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The Madeira Whale Museum (MWM) has designed or collaborated in the development of temporary exhibitions. The themes behind the exhibitions are diverse but always with the intention to promote the relationship between institutions leading the museum's  mission even further. The temporary exhibitions may occur in or out the museum and in some cases there might be traveling exhibitions.


The MBM has a temporary exhibition room that allows the realization of diverse cultural activities: from exhibitions on various themes, to plays and projects presentation. The room is characterized by its versatility.

Learn more about each of the previously promoted exhibitions. Get to know the Museum’s Temporary Exhibitions Room.


The temporary exhibition "BALEÃO" resulted from the educational challenge presented to schools at the beginning of the school year 2019/2020.It is a project of pedagogical continuity, with an artistic nature, which aims to promote and disseminate knowledge about cetaceans and the marine environment, raising awareness of the role that each of us has in the sustainable future of the planet.

This creative project had to be postponed due to the pandemic context, which led to its continuation in the 2020/2021 school year.

The following institutions participated in this challenge :

  1. CAO Camacha
  2. CAO do Porto Santo
  3. CAO Funchal
  4. CAO Machico
  5. CAO Ribeira Brava
  6. CAO Santa Cruz
  7. CAO Santana
  8. Centro Cívico Idoso Ativo - Água de Pena
  9. Centro Cívico Cultural e Social da Ribeira Seca
  10. Centro de Dia do Caniçal
  11. Colégio Salesianos Funchal
  12. EB/PE de Santo António e Curral das Fereiras
  13. EB1/PE S. Martinho
  14. EB1/PE/Creche de Água de Pena
  15. EB1/PE/Creche do Caniçal
  16. EB1/PE/Creche Maroços e Santo António da Serra
  17. EB2/3 do Caniçal
  18. EB2/3 do Caniço
  19. EB2/3 Dr. Horácio Bento de Gouveia
  20. Escola Básica e Secundária da Ponta do Sol
  21. Escola Básica e Secundária de Santa Cruz
  22. Escola Básica e Secundária Padre Manuel Álvares (Ribeira Brava)
  23. Escola Francisco Franco
  24. Universidade Sénior de Machico
  25. Convidado Emanuel Santo - Junta de Freguesia do Caniçal
  26. Convidada Sónia Refólio - Museu da Baleia da Madeira
The exhibition was inaugurated at the Madeira Whale Museum on May 18th 2021, on the International Museum Day.

Itinerant Exhibition - A museum: life and sea histories

Cartaz Exposio Museu - Ingl

The exhibition A museum: life and sea histories was launched in November 2016, related with the celebration of the National Sea Day. Its aim is to raise awareness of the Madeira Whale Museum and its mission. It deals with aspects of the history of the museum; explores the subject areas that form the permanent exhibit: whaling in Madeira (1941-1981) and the life of Cetaceans; gets to know the Institution units: museology/history, science and education; reveals results of the works developed and shows elements that represent the cultural diversity of the Museum.

Being on display in places with a large public affluence and that covered the whole Island was the main goal. A year passed by and thus it was possible to achieve the objectives that were planned. We just want to thank all the Institutions who hosted the exhibition.

Museu da Imprensa, Câmara de Lobos

Grutas de S. Vicente, S. Vicente

Centro de Ciência Viva do Porto Moniz

Madeira Shopping, Funchal

Centro Comercial La Vie, Funchal

Aeroporto da Madeira – Cristiano Ronaldo, Santa Cruz

Parque Temático da Madeira, Santana

Escola Gonçalves Zarco, Funchal,

Museu Etnográfico – Ribeira Brava

Conferências do Mar – Casino da Madeira, Funchal

Centro Cultural John dos Passos – Ponta do Sol

Centro Cultural e de Congressos – Porto Santo

Casa da Cultura de Santa Cruz


The exhibition "MARmórias" resulted from the educational challenge presented to the schools at the beginning of the 2016/2017 school year. It is a project of pedagogical continuity, of an artistic nature that associated the historical component of the MWM with art. It focused on the photos of the whalers and aimed to recreate portraits of whalers through painting on canvas.

To meet this challenge, the registered schools had free access to a study visit to the MWM, to collect information, and to a follow-up activity in schools.

The following institutions participated in this challenge:

1 – Escola Básica e Secundária Padre Manuel Álvares

2 – Escola Básica do 2º e 3º Ciclos Dr.º Horácio Bento de Gouveia

3 – Externato Apresentação de Maria

4 – Escola Básica do 2º e 3º Ciclos do Caniçal

5 - Escola Básica do 2º e 3º Ciclos Cardeal D. Teodósio de Gouveia

6 - Escola Básica e Secundária Gonçalves Zarco

7 - Escola Básica e Secundária de Santa Cruz

8 - Escola Básica e Secundária de Machico

9 – CAO de São Vicente

10 – EB 123/PE do Curral das Freiras

The exhibition was inaugurated at the Madeira Whale Museum on May 26, 2016, coinciding with the commemoration of the anniversary of the museum. In this session was also announced the school who won the challenge: Escola Básica do 2º e 3º Ciclos Cardeal D. Teodósio de Gouveia, who received a trip in the sailboat Mestre Miguel to observe cetaceans, as the award.

Escola Básica e Secundária Gonçalves Zarco and CAO de São Vicente were also awarded two honorable mentions due to the quality of the work presented.

Click here to watch the works made by the institutions.

Besides the participation of the institutions, 3 plastic artists from Caniçal were invited to recreate the portraits of the whalers, namely Emanuel Santos, Inês Alves and Elda Calaça.

Before being on display in Madeira Shopping, the exhibition remained in the museum from May until September of 2017.

A museum: life and sea histories

The itinerant exhibition "Um museu: histórias de vida e de mar" was inaugurated in 16 November of 2016, related with the celebration of the National Sea Day. Its aim is to raise awareness of the Madeira Whale Museum and its mission. It deals with aspects of the history of the museum, its units - Museology, Science and Education. It also presents part of the work made in the institution, through 7 Panels, in English and Portuguese language version.

The exhibition was open to the public at the Madeira Whale Museum until 27 November. It has been in other places with great affluence of public and of tourist and cultural interest.

You can view the photographic record of the event in the following gallery:

Vou marAr.te a cabeça

slogan Marar-te
"Vou marAr.te a cabeça", is the name of the educational challenge for the 2015/2016 school year presented to the educational community. The initial idea for this challenge came from the stranding of a whale, at Praia Formosa (Funchal), on May 4 of 2014, whose species is still unknown. The animal found was collected by the MWM Marine Biology team, which was subsequently necropsied and a bone recovery was made for posterior skeletal assembly.

This educational activity intends to inform the people involved with the entire process from the collection of the animal to the assembly of skeletons and, mainly, the difficulties inherent in determining the species of some of the stranded animals. It is necessary, among other things, to analyze the anatomy of the head.

Accordingly, eight models were produced in glass fiber in the shape of a whale head, as well as functioning as a garden bench. The models were handed over to the participating schools whose objective is to develop an artistic intervention.

Throughout the planning of the project, contacts were made with the City Council and the local Parish Council to determine the public places, where the models (after the artistic intervention) would be placed. This initiative also intended to contribute to embellish the village, but especially to promote the maintenance of the cultural heritage associated with whaling.

The eight models were delivered to schools during the first school period (2015/2016), and they made a study visit to the MWM to gather information and inspiration for the artistic intervention. During the second period, the MWM held environmental awareness lectures in schools and, above all, monitored the educational process inherent to the challenge. The models were collected in April 2016 and were placed in public spaces of Vila do Caniçal.

cabeças baleias

The inauguration of the exhibition was held on May 27, through the streets of the village of Caniçal.


Oficina do Mar - Second edition

During the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 school years, the MWM collaborated with the Basic School 2,3 of Caniçal in the development of the subject "Oficina do Mar", developed on Thursdays, from 10:15 am to 12:30 pm, in the floor -1 of MWM.

The subject promoted the accomplishment of works of plastic expression, with materials collected from the pebble beach and the construction of a small boat. The works developed were on display in the museum's store hall in the summer of 2015.

As Miniaturas do Mar

Cartaz miniaturas do mar
Madeiran craftsmen: João Sousa, Gonzaga Sirgado e Mestre "Bailinha", had their work on display in the MWM temporary exhibition room from 23 March to 11 May 2005. Objects of different typologies and raw materials were presented, such as whalebone, thus confirming the diversity of this art.

Dentes do Ofício

"Dentes do Ofício", began as a school challenge which later resulted as a temporary exhibition, that took place at Madeira Whale Museum and also Madeira Shopping.

This challenge had the participation of 25 educational institutions which performed jobs related with the route of the institution in the last 25 years.

The exposition was launched in the temporary exhibition room of the MWM, on May 28th of 2015, corresponding to the anniversary of the museum and it was on display until September 27, 2015. The Regional Director of Education, President of the Municipality and respective council and President of the City Council of Caniçal were present. As well as the official entities, the teachers and students also were representing the participating schools, and the awards ceremony occurred.

Subsequently, the works resulting from the educational challenge "Dentes do Ofício" were on display at Madeira Shopping, from September 29 to October 12 of 2015, making the activity approachable by another type of public. The exhibition date coincided with the beginning of the new school year (2015/2016), thus elements related to the educational challenge “Vou marAr.te a cabeça” were introduced, encouraging participation in it.

Workshop of the Sea

The elementary School of the 2nd and 3rd cycle of Caniçal, in collaboration with the Madeira Whale Museum - Municipality of Machico and the Services of Madeira's Natural Park, presented, on 27th of June, the exhibition of the works made in the practical course of "Workshop of the Sea". This course was developed at MWM facilities throughout the academic year 2013/2014.

Insulana - "Cartilha de Prodígios"

Insulana is the designation of a painting exhibit cycle by Gonçalo Ferreira de Gouveia, sponsored by the Cultural Council of the University of Madeira. Throughout 2014, the exhibition was on display in four different spaces, kindly provided for this purpose by Autonomous Region of Madeira Entities. Dedicated to bring alive the memories and experiences of these people who live in an insular context, the exhibitions reflected how Madeira Island's identity was born.

I am 5 Stars!

The temporary exhibition "I am 5 stars!" was launched at the MWM on May 7 of 2014 and it derived from the school challenge with the same name. The exhibition contained works accomplished by several educational institutions of the Autonomous Region of Madeira that participated in the categories of 1ºCEB, 2º CEB, 3º CEB, CAO and ATELIER.

Later, from 17 to 27 July 2014, the works were exhibited at Madeira Shopping.

Biology in Madeira Archipelago, Investigation and Science


Between 18 March and 26 April of 2014, the temporary exhibition "Biology in Madeira Archipelago, Investigation and Science" was held at the museum. This itinerant exhibition by the Council of the Madeira Regional Order of Biologists intended to disseminate the works carried out in the Madeira Archipelago over the past years by several researchers.

The exhibited works, in poster format, were presented at national and international scientific meetings between 2010 and 2013.

The Magic of Art

From 4 to 24 February of 2014, the Madeira Whale Museum hosted the temporary exhibition "The Magic of Art". This initiative of the Occupational Activities Center of Machico intended to present various ways of representing art through the decoration of shoe boxes. arte

12 years of Astronomy


The exhibition depicts the work developed by the Association of Amateur Astronomers of Madeira and by the group of Astronomy of the University of Madeira.
The exhibition was launched on December 7 in the MWM and it was related to the "5 star Night".  It included a lecture about the constellations whale and dolphin and it was also associated with the first edition of "Sleeping with the whales".

Nautical Modelling in Caniçal

modelimso nautico

From November 12 to December 2, Madeira Whale Museum hosted the temporary exhibition “Nautical Modelling in Caniçal”. This initiative resulted from the collaboration between MWM and "Associação Amigos do Modelismo" and its aim was to present the works made by local professionals in the art of boat modelling. 

The exhibition was launched on November 15, associated with the National Sea Day. In addition to the exhibition, the project "Learn with the sea" developed in collaboration with Caniçal's EB2,3 was presented. Also, it was signed the membership to the Eco-Compatible Project of the Natural Park of Madeira.


Convite Barroquices

The EB2, 3 school from Caniçal surprised once again with the exhibition "Barroquices" with which intends to explore the visual aspects of the Baroque style in a unique perspective with different and interesting angles, observation games, creativity, drawing and painting. All of the exposed artworks were made during the Visual Education and Technological Education classes.

The opening day of the exhibition on June 21st 2013 was complemented with two other events. At first, the performance of the play: "O Pomar de Dona Abundância" brought to life by the students of the Theatre class from Caniçal School and coordinated by Professor Miguel Ângelo. In addition a Modelling Encounter was held in collaboration with the school and the “Associação Amigos do Modelismo”.

Museums (Memory+Creativity) = Change

The Madeira Whale Museum’s exhibition was held in the Assembly of the Republic The MWM was awarded by APOM (Portuguese Association of Museology) an Honorable Mention for Best Museum in 2012,  and was invited to participate in the exhibition  Museus (Memória + Criatividade) = Mudança Social ("Museums (Creativity + Memory) = Social Change"). This exhibition was held in the Sala dos Passos Perdidos room in the Assembly of the Republic from May 23rd to June 14th.
Prémios APOM 2012 - Diploma
Besides MWM there were other APOM awards 2012 finalists for the “Best Portuguese Museum” category, namely  the Museu da Comunidade Concelhia da Batalha (Batalha Council Museum)  and Manuel de Arriaga House

Sperm Whales and Daisies

Convite Cachalotes e Margaridas no Aeroporto"Sperm Whales and Daisies" was the exhibition that the whale museum designed within the framework of the Flower Festival 2013, this exhibition was held at the airport of Madeira from 3 to 15 May 2013. The exhibition’s name is related to the position that female sperm-females adopt in order to protect their calves. To protect their calves adult sperm whales organize themselves in a circle in which the heads are directed to the center and the tail to the outside, keeping the calves in the centre. This form of social organization is designated "daisy position".

Bearing this information in mind, a three-dimensional whale covered in daisies was created.

Photographs of sperm whales sighted in Madeira and artworks from craftsman João Sousa.


The baleiArte exhibition was the outcome of the challenge launched to the education community during the school year 2012/2013. The artworks from  baleiArte competition toured several locations on the island:
1º - MBM – April 30th to June 2ndSee the Gallery
2º - Madeira Shoping – 5th to the 16th of June See the Gallery
3º - Museu Casa da Luz (Museum of Electricity)  – 18th to the 27th of June See the Gallery
4º - Hotéis Pestana Carlton (Funchal) e Quinta do Lore (Caniçal) – July 28th to August 5th
5º - Airport of Madeira  - August 6th to 1 September 1st  See the Gallery
6º - Regional Public Library  – July 25th to September 30th  See the Gallery 

MBM – Remembering the past, preparing the future

"Madeira Whale Museum - Remembering the past, preparing the future" was the name of the exhibition that the museum developed to welcome the tourists who came into the island whether by cruise or by plane. In this context the exhibition was held in the Madeira Maritime Terminal (from November 1st to December 2nd 2012) and at Madeira Airport (from December 15th 2012 to January 10th 2013).

Three aspects of the MWM were represented in the exhibition namely: museology, education and science. Some works prepared by students of the Occupational Activity Centre from Machico and photographs on the marine biodiversity, from renowned photographers in Madeira were also exhibited.

See photos of the inauguration in the maritime terminal and the airport.


The Imagimar exhibition was developed by Visual and Technological Education teachers from EB2,3 school from Caniçal and was displayed at the museum from July 12th to September 2nd 2012.
This original work was also held at Madeira Shopping from the 18th and the 29th of October 2012.
With this exhibition we embark on journey filled with sea monsters taken from nautical charts from the Middle Age, and it was also possible to participate in activities related to nature conservation. Thus, the students were inspired in the maritime charts in order to create the fantastic creatures who were possible to use as piggy banks, whose pedagogical function was valued.

Whaling - Arts & Facts

On March 7th 2012 the exhibition “Caça à Baleia: Arte & Factos” (“Whaling: Arts & Facts”), developed in partnership with the Occupational Activity Centre in Machico. The exhibition was displayed in the Temporary Exhibitions room until April 16th 2012. The artworks were related to whaling and were executed with reused materials.

The opening of the exhibition was followed by the celebration of the hundredth anniversary of Mr José Martins, a former whaler from Caniçal.

See the photos of the exhibition.

Natura 2000 Network exhibition

The dissemination of the scientific/conservation project Cetáceos-Madeira II is associated with the exhibition "Natura 2000", with which the Madeira Whale Museum wants a simple and clear way to present the inhabitants and visitors the biodiversity values and protected sites in Portugal, with special emphasis on Madeira. It made an allusion to terrestrial areas, as well as the importance of increasing the number of marine areas to be included in the “Natura 2000 network”. The exhibition also aims to raise awareness for the importance of these areas and the value of natural resources, promoting the protection and care of the environment, as well as to publicize the research work of the Madeira Whale Museum which enables the management and resource conservation.

This exhibition toured several different places, cultural and civic centres, parish councils, libraries, among others, also toured all of the archipelago’s councils. The exhibition was complemented with educational activities, and was visited by more than 148 thousand visitors over the two years in which the archipelago was toured.

See a selection of some photos of the exhibition in various locations around the island.

Mar da Madeira - Mar de Emoções (Sea of Madeira - Sea of Emotions)

"Mar da Madeira – Mar de Emoções" (Sea of Madeira – Sea of Emotions)was the name given to the first temporary exhibition in the Madeira Whale Museum’s new building. The exhibition was open to the public from September 2nd, 2011 to January, 2012, was organized by MWM with the collaboration of renowned Madeiran photographers: Carlos Silva, Cláudia Gomes Gonçalo Gomes, Luís Dias, Luís Quinta, Nuno Sá, Pedro Gomes, Pedro Monteiro, Pedro Vasconcelos, Raquel Marques and Rita Ferreira.

The photographs were collected in waters of the EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) of Madeira Archipelago and thus allowing the visitor to visually enjoy the wonders of our waters.

See some of the photos of the opening of the exhibition.

Whales and Dolphins in Madeira - Come and get to know them better

The Madeira Whale Museum (MWM), subordinated to the Municipality of Machico, was the Lead Partner for the EMECETUS project, co-funded by the Community Initiative INTERREG III and  with the support of the Dolce Vita  shopping centre held the exhibition entitled: "Whales and Dolphins in Madeira: come and get to know them better". The exhibition was on display at Dolce Vita between the 3rd and the 17th of December 2010.

The opening took place on December 3rd at 18 o’clock. Various entities were invited to the opening session, namely: Regional Secretariat for the Environment, Regional Secretariat of Social Equipment, Regional Assembly MPs, Regional Director for the Environment, the Mayor of Machico (CMM), Members of the Municipal Council, among others as well as the general population.

The exhibition comes as part of the research project named EMECETUS - study, monitoring and education for the conservation of cetaceans in Macaronesia and its main aim is to give a general knowledge of the main species of cetaceans in the waters of Madeira, as well as to publicize the research work that MBM has developed over the years, using different methodologies that will be shown in the exhibition.