Alberto de Lacerda assembled a remarkable collection of photographs and works of art during his lifetime.
His collection of photographs, many of them taken with his treasured Kodak Baby Brownie camera, introduce us to his friends and special places. An attempt has been made to follow a chronological order. Alberto also collected hundreds of studio photographs connected to the performing arts.
Alberto’s love of the visual arts earned him close friendships with practicing artists. Many of the works of art in Alberto’s estate were gifts from such friends as Jean Hugo, Vieira da Silva, Arpad Szenes, Adrien de Menasce, Victor Willing, and Paula Rego.
A brief introduction precedes each group of photographs and works of art. Clicking on an image will allow fullscreen viewing and information details.
Every effort has been made to obtain all necessary permissions. Any comments and suggestions are welcome.
This section records aspects of colonial Mozambique and introduces us to Alberto’s family.
Some of the most distinguished figures in Lisbon’s cultural circles of the time are included in this section. Alberto’s photographs by Fernando Lemos have been widely exhibited in Portugal.
Atrocities of the Salazar political regime marked Alberto de Lacerda for life. “Freedom,” he claimed, “is my only obsession.”
During the 1950s, Alberto consolidated his life and friendships in London. Lisbon friends who came to see him were introduced to London’s cultural venues and personalities.
This section extends to Alberto’s 3-month stay in Brazil at the end of the decade.
The 1960s was a busy decade for Alberto. He travelled to Lisbon, Mozambique, and France. He was also frequently visited by friends from abroad attracted by the London scene.
Although permanently based in London, Alberto maintained periods of residence abroad, starting with a visiting professorship at Austin, Texas. At the end of the decade he travelled to Italy and Mexico.
A second visiting professorship took Alberto to Boston University in 1972. This became a part-time contract for the autumn term of the academic year, which enabled him to spend most of his time in London.
A regular salary and frugal habits allowed Alberto to visit friends throughout Europe and the United States.
In his own words, Alberto de Lacerda was “a solitary person with a rich and varied social life.” Entertaining and visiting friends was a continuing source of pleasure for him.
Upon Alberto’s retirement from Boston University in 1996, he returned to a more solitary life in London.
The small selection of dance photographs shown here, in alphabetical order by dancer, range from an inscribed photograph of the Flamenco dancer Antonio in Lisbon 1951, to Nina Valois dancing in the Diaghilev Ballet in the London Coliseum. There is a signed photograph of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and a photograph by Studio-Lipnitzki, Paris of Jean Babilée and Nathalie Philippart. Also included are Merce Cunningham, Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, and Ram Gopal photographed by Carl Van Vechten. There are 3 photographs of Martha Graham, one by Sochi Tsunami, and one by Ben Pinchot, New York, and a photograph inscribed Movement never lies. Tamara Karsavina is photographed by Bertram Park, London, and there are 3 photographs of Serge Lifar, photographed by Sasha, London (with Felia Dubrovska), and Teddy Piaz and Studio-Lipnitzki, Paris (both inscribed in Lisbon 1949). Alberto is photographed with Alicia Markova by Boston University Photo Services. There is a copyright photograph of Léonide Massine in “Pretouchka” by Anthony, London. There is a photograph of Vaslav Nijinsky, and two signed photographs of his daughter Kyra Nijinsky by Audrey and Leslie Elstob, London. Anna Pavlova in Egypt is photographed by Anglo-Swiss Photo Studio, Cairo.
Works of Art
Alberto de Lacerda enjoyed sitting for his portrait, and was portrayed by several of his artist friends. Edgar Ritchard (Australia, 1908-1984) made several drawings of Alberto, two of which are shown here from c. 1954. Alberto sat for an oil painting by Alfons Purtscher (Austria, 1885-1962) in 1956, and for Rui Filipe (Portugal, 1928-1997) in 1962. Among the several drawings of Alberto by Arpad Szenes (Hungary/France, 1897-1985), two are shown here, from 1964 and 1971. Júlio Pomar (Portugal, 1926) and William Augustus Berry (US, 1933-2010) drew portraits of Alberto c. 1970. In 1972 Jean Hugo (France, 1894-1984) drew several portraits of Alberto, one of which is shown here. Victor Willing (UK, 1928-1988) drew Alberto in 1975, and Marc Widershien (US, 1944-2016) made a small collage of “The Reluctant Sculptor” in 1976. Rory McEwen (UK, 1932-1982) and Gisèle Goby (France, b. 1908) portrayed Alberto in 1978. Jorge Martins (Portugal, 1940) did 2 photograph and coloured pencil photographs in 1983, one of which is shown here. Paula Rego (Portugal, 1935) did several drawings of Alberto, including the one shown here from 1997.
The following is a small selection of pre-20th century art from Alberto de Lacerda’s estate. Included are drawings by Cesare Dandini (attributed, Italy, 1596-1657), prints by Rembrandt (Holland, 1606-1669), and 17th century prints of the Island of Mozambique, The New Shot Mill near Waterloo Bridge, and Ruins of Lisbon after the earthquake in 1755. Other artists included here are Josia Banks (UK, 18th century), William Blake (UK, 1757-1827), Thomas Barker of Bath (UK, 1769-1847), Benjamin Barker of Bath (UK, 1776-1838), Christine Bonaparte (Lady Dudley Stuart) (UK, 1789-1847), Sir William Boxall, RA (UK, 1800-1879), Charles West Cope (UK, 1811-1890), Edouard Manet (France, 1832-1883), Charles Fairfax Murray (UK, 1849-1919), Henry Marriott Paget (1856-1936), and Harry van de Weyden (Holland, 1868-1915). Also included here are some 19th century prints and unattributed works of art, as well as a small sample of works of art from Japan and India. Japanese artists include Hasegawa Mitsunobu (attributed, Japan, 1730-1855), Ando Hiroshige (Japan, 1797-1855), and Mamokawa Meika (Japan, 1881).
Most of the works of art in Alberto de Lacerda’s estate are works on paper. The small selection of 20th Century works of art shown here are listed in chronological order by date of birth of the artist. These include Vanessa Bell (UK, 1879-1961), Duncan Grant (UK, 1885-1978), Sonia Delaunay (Russia, 1885-1979), John Armstrong (UK, 1893-1973), Jean Hugo (France, 1894-1984), Arpad Szenes (Hungary/France, 1897-1985), Pavel Tchelitchew (Russia, 1989-1957), Eddie Arning (US, 1898-1983), Carlos Botelho (Portugal, 1899-1982), Christopher Wood (UK, 1900-1930), Júlio (Portugal, 1902-1983), Frances Richards (UK, 1903-1985), Vieira da Silva (Portugal/France, 1908-1980), Julian Trevelyan (UK, 1910-1988), Muriel Streeter (US, 1913-1995), Julio Alpuy (Uruguay, 1919-2009), Alan Davie (UK, 1920-2014), Cruzeiro Seixas (Portugal, 1920), Fernando de Azevedo (Portugal, 1923-2002), Mário Cesariny (Portugal, 1923-2006), Keith Sutton (UK, 1924-1991), Adrien de Menasce (Egypt/UK, 1925-1995), and Menez (Portugal, 1926-1995).
20th Century Works of Art continued
Additional 20th Century works of art in Alberto de Lacerda’s estate include works by Allen Ginsberg (US, 1926-1997), Christopher Middleton (US, 1926-2015), Samuel Lock (UK, 1926-2016), Júlio Pomar (Portugal, 1926-2018), Victor Willing (UK, 1928-1988), Rory McEwen (UK, 1932-1977), Cynthia Pell (UK, 1933-1977), Jeremy Moon (UK, 1934-1973), José Escada (Portugal, 1935-1980), Paula Rego (Portugal, 1935), Patrick Caulfield (UK, 1936-2005), Marie Jo Paz (Algiers/Mexico), Manuel Baptista (Portugal, 1936), Jorge Martins (Portugal, 1940), António Sena (Portugal, 1941), Jasmim de Matos (Portugal, 1942-1995), Pedro Avelar (Portugal, 1945), Graça Morais (Portugal, 1948), Mário Botas (Portugal, 1952-1983), Rui Leitão (Portugal, 1949-1976), and Andrew Stahl (UK, 1954).