About Us

A Portuguese foundation for the whole of humanity

Established in 1956 as a Portuguese foundation for the whole of humanity, the Foundation’s original purpose focused on fostering knowledge and raising the quality of life of persons throughout the fields of the artscharity, science and education. Bequeathed by the last will and testament of Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, the Foundation is of perpetual duration and undertakes its activities structured around its headquarters in Lisbon (Portugal) and its delegations in Paris (France) and London (the United Kingdom).



Our values

Nurturing not only the universal values inherent to the human condition, in full respect for diversity and difference, but also a culture of tolerance as well as preserving the environment and the relationship between man and nature.

Fostering a spirit of curiosity sensitive to the harmony of nature and the special propensity for the contemplation of beauty that constituted one of the defining features of the founder’s personal character.


Our objectives

The success attained in complying with our objectives stems from all of the organisations and persons that we support. Sharing the strategies underpinning each initiative represents a core objective that we strive to achieve to raise our profile and especially to amplify the global scale impact sought after.


How we work

As a foundation

  • Mobilising and incentivising critical reflection in the fields of: the arts, science, education, health and human development, global affairs;
  • Third party financing (Grant-making);
  • Designing and creating new capacities for dealing with current issues and questions;
  • Implementing pilot projects, testing them in association with persons and entities within the framework of replicating them in society;
  • Supporting innovative projects that generate progress and adaptability to change;
  • Influencing and shaping ideas and research projects deemed of priority relevance;
  • Setting up networks and partnerships and reaching out to persons and institutions.


Direct activities

  • The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum – Founder’s Collection – conserving and promoting the Art Collection built up by the founder;
  • The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum – Modern Collection – managing, conserving and promoting the largest single collection of 20th century Portuguese art;
  • Art Library – conserving and promoting materials targeting specialists in the history of art and the visual arts;
  • Temporary exhibitions – staging and hosting exhibitions interrelated with our respective focus areas;
  • Gulbenkian Music – putting on the annual music season and featuring the Gulbenkian Choir and Orchestra alongside some of the musical greats from around the world;
  • Publications – engaging in editorial activities;
  • The Gulbenkian Park – maintaining a park and gardens for leisure and educational activities, encouraging the preservation of the environment and the relationship between man and nature;
  • The Gulbenkian Science Institute – running a research centre of excellence..


Operational structure

  • Communications and Marketing
  • Finance and Investment
  • Central Services – ensuring the operational management of all foundation internal and external facilities, logistical support to all activities, environmental management and high public service standards
  • Budgeting, Planning and Control – ensuring the due operation of the Foundation’s information technology system, the modernisation of working processes and preparing and supervising budgets and activity plans
  • Information Technologies
  • Human Resources