The traditional village of Viana do Alentejo recognizes the transmission of the generational knowledge of the clay work as one of the lines of its cultural and artistic identity. From the “green clay” of the Baiões homestead to the alguidar de bordo saliente, the cultural heritage of Viana do Alentejo has the silhouette of the utilitarian shapes and the colors of modernity of the local ceramics: in a production centered on pieces of everyday use, we find a decoration with strong reminiscences in the teachings of the Escola de Olaria Médico de Sousa, where the geometric drawing and the figurative Alentejo representations of the countryside and local heritage scenarios are a record of memory for all generations.

With strong evidence in terms of the ceramic remains found in the vicinity of the Santuário de Nossa Senhora d’Aires and the Romeira hill, the roman and arab presences in Viana do Alentejo are attested by the archaeological works of names like Leite de Vasconcelos, Félix Alves and José Oliveira Caeiro.

In the medieval period, the King D.Dinis rescues the Herdade de Foxem for the Portuguese Crown, donated to D. Gil Martins Riba de Vizela by D. Afonso III, the same that in 1255 granted the local potters authorization to extract clay at the Baiões homestead.

The settlement was granted a charter in 1313, together with authorization to erect a fortification. In 1481, Viana do Alentejo was to receive the closure of the portuguese courts.

Guided by an ideal of social progress and economic development, António Isidoro de Sousa, leader of the movement that in 1898 would restore the municipality of Viana do Alentejo, implements two pioneering projects in 19th century Portugal: the União Vinícola e Oleícola do Sul (UVOS) ) in 1892, Portugal’s first cooperative winery, and in 1893 the Escola de Olaria Médico de Sousa, the country’s first ceramic school.

This school-workshop would become a true cultural pole for Portugal in the 50/60 of the 20th century: the reforms implemented by Aníbal Alcino, based on the work developed by Júlio Resende, and the results of his pedagogical plan (like the Colective Honorable Mention in the 1st National Ceramics Exhibition) would attract important cultural figures like Júlio Reis Pereira, António Charrua and Vergílio Ferreira.

Luís Miguel Duarte

Luís Miguel Duarte

Mayor of Viana do Alentejo

Message from the Mayor of Viana do Alentejo

The traditional pottery of Viana do Alentejo encloses in the parchments of the utilitarian forms of clay and in the manual work on the wheel, the maturation of several generations of potters, reaching our days, not only as part of the narrative local, but as one of the main interlocutors of regional and national ceramics, or had the former Escola-Oficina Médico de Sousa not been the first industrial ceramics school in Portugal, where names such as Júlio Resende, Aníbal Alcino and Armando Correia taught, as well as Francisco Lagarto, one of the greatest references in the Viana do Alentejo ceramic scene.

Due to the heritage of utilitarian forms, the eloquent chromatic palette and decorative portfolio that wanders between the naïve figuration and the geometry of the trace, the pottery and ceramics of Viana do Alentejo are mainstays of the cultural heritage of the village that, leaning against the mountain range of the same name, became potter for the generational tradition of clay and ceramics for the artistic flair of the Vianense soul.

Luís Miguel Duarte
Mayor of Viana do Alentejo

APTCVC Representatives

Paula Marise Bamond das Neves_Viana do Alentejo

Vice President Paula Marise Bamond das Neves, Viana do Alentejo