Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation

Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
Founded 1956
Founder Calouste Gulbenkian
Type Private foundation
Focus arts, charity, education, and science
Area served
Method Portfolio of investments and donations
Key people
Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, Founder
€ 15,2 million (2016)[1]
Endowment € 2,53 billion (2016)[1]

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is a Portuguese institution under private law and of general public utility, perpetual in nature, with its statutory purposes spanning the arts, beneficence, science, and education. Set up by the last will and testament of Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, who bequeathed his assets to the country in the form of a foundation with its statutes approved by the Portuguese state on 18 July 1956.


The head office of the Foundation is located in Lisbon. The premises opened in 1969, consisting of the head office and the museum, and were designed by Ruy Athouguia, Pedro Cid, and Alberto Pessoa. In addition to the areas occupied by the foundation's management and various departments there is an auditorium, an exhibition space, a congress area with auditoriums and other rooms as well as a large building that houses the Foundation's museum and the art library. The entire complex is set in Gulbenkian Park, which was designed by Ribeiro Telles. In 1983, the Modern Art Centre, consisting of a museum and an education centre, was opened at one end of the park.

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum (Portuguese: Museu Calouste Gulbenkian) is a Portuguese museum in the civil parish of Avenidas Novas, in the municipality of Lisbon. Founded in conformity with Calouste Gulbenkian's last will and testament, the museum accommodates the art collection of the similarly-named Foundation, that includes ancient and, some, modern art.

Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência

The Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (IGC, a science institute) is situated inside a multi-building complex in Oeiras (outskirts of Lisbon), near the palace of the Marquis of Pombal. The institute is an international centre for biological and biomedical research and graduate training. Founded in 1961, and still supported by the Gulbenkian Foundation, the IGC is organised in small independent research groups that work in an environment designed to encourage interactions with minimal hierarchical structure. The scientific programme is multidisciplinary, including Cell and Developmental biology, Evolutionary biology, Immunology, Host-pathogen interaction, Disease Genetics, Plant Biology, Neurosciences, Theoretical and Computational biology.

Gulbenkian Orchestra

The Gulbenkian Orchestra (Portuguese: Orquestra Gulbenkian) is a Portuguese symphony orchestra based in Lisbon. The orchestra primarily gives concerts at the Grande Auditório (Grand Auditorium) of the Gulbenkian Foundation. The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation founded the orchestra in 1962 as the Orquestra de Câmara Gulbenkian (Gulbenkian Chamber Orchestra), consisting of 12 musicians. The ensemble subsequently expanded in size and took on its current name in 1971.

Gulbenkian Ballet

Gulbenkian ballet was a Portuguese classic dance troupe created in 1965 by the Foundation as Centro Português do Bailado. The directors of the programme Walter Gore (1965-1969), Milko Sparembeck (1969-1975), Jorge Salavisa (1977-1996), Iracity Cardoso (1996-2003) and Paulo Ribeiro (2003-2005). The project was terminated in 2005.

Gulbenkian Choir

Gulbenkian Choir (in Portuguese Coro Gulbenkian]] is a musical choir project established by the Foundation in 1964 as the Gulbenkian Chamber Choir (Coro de Câmara Gulbenkian) directed by Olga Violante (1964-1969). Since then the choir made up of an average 100 members is directed by Michel Corboz.


The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation also has a delegation in the United Kingdom (UK Branch) and a centre in Paris (the Calouste Gulbenkian Cultural Centre). The Foundation's Armenian Communities Department has a unique and separate long-running mission in aiding Armenia and Diasporan Armenian projects.


The foundation publishes books on a range of topics, including arts, education and languages.


Partex, a Portuguese oil extraction company, is fully owned by the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. It is a member of the Network of European Foundations for Innovative Cooperation (NEF).[2] The mission statement[3] of the UK Branch desires to change perceptions, build relationships, reduce social exclusion and preserve the environment and innovative partnerships.

Gulbenkian Foundation in the Armenian communities

The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation is very active in the Armenian community worldwide as its founder Calouste Gulbenkian was of Armenian ethnicity. The Foundation has its Armenian Communities Department headed by Razmik Panossian. The Foundation's Armenian Communities Department distributes scholarships in the from of grants and bourses to Armenian students worldwide pursuing their education all over the world. The Foundation is active in Armenia and throughout the Armenian diaspora. It also supports actively in promotion and preservation of the Armenian language, in particular Western Armenian used mostly by the Armenian diaspora, support of Armenian schools throughout the world, as well as Armenian societies, history, culture, churches, media, sports etc.[4][5]

Gulbenkian Commission

The Gulbenkian Commission sought to address inadequacies in the organization of the social science disciplines that developed in the nineteenth century by indicating a direction for social scientific inquiry for the next 50 years. It was founded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. It held three meetings in 1994 and 1995.


See also


  1. 1 2 Relatório e Contas 2016 (PDF), Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
  2. "Network of European Foundations (NEF)" (PDF). Network of European Foundations (NEF). Oct 25, 2007. p. 5. Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  3. Strategy Leaflet (PDF), Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation UK Branch, 2009, archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-01-24
  4. Gulbenkian Foundation - Armenian Communities
  5. Gulbenkian Foundation - Armenian Communities - Language and Culture
  6. 1 2 3 4 "Cidadãos Nacionais Agraciados com Ordens Portuguesas". Página Oficial das Ordens Honoríficas Portuguesas. Retrieved 1 August 2017.

Coordinates: 38°44′14″N 9°9′15″W / 38.73722°N 9.15417°W / 38.73722; -9.15417

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