© Jose Goncalves / CC BY-SA 3.0
The modernist poet and writer José Régio was born and died in Vila do Conde, despite spending most of his life elsewhere in Portugal. Much of his works focused on the conflict between man and God, and between the individual and society. He was also known for being a thorn in the side of Salazar's dictatorship and the Estado Novo.
Régio also had a magpie-like appetite for collecting art of all kinds and it is this that forms the basis of this house/museum. Much of the collection is religious art; paintings, statues and ex-votos (offerings), but the author also had a passion for modern art.
What makes the museum particularly interesting is that it is set in Régio's relatively unassuming terraced house. This house was left to him by an aunt and he intended to spend his final years here. It offers an intimate glimpse into both the poet's life and his fascinating collection with everything left as a snapshot of how he had arranged it. The office, the bedroom (where he died), the dining room and garden are all as he left them, along with the arrangement of the "modern painting room" which was assembled by his brother, the artist Júlio Régio.
Such was the extent of Régio's collecting that there is another similar museum of his house and collected artworks in his former house in Portalegre.