Run by the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, the National Museum of Modern Art is the most visited museum in Portugal, and is an outpost of culture in western Porto. It occupies a new building in an 18-hectare (44-acre) park next to the sherbet-pink Art Deco mansion where the collection was formerly displayed. Pritzker Prize-winning architect Álvaro Siza, a native son, designed the stark granite-and-stucco new structure. The building is Porto's finest example of 1930s Art Nouveau. The museum exhibits the work of an exemplary coterie of contemporary Portuguese painters, designers, and sculptors. Exhibits change constantly, but there's always something interesting on display. The descriptions of the works are in Portuguese, but you can ask to see an English-language video on the artists. It's also worth the time to wander through the sculptured gardens and see their fountains. There's even old farmland tumbling down toward the Douro.
- © Frommer's 2013
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