In its over 500 years of history, the archipelago of Madeira has accumulated a vast range of cultural and artistic references, inexorably linked to the main cycles of its economy: Sugar, Wine and Tourism.
The diversity of the wealth of heritage thus relates to a series of experiences and contacts which its geographic condition determined.
The Archipelago of Madeira, and by association, the Island of Madeira, is marked by an evident cosmopolitanism, both from early on by dint of the arrival of many foreigners connected with the sugar business, particularly the Flemish and the Italian peninsula, then by the English who dominated and were responsible for the internationalisation of Madeira Wine.
Tourism, firstly for therapeutic reasons in the 19th century, then involving leisure, today constitutes the main sector of our economy.
The mild climate, its landscape and nature, as well as a strong cultural identity, where heritage has gained a new lease of life, assert the principles guiding the European Community, where the union is strengthened with the assertion of the wealth of diversity of memories of the various units, to form a whole.
The MUSEUMAC project presents a wide range of institutions which are not only irreplaceable reserves of memories, but also powerful agents of education and leisure, from an integrated logic of heritage study.
The Museu de Arte Sacra houses the collections of Flemish art from the 15th and 16th centuries and an exceptional set of Portuguese religious art. The Museu Quinta das Cruzes and the Casa-Museu Frederico de Freitas have important collections related with Portuguese and European decorative arts and the memory of Funchal estates. The Museu de Arte Contemporânea do Funchal-Fortaleza de São Tiago houses a collection of Portuguese art from the 1960's to today.
Also worthy of mention is the Photographia Museu-“Vicentes” with its exceptional collection of images from Madeira and of its visitors from the mid-19th century almost until today and the Museu Etnográfico da Madeira, with its history of the memory of everyday life and the recording of its ethnological and anthropological references.
The MUSEUMAC project is thus able to put itself forward as an instrument asserting an atlantic identity as the reference for the experience of Europe, out of itself own. It has become a vehicle for bringing together the various archipelagos and the knowledge of its cultural wealth.