Guimarães 2012

The Wall City
A photography exhibition
from the Muralha Photography Collection (Muralha, Guimarães Heritage Association)

Close 29.01.2012.

CAAA—Centre for Art
and Architecture Affairs - Padre Augusto Borges de Sá Street, Guimarães.

50 minute guided tours for groups (minimum 5 people): mondays and wednesdays 11.00 am. Reservations by email to eduardo.brito@

Monday-Saturday 10-13 and 14.30-18.



The Wall City (A Cidade da Muralha) is a photographic exhibition consisting of images from the Muralha—Guimarães Heritage Association—Photography Collection. The exhibition takes us for a stroll around the city of Guimarães from the late 19th Century until the 1960s, a period that reflects the time range of the images in the Collection.  

This method of display tries to explore the 'inventory of endless possibilities' that such archives always contain: in this particular case, the city is shown in five sections, each one containing narrative flows, relationships and imagined possibilities.  

The photographs displayed in the exhibition are inkjet prints, or more specifically Ultrachrome k3 printed on fine art paper from scans of the original negatives. Except where stated, the print size reflects that of the originals and the photographs are shown without any extensive treatment and likewise with no attempt to hide or disguise damage, dirt and erosion. What we see therefore, is also the photographs' waiting time.  

The Muralha Photography Collection comprises around 6000 originals, mostly gelatine dry plates, but also gelatine silver bromide film negatives. Both the plates and negatives come from two generations of a local photographic studio—Foto Eléctrica Moderna and Foto Moderna (1910-1987)—and were purchased by Muralha at two different points in the 1980's.  

The two sets of images reached the Muralha Photography Collection in poor condition and without any kind of description or logical and thematic organisation. For almost twenty years the Muralha Collection resided first in the Retired Peoples Association, then in the Raul Brandão Library and only since 2009 has the collection been stored at the Alfredo Pimenta City Archive.

The project Reimagining Guimarães, developed by the Cinema Department of Guimarães, European Capital of Culture 2012, aims to preserve, archive and share this Collection. These objectives are to to be fulfilled by cleaning and scanning each negative in high resolution, and then rearranging them into an organised digital archive with detailed descriptions, accurate dating and thematic divisions. It will then become accessible to the whole world via the internet (at and also through exhibitions and a variety of publications.