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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.


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


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.


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


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.


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


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.


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.



One Comment

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

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