Círculo de Artes Plásticas de Coimbra

Founded in 1958 by a group of young students from the Coimbra Academy, among whom Rui Emilio Vilar and Mário Silva are of note, the Círculo de Artes Plásticas de Coimbra (CAPC) is the oldest Portuguese institution dedicated to the promotion of contemporary art. It is an entity of the Coimbra Academy – with artistic and administrative autonomy – and a non-profit cultural association recognised as being of cultural interest by the Portuguese state. Its aim is to raise public awareness and captivate public attention for contemporary art and culture.

Its core objectives are the promotion and diffusion of the visual arts, gaining audiences for contemporary art; provision of a broad knowledge of contemporary artistic perspectives, their components and narratives, fostering a taste for enjoyment of art; and the promotion of contemporary art exhibitions and multidisciplinary cultural activities.

The CAPC was always home to the Portuguese artistic avant-garde of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, it constitutes a pole of contemporary artistic production and diffusion and it is considered an important centre of independent art, based in the central region of Portugal. Its focus is mainly contemporary art exhibitions which give particular attention to emerging artistic production; the production and publication of documentation on art and on the diffusion and discussion of contemporary subjects, seeking to shape an informed and participative public.

The Círculo de Artes Plásticas de Coimbra has a collection of art from its six-decade-long history and a historical legacy whose importance is mingled with that of its own main office building (which culminated in it being classified as a Monument of Public Interest), itself a unique document in the narrative of the history of contemporary art in Portugal.

In the ordinance of classification of the property as Monument of Public Interest (published on September 20, 2016), the Minister of Culture highlights the value of the collection and recalls that the building that houses the CAPC constitutes its material symbol, functioning as a privileged physical space for the production and diffusion of the artistic vanguard since the 1970s to the present day: “In addition to its function as a creative and reflection centre, where some of the greatest characters of our national culture began their work, it is home to the CAPC’s collection of contemporary art, as well as various bibliographical and documentary collections”, justifies the minister, classifying the building as “a cultural facility of reference at the national level”.

The CAPC, which operates on a continuous daily basis in two distinct centres – Círculo Sede and Círculo Sereia – offers a diverse set of activities ranging from contemporary art exhibitions to holding symposia, lectures, debates and cinema and video programmes. It promotes specific activities as part of its own pedagogical programmes, which include guided visits and communications. The aforementioned CAPC collection, which has been developed with particular focus since 1992, is of particular significance.

Today, the CAPC is a prominent producer of a new generation of artists whose activities constitute unquestionable references in Portuguese contemporary art.

The great event conceived, organized and produced by CAPC, in partnership with Coimbra City Hall and the University of Coimbra, has been Anozero – Coimbra Biennial of Contemporary Art.

CAPC – Círculo Sede
Rua Castro Matoso, 18
3000–104 Coimbra

CAPC – Círculo Sereia
Casa Municipal da Cultura, Piso -1
Parque de Santa Cruz, Jardim da Sereia
3001–401 Coimbra

Opening hours
terça a sábado | 2 p.m.–6 p.m.

Tel. 239 821 670 | 910 787 255
Email: geral@capc.com.pt
Further information: www.capc.com.pt