The Museum presents three permanent exhibitions: Natural History, Memory of the Convent and Sacred Art, which are the basis and center of the institution’s activity. It also shows two long term exhibitions: “Domingos Rebêlo” and “Canto da Maya”, mostly from the works acquired by the Museum from these two artists and some deposited works.
Throughout the years the Museum has shown several shorter temporary exhibitions, real journeys through art and heritage.
The exhibition is a tribute to the painter Domingos Rebêlo as a central figure in the Azorean artistic panorama of the 20th century. The exhibition presents pieces from different phases of the painter's creation over four decades, not only those with a regionalist nature, but also caricature, graphic arts, illustration and scenography.
The long-term exhibition presents the life and artistic production of one of the greatest figures of Azorean and national sculpture in the first half of the 20th century. This exhibition is divided into thematic groups that expose his genesis, training, international acclaim, as well as his role in monuments design.
The Sacred Art circuit focuses on the old College Church, where the lush façade, the resplendence of the altarpiece of the main altar, as well as the collection of 17th century tiles are assumed as a whole, in a unique monument of Baroque style. To this is added a gallery with a diversified collection where pieces from the 16th century stand out, as well as a valuable collection of works with a religious theme.
This tour presents the architectural characteristics of past convent buildings, but also the diversity of spaces, their dynamics and purposes, as well as exploring the way of life of the Poor Clares belonging to the female branch of the Order of Friars Minor, founded by Saint Francis of Assisi.
The Natural History Circuit presents a naturalist collection that was the basis for the Museum. It is distributed over 8 rooms where diversity, knowledge and the exotic, along with different fields of scientific knowledge, are exhibited, with special importance to zoology, geology, mineralogy and botany.
Donations made to the Carlos Machado Museum over the last 10 years were the motto for the theme of this exhibition, which also aims to honor donors, praising the act of giving in a society based on commercial exchange, profit and consumption.
O que fazem os Guardiães da memória quando os crentes regressam a casa? O que escutam quando o silêncio regressa? O que veem quando a luz se apaga e os Santos observam do altar? O que fazem os guardiães da memória quando as portas se fecham, as janelas de cobrem, as chaves rodam em fechaduras por onde as crianças espreitam? O que fazem os Guardiães da memória quando as preces e pedidos precisam (também eles) de encontrar quem os escute e os atenda? O que fazem todos aqueles que zelam por estátuas de madeira, por bancos feitos à medida, por estuques e cortinas de veludo?