• ARTE.M

The only national museum devoted entirely to photography -The Atelier Vicente’s


The oldest photo studio on Madeira Island

Our team took an hour and a half tour of the world of photography, history of photography, first cameras, lenses, Vicente familiy and the work process in photographing in that time.

We girls are taking pictures, choosing, editing and taking more pictures and more ... and in the end we still don't like it, so let's ask for more. But, back in time, people had no opportunity to do that, not even close. It took at least fifteen minutes to make a photo, without moving and breathing slowly so you don't destroy the photo. Imagine how difficult this was for everyone, especially children and even animals!

Plenty of time and materials that would be dangerous if you didn't use them properly! Well, I can say that it takes a lot of courage and a lot of patience to be a photographer! And it cost a fortune to have a photo, so only the rich people would have that chance.

Our tour guide explained the work process to us in detail, talked a lot about the Vincentian family, how few generations of them became photographers without the opportunity to choose another profession! This and much more information you can get if you visit this amazing place! So professional and worth visiting!

Our tour guide and photographer Marco, showing us parts of the old cameras

The oldest photography studio in the country has a vast collection of scenarios, cameras and a photographic archive with around 800,000 negatives.

The building where the Madeira Photography Museum - Atelier Vicente’s is currently located is located at Rua da Carreira, in the heart of Funchal. It consists of the former residence and photo studio of Vicente Gomes da Silva, a pioneer of photography in Portugal.



The studio, founded in 1848 by Vicente Gomes da Silva, was transformed into a museum, and today the Madeira Photography Museum - Atelier Vicente’s is the oldest existing photography studio in Portugal. In addition to the filling of the studio, it offers its visitors the possibility of closely observing scenarios, cameras, books related to photographic techniques and even studio furniture.


It has about 400 thousand negatives from the Vicentes collection already cataloged, dated between 1870 and 1978, and which are registered in 47 books, constituting a very rich historical source of commercial activities, of illustrious visitors who passed through the island of Madeira and also for the study genealogies of Madeiran families.


Since its opening to the public, the collection of this museum has been enriched with other acquisitions and donations from collections of professional and amateur photographers, which makes its photographic archive amount to a total of 800,000 negatives, in addition to present a nucleus related to cinema, part of it, also the result of donations.



Opening Hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 10:00 - 17:00 Adress: Rua da Carreira, 43 - 1º, 9000-904 Funchal





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© 2019 by Valeriia S. for ARTE.M cultural and artistic association on Madeira island