If you like to travel and consider including art and history in your program of visits on your next trip to Brazil, here we suggest five Brazilian museums that are worth checking out! The country has more than 3 thousand museums and it’s ranked about 8th among 141 countries in cultural resources. We would like to emphasize that the museum with the highest visitation numbers in Brazil is the Imperial Museum of Petrópolis – a city just 90min from downtown Rio. The Imperial Museum has received 321.6 thousand visitors (*2016).
Imperial Palace Museum
Previously known as the Royal Palace of Rio de Janeiro and Palace of the Viceroys, is a historic building in the center of the city of Rio. The Paço Imperial was built in the 18th century to serve as residence for the governors of colonial Brazil. From 1808, it was used as a royal residence by King John VI of Portugal as King of Portugal and later also as King of Brazil. In 1822 it became the city palace of the monarchs of the Empire of Brazil, Pedro I and Pedro II, who used it not as a residence, but as a workplace. It was one of the main political centers of Brazil for nearly 150 years, from 1743 to 1889. The Paço Imperial is located in the Praça XV in central Rio.Due to its architectural and historical significance; it is one of Brazil’s most important historic buildings.
São Paulo Museum of Modern Art
The São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP) is an art museum located on Paulista Avenue in the city of São Paulo. Its well known for its building, a 1968 concrete and glass structure designed by Lina Bo Bardi, whose main body is supported by two lateral beams over a 74 meters freestanding space, considered a landmark of the city and a main symbol of modern Brazilian architecture. The museum is a private non-profit institution founded in 1947 by Assis Chateaubriand and Pietro Maria Bardi. MASP distinguished itself for many important initiatives concerning musicology and art education in Brazil, as well as for its pioneering role as a cultural center. It was also the first Brazilian museum interested in Post-World War II artistic tendencies.
Museum of Tomorrow
The Museum of Tomorrow is a science museum in the city of Rio de Janeiro. It was designed by Spanish neo-futuristic architect Santiago Caintrava, and built next to the waterfront at Pier Mauá. Its construction was supported by the Roberto Marinho Foundation and cost approximately 230 million reais. The building was opened on December 17, 2015. The main exhibition takes visitors through five main areas: Cosmos, Earth, Anthropogenic and experiences. The museum mixes science with an innovative design to focus on sustainable cities.
Oscar Niemeyer Museum
Located in the city of Curitiba, Paraná, this museum is also known as Museu do Olho (Niemeyer’s Eye Museum), because of the eye-shaped design of the main building. Its unusual design both from outside and from inside is the highlight of any visit here. The architecture was designed by the renowned modern architect Oscar Niemeyer when he was 95 years old. Besides providing information about Niemeyer (Brazil’s greatest architect), the museum hosts exhibitions of international and Brazilian contemporary art and has an outdoor sculpture garden.
Contemporary Arts Center Inhotim
The largest open-air contemporary art museum in the world is located in the small town of Brumadinho, just 60km from Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. Works of contemporary art are part of the landscape of a 97 hectares large park. The starting collection of 350 works from 80 artists is spread across the countryside in a nonlinear sequence of pavilions set inside a botanical gardens. Brumadinho is full of stories and surrounded by beautiful mountains at an altitude of 880 meters. It has literally won the heart of Brazilian travelers and the world over in recent years.