Pattern P-20-00096, Estaco factory | Cortiço & Netos Collection

    The Cortiço & Netos Collection

    Starting date: February 2013
    Ending date: June 2013

    Cortiço & Netos was founded more than thirty years ago, with the stockpiling and marketing of an important collection of Portuguese industrial tiles. In 2013, from February to June, the company hosted two interns from Az via an internship programme integrated in the License Degree in Art History of the School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon (FLUL).

    In the 1970s, Joaquim Cortiço started acquiring azulejos and sanitary ware, mainly from discontinued lines, from factories and distributors. He put together a large collection, first in a warehouse in Benfica and afterwards in a storehouse in Alenquer.

    A documentary directed by one of his grandsons, Ricardo, chronicles the foundation and development of Joaquim Cortiço's business, which is still in existence. Today, Cortiço & Netos can be compared to a tile bank, similar to the ones several municipalities have been trying to implement, where building owners can look for tiles with which to complete their coverings. However, the firm keeps examples of all the different tiles, in order to tell their story, and its collection has thus become unique.

    The industrial tile collection assembled by Joaquim Cortiço over the years is extremely large and contains items from factories that have already disappeared. The company’s owners note that “the research in the field [of industrial tiles] is still scarce, and by providing access to our collection we want to encourage and promote it. We believe that the size, variety and antiquity of our collection can motivate research in different areas, such as industrial design, communication design, architecture, museology, etc.”.

    After being contacted by Cortiço & Netos, Az started cataloguing, in February 2013, through an internship programme integrated in the License Degree in Art History of the School of Arts and Humanities (FLUL), part of the firm’s collection, which was made available online on Az Infinitum. The internship programme included the study of each tile pattern (under the project Catalogue of Portuguese azulejo patterns) and the corresponding factories.

    Cortiço & Netos is currently represented by a store in Lisbon and another one online, and its owners took part in the foundation of AIAI – Association for the Interpretation of Industrial Azulejos (2013), which is primarily aimed at the study Joaquim Cortiço’s estate. 

    Interns involved in the project:
    Ana Venâncio
    Inês Leitão