Boats and Fishermen in Mosteiros, circa 1924. Oil on canvas, private collection.

Whaling Museum announces landmark Rebêlo exhibition

The New Bedford Whaling Museum today announced that the first-ever American exhibition of the work of Domingos Rebêlo, one of the premier modernist painters of the 20th century, will be presented at the Whaling Museum beginning March 31, 2022 through September 22, 2022.

The Azorean Spirit: The Art of Domingos Rebêlo will be the seminal exhibition of the work of Domingos Rebêlo (1871-1971). Organized by his grandson, researcher and Guest Curator Jorge Rebêlo, the exhibition brings together over seventy paintings and works on paper from collections in continental Portugal and the Azores.

“My grandfather had a lifelong dream of exhibiting his work for Portuguese emigrant audiences in the United States, one that never came to fruition in his lifetime,” said Jorge Rebêlo. “I am thrilled to have partnered with the New Bedford Whaling Museum and so many others to see his dream fulfilled, and to display his work for an American audience for the very first time.”

Today, Rebêlo is regarded as the premiere modernist painter of Portuguese art. In a career spanning more than 60 years, Rebêlo created thousands of works of art that reflected his Portuguese identity and culture and honored his Azorean roots.

“New Bedford and the Azores are uniquely connected, and Azorean heritage and culture forges a unique cultural bridge between the islands and the SouthCoast” said Naomi Slipp, the Douglas and Cynthia Crocker Endowed Chair for the Chief Curator. “More than half of New Bedford residents today trace their heritage to this story, and we are proud to pay homage to their legacy in bringing this seminal exhibition to our city.”

The museum will host a special public viewing and reception followed by an hour-long roundtable exploring Rebêlo’s legacy on Thursday, April 7, 2022. Slipp will be joined by preeminent scholars of Azorean and Portuguese art, Memory Holloway, Onésimo Teotónio Almeida, and Jorge Rebêlo, to discuss Rebêlo’s life and body of work. The roundtable will be presented both in-person and in a virtual format. Pre-registration is required and may be done through the New Bedford Whaling Museum website.

The exhibition will be accompanied by the publication of a 240-page, bi-lingual exhibition catalogue with scholarly essays by Portuguese and American scholars. The catalogue promises to introduce Rebêlo to English-speaking audiences and become the seminal scholarly publication on the artist in both languages.

This landmark exhibition has been made possible by major funding and logistical support from Massachusetts State Senator Michael J. Rodrigues, an anonymous donor, The Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, TAP Air Portugal, SATA-Azores Airlines, The Senator Rodrigues Arts and Culture Fund of the SouthCoast Community Foundation, and the Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD). For more information on the exhibition and the surrounding events, please visit the New Bedford Whaling Museum website.



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