Rio de Janeiro Museum of Modern Art, Brazil

Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (MAM) is a museum located in northeastern Flamengo Park, in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is in the Centro district, west of Santos Dumont Airport, on Guanabara Bay.

The Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (MAM Rio) is one of the most important cultural institutions in Brazil. It is located in the city of Rio de Janeiro, in Flamengo Park, near Santos Dumont Airport. Its headquarters building, the best-known work of the Rio architect Affonso Eduardo Reidy, follows the orientation of rationalist architecture, emphasizing the use of leaked structures and integration with the environment.

The museum was inaugurated in 1948, on the initiative of a group of businessmen presided over by Raymundo Ottoni de Castro Maia. It is a private, non-profit organization, born of the cultural and economic context that Brazil experienced in the second post-war period, in which the diversification of the cultural equipment of this country was observed, the acquisition of a valuable artistic heritage and the assimilation of modern artistic currents .

A stage of several events of great importance in the Brazilian artistic avant-garde, the museum has throughout its history amassed a highly representative collection of modern art – most of which was lost in the tragic fire of 1978. It now holds approximately 11,000 objects, From the Gilberto Chateaubriand Collection, deposited under a lending system at the museum in 1993.

In Brazil, the 1940s was a period marked by the intense participation of the private sector in the process of creating a network of high-level cultural equipment and the consolidation of the appreciation of modernist aesthetics among collectors and intellectuals in general. The period of great prosperity that Brazil experienced, propitiated by the advance of industrialization, contrasted with the difficult financial situation experienced by Europe after the end of World War II.

In São Paulo, Assis Chateaubriand and Pietro Maria Bardi had developed a method that would allow private financing for the acquisition of works of great artistic relevance in the then-defunct international art market, establishing in 1947 the São Paulo Museum of Art – the first museum space Of the country to act with profile of cultural center. The following year, Ciccillo Matarazzo founded the first Brazilian museum dedicated exclusively to the latest artistic trends of the time, the Museum of Modern Art of São Paulo, inspired by the molds of the Museum of Modern Art of New York and, like MASP, propeller of the model Of “living museum”, fundamentally structured around a didactic project.

The postwar period would be equally important for the profusion of private collecting, resulting, for example, in the remarkable collections of sisters Ema and Eva Klabin and entrepreneur Raymundo Ottoni de Castro Maya, an important cultural attaché of the capital of Rio de Janeiro, dedicated , In the same way as Chateaubriand in São Paulo, to fill important gaps in the artistic scene of Rio de Janeiro, notably the founding, in 1943, of the Society of Hundred Bibliophiles of Brazil.
Finally, the Museum of Modern Art had its founding minutes written in 1948, under the presidency of Raymundo de Castro Maya.

The Museum was born as a civil entity in 1951, and the following year it was provisionally installed in the Palace of Culture. In December 1952, the City Council approved a proposed grant of land of 40 thousand square meters for the institution. However, in 1958, when the School Block was inaugurated, the transfer to the proper place took place. The Exhibition Building (main building) was inaugurated in 1963.

The museum was the scene of several events of the artistic avant-garde of the 60’s, from the New Realists to the Neoconcretes. He hosted the Opinion Opinions 65, Opinion 66, New Objectivity (1967) and the Compass Hall (1969). It was in the New Objectivity exhibition that Hélio Oiticica exhibited his work Tropicália, whose name gave rise to the Tropicalist Movement.

Created in 1948, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (MAM Rio) occupies a singular position in Brazilian art, and not just for its importance as a cultural hub. The building it has occupied since the late 1950s, designed by Affonso Eduardo Reidy, is a landmark in Brazilian modern architecture. At the present time, it has 4,500 m² floor space exclusively for exhibitions.

Devised to interact with its surroundings – its horizontal lines contrast with the contours of the city’s hills, and the windows along the façades welcome in Burle Marx’s landscape design –, Reidy’s architecture is rational and sculpturesque at one and the same time. There is no gap between the structure and its final appearance, and its wide open spaces have a practical purpose: to give the exhibitions freedom of composition, and to attract visitors out to the gardens on the ground level.

MAM Rio’s collections sum around 15,000 works, including sculptures, paintings, photographs, drawings, prints, installations, and contemporary media. Since 1993, MAM Rio has had the Gilberto Chateaubriand collection on loan – one of the most comprehensive collections of Brazilian art from the last hundred years – and since 2005 Joaquim Paiva’s collection of photographs has also been on loan to the museum. There is a permanent exhibition of works from the Gilberto Chateaubriand collection, while works from the other collections can be viewed in temporary exhibitions. MAM Rio also receives touring Brazilian exhibitions and shows from abroad, attracting new and wider audiences.

The Cinemateca holds regular screenings of its extensive film archive, as well as other films, while providing access to film library for researchers. The research and documentation area and the library offer important resources for the study of art.