 books. It represents a rich historical source of commercial activities of the distinguished visitors who passed through the island of Madeira and also for the genealogical study of Madeira’s families.
Since opening to the public, the museum’s collection has been enriched with other acquisitions and donations from professional and amateur photographers, which makes its photo archive amount to a total of 800,000 negatives. The museum also has a nucleus relevant to cinema, part of which has also been donated.