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pinacoteca-9Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo (Museum of the state of Sao Paulo) is a highly regarded museum dedicated to the visual artists of Brazil from the 19th century to now.

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Designed in 1897 by Ramos de Azevedo, the museum building housed the first art school of the city, Liceu de Artes e Ofícios. It is the oldest art museum in the city but slowly took on the role of the city’s museum of contemporary art.

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The building is standing in one corner of the Parque da Luz.

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In 1997, architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha renovated the eclectic neoclassical building by stripping it of the stucco that covered it and leaving a stunning columned palace in exposed brick.

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He won the Mies van der Rohe Prize (2000) for this building and later the Pritzker Prize (2006) with another in Sao Paulo.

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There are two interior courtyards each covered by a glass lattice which allows sunlight to stream inside, illuminating several pieces of sculpture.pinacoteca-4

Over its 100 years of existence, the museum has accumulated more than 9000 pieces representing 300 years of works by Brazilian artists.

pinacoteca-3 ‘The Nanás’ Fountain’ (Fonte das Nanás) by Niki de Saint-Phalle (photo below).

pinacoteca-5There is a permanent collection and the museum mounts several temporary exhibitions at the same time. The types of art work range from audiovisuals to modern sculpture.

pinacoteca-6I particularly enjoyed the audiovisual works of William Kentridge: Fortuna.

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The museum has three floors connected by an elevator situated in one of the courtyards.

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The lowest floor has an auditorium and a cafe. The museum shop is a bit underwhelming (compared to those in big European cities) but the museum has published many books in relation to its exhibitions.

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Hmm, the upper floors are apparently supported by giants on the lowest floor !

pinacoteca-10This is a museum that is really worth visiting multiple times, for its timeless exhibition space and diverse exciting programs.

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One Comment

  1. umm… the building looks like it should be a few hundred years old…


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