The Museum is located in a family house in T. Novákové street no. 75, near the square, in the Záhradí district that used to be a Litomyšl suburb. This was the home of the Portman family, and it was young Josef Portman who first invited the then unknown artist Josef Váchal here in 1920 to decorate his rooms. Portman was so thrilled by Váchal’s work that he wanted to open a museum here – to be called the Váchaleum. However, his dream was not to be, at least not in the collector’s lifetime.
After Portman’s death, Váchal’s murals fell into disrepair, and it wasn’t until 1991 that things took a turn for the better. The house was bought and restored by Ladislav Horáček, who opened the Portmoneum – Josef Váchal Museum here in 1993.
The Museum has since become a small-scale but notable cultural centre. Apart from Váchal’s works, it has hosted a number of other exhibitions and visits from some of the greats of the cultural scene. These included President Václav Havel. At his behest, seven European presidents visited Litomyšl in 1994.
In 2016 the Museum was bought by the Pardubice Region. Since then it has been managed by the Litomyšl Regional Museum. A new permanent exhibition has been put on display. 2020 saw the completion of overall building reconstructions including a new multimedia exhibition space in the loft, as well as an art studio.
The Portmoneum remains a cultural centre for exhibitions, art workshops, and occasional musical and theatre performances. The Museum also engages in larger-scale cultural events, such as Smetana’s Creative Litomyšl, the Spa of the Spirit, the Museum Nights Festival and Literature Nights.