The Ricardo Espírito Santo Silva Foundation
In 1953, the banker and collector Ricardo Espírito Santo Silva donated the Azurara Palace and part of his private collection to the Portuguese State.
In this way the Foundation, named after him was created as a Museum-School with the aim of protecting and disseminating the Portuguese Decorative Arts and the handicrafts related to them.
Today, besides the Museum of Portuguese Decorative Arts, the Foundation has 18 Portuguese traditional arts and crafts workshops that keep alive a very significant intangible heritage of savoir-faire and ensure a specialized intervention in the Portuguese heritage through the conservation and restoration laboratory.
It also has two schools where the Arts are taught: the Escola Superior de Artes Decorativas (ESAD) and the Instituto de Artes e Ofícios (IAO), giving continuity to the transfer of knowledge, where the teaching of the arts is a priority and a mission.
After several decades, the Foundation continues to be a prestigious benchmark in the dissemination and preservation of the savoir-faire of the Portuguese decorative arts.