Brazil… the land of sun, sea and sand but what’s there to do when the heavens open or you just can’t bear the thought of another day at the beach? It may be relatively unknown outside of Brazil but there is a burgeoning art scene that it beginning to make itself heard, in fact in the run up to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will see the unveiling of 27 new museums. At a recent exhibition of French Impressionist art, one museum in Rio saw record breaking queues of 9 hours to get inside and in a country of ever rising prices musuems are one of the only things that remain either free or very cheap to visit. So here Dehouche gives you the lowdown on our top 5 art museums in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
One of the latest additions to Rio’s art scene, Casa Daros is located inside a stately 19th century stately building that was designed by architect Francisco Joaquim Bethencourt da Silva. Based in leafy Botofogo the estate has more than 12,000 square metres to take advantage of and it is now home to some of the finest in Latin American contemporary art. As well as exhibiting art, Casa Daros also aims to help nurture Latin American artists of the future through educational workshops and it’s also home to an extensive art library housing over 5,000 titles.
Museu de Arte do Rio
You’d be forgiven for thinking the museum itself was part of the exhibition at the new Museu de Arte do Rio. The MAR is located in the port area of the city that is currently undergoing huge refurbishments and architect Bernardo Jacobson had the difficult task of joining the two very different buildings together but he succeeded brilliantly in creating the perfect blend between old and new. Inside the museum is a fantastic collection of both Brazilian and International art, currently on show is an exhibition called Rio de Imagens: uma paisagem em construção documenting the development of the city over four centuries.
Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Niterói
Designed by the late Oscar Niemeyer, Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum was completed in 1996 and is located across the bay from Rio de Janeiro. The museum has been said to resemble a UFO and its 360 degree viewing platform provides stunning views across to the Guanabara Bay. If you can tear your eyes away from the view the museum houses constantly changing exhibitions of modern art, although if you’d rather just sit back and admire the vista the museum also has a restaurant.
Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo
This is the big daddy of art museums in Sao Paulo. The Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo is impossible to miss as it dominates Avenida Paulista – a glass box sitting on four concrete columns, the museum designed by Lina Bo Bardi is considered a landmark of modern Brazilian architecture. The gallery is home to the finest collection of European Art in the Southern Hemisphere and you can see works by all the big names here from Picasso and Van Gogh to Goya and Botticelli.
Pinocoteca do Brasil
The oldest art museum in Sao Paulo, the Pinocoteca do Brasil was founded in 1905 and was originally designed to be the headquarters of the first art school in the city. It is considered to be one of the most important art museums in Brazil due to its exhibitions of many of Brazil’s great modernists. Included in the ticket price is entrance to the Estacao Pinocoteca which was a former prison during Brazil’s military dictatorship and now exhibits works documenting this little talked about part of Brazil’s history.