The Museum of Modern Art in Rio was created during the 40's and the 50's when hundreds of artists, businessmen and official institutions donated art works willing to achieve the purpose of a great national collection. The Museum was founded in 1948 by a group of art enthusiasts leaded by Raimundo Castro Maia. Ten years later, in 1958, it was transferred to its current location in the Flamengo Park.
The main building of the popular MAM is an example of a modern architecture design, which consists of a horizontal form made of concrete with an open structure that connects the building to the sea. The Museum of Modern Art is surrounded by beautiful gardens that were also designed in the boiling complex. In 1978 a tragic fire damaged the building and burned most of the museums’ collection. Some of the unrecoverable art pieces burned were paintings from Picasso, Miró, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, René Magritte, Ivan Serpa, Manabu Mabe, Joaquín Torres Garcia, among others. It took many years to reconstruct the building and an enormous effort to gather the art pieces for a new collection.
Nowadays the Museum of Modern Art’s collection has over 11,000 pieces of both Brazilian and foreign artists, and it is considered one of the country’s most important representation of the XX century’s art. This collection shows an impressive process that starts in Cubism and goes through Futurism, Surrealism, Dadaism and other historic vanguard styles.
The Museum of Modern Art of Rio is also home to a unique cinematheque which has a major film collection of more than 12,000 films, and is considered one of the bests in Latin America. The Museum holds shows and festivals that are open for the general public. Some of the films are extremely rare to find and were never shown in the commercial theatre. A highly specialized art’s library and many workshops are also found in the MAM.
Visiting Rio’s Museum of Modern Art is a unique opportunity to learn about the best Brazilian artists and to see some of the most renowned art pieces of the world. After visiting the MAM during your trip to Rio, it is advisable to take a leisurely walk around the Flamengo Park enjoying its lovely landscape.
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