Whilst on a river cruise on the Douro in Portugal my husband and I had the opportunity to visit this fantastic museum. Our only regret was that we only had a couple of hours as there is so much to see and reflect upon, it really is a whole day’s visit or even better to spread it over two days with time to reflect in between. The galleries display a vast array of art nouveau and art deco of all genres.
The actual building was originally a small private palace built in the 20th century but was restored by the authorities in the late eighties to create this museum.
The porcelain collection is the most international collection in the museum.
The enamel works include French enamel from Limoges – particularly a pair of vases made by Camille Faure.
My favourite section was the art deco glass collection with much work by Renee Lalique – (notably displaying his use of plain or pastel shades to represent flora.and aquatics,) and his follower Ernest Sabine. Other glass works on display were by Emile Galle (creator of the Nancy School) and the most beautiful perfume bottles..
There are more than 100 works using the mixing of ivory and bronze (chriselephantine) to create statuettes by many famous sculptors, including the stylized and beautiful dancers by Chiparus based on the dancers in the Russian ballet company of the 20s, and some of the works by Ferdinand Preiss..
There is a splendid collection of dolls from Germany ( including the character babies ) and the luxurious French dolls, and a small collection of toys, incuding some by Margarete Steiff.
One of the most important and beautiful bronzes was the sensual dancer created by Karl Kauba.
The fan and jewellery collection was fascinating, and I could have spent hours studying the furniture on display including a wonderful desk by Joan Busquets.
By the time we came to the paintings our heads were full and reeling and wondered if perhaps the museum had considered rotating their displays.
We were not allowed to take photographs apart from the wonderful windows in the cafe
but if you wish to see some of the items that mesmerised us the website is www.museocasalis.org.
If you are ever lucky enough to find yourself in salamanca ( which is a beautiful city ) then we wholeheartedly recommend a visit to this museum. we promise you will not be disappointed