Madeira Optics Museum, Funchal

#13 of 27 in Museums in Funchal
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
The Madeira Optics Museum - also known as Museu de Óptica da Madeira - is a specialized museum located in Funchal, Madeira Island that showcases a permanent collection of optics related devices.
This museum features objects from all areas of optics, acquired all around the world, and have been collected from the 1960s until nowadays.
In the 1960s, the love for engineering and history led one person - Rui Aguilar - to start collecting optics related devices. Initially without a defined purpose of creating a museum, the collection kept growing progressively until nowadays. In 2014, the idea for the creation of the Madeira Optics Museum sparked from a conversation between Rui Aguilar and its son, Sergio Aguilar, who since then is working alongside its father in the creation and organization of the museum. Currently, Rui and Sérgio Aguilar work together in the selection, acquisition cataloguing and preparation of every accession and on the organization of the physical area of the museum.
About 2000 objects are on permanent display at the museum. The categories with bigger relevance are:
Telescopes Binoculars Movie cameras Movie projectors Photography cameras Medical devices Microscopes Military equipment Topography equipment

The building where the Madeira Optics Museum operates is dated from the end of XIX century, and its registered as a Class 1 protected building in terms of special architectural or historic interest. As such, the building still maintains nearly all of the initial characteristics and facade. Recently this building has been subject to minor interior and exterior restoration works with the supervision of Funchal's city hall that targeted the requalification of the museum area and surroundings.
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Madeira Optics Museum reviews

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  • A great way to spend some time if you are interested in Photography and Optics. A family collection now on show for all to see. A very knowledgeable owner if you have any questions  more »
  • In the 💓 of Funchal hundreds of vintage cameras, binoculars, telescopes, all from private collection... a must-visit for everyone interested in photography and film. The exhibition area is spread...  more »
  • A beautifully and carefully laid out museum in Funchal featuring a vast collection mainly consisting of cameras along with many binoculars, telescopes, and so on. Depending on your age this will either be a trip down memory lane or will open your eyes to a whole new (old) world of how photography used to be done. Once you've explored the camera, video camera, and binocular collection downstairs, head upstairs to see telescopes and photo developing equipment. There are also old films from Madeira projected onto the wall here, providing enormous historical interest - and comfy sofas to relax on while you watch! There's 20-30 minutes worth of viewing so a good chance to relax. Everything is clearly and informatively labelled in the exhibits. The museum is compact but has so much in it. You could do it in an hour but we happily spent two hours there. What really made it for us was the passion, enthusiasm, and friendliness of the owner/curator, who clearly had a real knowledge of the material. If you've any interest at all in optics this is definitely worth seeing.
  • Really worth a visit. You'll love it!🎥

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