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National Museum of Fine Arts – National Heritage

National Museum of Fine Arts – National Heritage

If you like art history, we have the perfect place to visit! We are talking about the National Museum of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro. Read our text and see more details about this important space that houses so many works.

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS

The National Museum of Fine Arts is located in downtown Rio de Janeiro, at Avenida Rio Branco. Nearby are other art and history venues such as the Municipal Theater and the National Library in Cinelândia Square.

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The museum has the largest collection of works of art of the nineteenth century, an icon for the country.

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INFORMATION

Address: Avenida Rio Branco, 199 – Centro (Cinelândia) Rio de Janeiro 

Opening Hours: From Tuesday to Friday, from 10 am to 6 pm; Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from midday to 5 pm.

Telephone: (21) 3299-0600 

Tickets: R$ 8,00 and half: R$ 4,00 and family ticket (for up to 4 members of the same family) for R$ 8,00.  

Ticket sales and visitor admission up to 30 min before the Museum close.

Free entrance on Sundays

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Learn more about these and many other historical sites in Rio de Janeiro. Join our Walking Tour Downtown and Lapa. Be even more enchanted by the wonderful city.

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THE FIRST STEPS OF THE PLACE

Contrary to popular belief, the current building did not function as a museum before. But how so? So, the institution’s first steps were through with the arrival of the Portuguese royal family in Brazil. In the escape of John VI, in 1808.

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John VI arrived in Rio de Janeiro with many works from his personal collection. Upon returning to Portugal years later, some of the works remained in Brazil. In 1826, his son Dom Pedro I, who was already the Emperor of Brazil, created the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts.

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Over the years the institution began to integrate its collection with other pieces and set up a considerable gliptoteca and pinacoteca. The Proclamation of the Republic of Brazil took place in November 1889. Then the space was called the National School of Fine Arts.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATIONAL SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS

The art school was one of the urbanization projects of Mayor Pereira Passos, which took place in the early twentieth century. The school building was created between 1906 and 1908, on the central avenue of the city.

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With the end of the work, the school began to work in the space. The collections and works were accommodated on its different floors and the space dedicated to research, study and practical classes worked on the second and fourth floors.

Working like this for over 20 years. Until 1931 when the School was incorporated to the University of Rio de Janeiro, at Ilha do Fundão. The transfer of all material took a few years.  

DETAIL

Despite the transfer of the school to another part of the city, the space left by the school was occupied by the National Arts Foundation (FUNARTE) until 1990.

SEPARATION OF THE COLLECTION

The artistic collection was common to both institutions, school and the museum. With the separation of institutions, the collection was also divided. However, most of the works and artistic collections remained in the Museum.

Most documents and works considered didactic were transferred to the School, in addition to those produced in the practical activities. Some collections donated to the school were also transferred.

CREATION OF THE NATIONAL FINE ARTS MUSEUM

For the creation of the Museum was taken into consideration the works of the initial collection of space (the one brought by John VI in 1808). It was through President Getúlio Vargas decree that the then Minister of Education of the country, Gustavo Capanema decided in January 1937 to create the National Museum of Fine Arts.

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This museum was opened in August 1938. It operates in its own space and is a federal public institution, linked to the Brazilian Museum Institute – IBRAM / MinC.

DETAILS OF THE BUILDING

With an architectural style called eclectic, the building was designed by Spanish architect Adolfo Morales de los Rios and built by Grandjean de Montigny between 1906 and 1908. The project featured the work and modifications of some other artists, including the director at that time.

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It has European influences in all its extensions, with many columns, pediments, reliefs, mosaics and mainly with wings that follow the model of the Louvre Museum. Its interior decoration used noble materials, they are: marble, French crystals and ceramics, statues and mosaics.

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The building of the current Museum was only listed by the National Artistic Institute (IPHAN) in May 1973. It was not until 2003 that the building began to function only and exclusively as a museum.

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS

The Museum currently has a collection of over 15,000 works, including those brought by the Portuguese court in 1808.

There are works of painting, drawings and engravings (Brazilian and international), sculptures and glyptic, decorative art and furniture, as well as works of popular art and African art.

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Initially the collection was mostly composed of works by the Imperial Academy and the National School of Fine Arts, by the artists of the French Mission in the country.

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Works from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, by students and teachers of the academy, and the works of many Brazilian artists, especially modernists, were incorporated into the collection.

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BIBLIOGRAPHIC COLLECTION

There is also a bibliographic collection (with library and media library) operating in the Museum. It’s specialized in fine arts of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Rare works such as collections of periodicals and exhibition catalogs, monographs, documents and photos of the institution’s history and personal collections of some artists can be found.

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DETAIL

– Research and bibliographic consultations can be done by readers; and

– Online collection consultations (PHL database) are available at: http://mnba.phlnet.net 

OTHER AREAS OF THE MUSEUM

The museum has exhibition areas and technical reserves. There are a Conservation and Restoration department which, among other activities, is responsible for the museum’s collection.

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Within the conservation department is the conservation and restoration laboratory (for painting and paper) and the sculpture and framing laboratory.

The Museum is also responsible for promoting various activities focused on education in Art and Cultural Heritage. Guided tours are made to the 19th Century Brazilian Art and to the Modern and Contemporary Brazilian Art galleries.

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Also, interaction and creativity activities are promoted from selected works from the collection and art history courses.

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Very interesting, isn’t it? Do not miss the opportunity to visit the National Museum of Fine Arts in the city!

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