Opened in 1996 by M. J. Melo, the entryway of Oficina-Museu das Capelas showcases the San Miguel artist/founder’s traditional Azorean handicrafts, such as impossibly delicate flowers made from the leaves of garlic cloves, fish scales, and pith from fig trees. Melo also carries on a monastic art tradition by painting terra cotta figures in his workshop, which has windows that make his work area completely visible to visitors.
But very quickly, you’ll realize this museum holds much more than Melo’s own artistry. Oficina Museu (Workshop Museum) contains a staggering array of artifacts from the past century, arranged in workshop setups. Various larger pieces of 20th-century industrial equipment, such as an ox cart, are displayed throughout the sprawling space.
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