The Modern Art Museum located in Flamengo Park near downtown Rio
de Janeiro alongside Guanabara Bay, houses over 11,000 works including
paintings, sculptures and engravings by both Brazilian and foreign
artists. The Modern Art Museum is also the home to highly specialized
library and a popular cinematheque. The Modern Art Museum, founded
by a group of art enthusiasts lead by Raimundo Castro Maia, was
not transferred to its current location until 1958.
The main building was designed by Affonso Reidy and stands in the
heart of Flamengo Park and is surrounded by gardens planned by renowned
landscape designer Burle Marx. An example of modern architecture,
the building that houses the Modern Art Museum is constructed of
concrete in a horizontal form with an open structuring allowing
for a clear connection with the sea. The gardens help to carefully
transition the building into the landscape including flower beds
with round pebbles and paths lined with imperial palm trees. The
museum is a very active part of the cultural scene in Rio and is
marked as an influence for many of Brazil’s artists.
The cultural impact and importance of the Modern Art Museum is
symbolized by the hundreds of people from all over the world who
came to help repair the museum and replace it’s collections
after a devastating fire in 1978. The fire destroyed most of the
original collection and severely damaged the structure of the building.
One of the major contributions consisting of over 4,000 pieces,
donated by Gilberto Chateaubriand, is now part of the museum’s
permanent exhibition. The Modern Art Museum continues to draw large
crowds for both its permanent and temporary exhibition. In 1998,
Camille Claudel’s sculptures drew 120,000 people.
The museum’s film collection is a major attraction and is
considered one of the best in Latin America. The collection includes
over 12,000 titles including some that are extremely rare. The Cinemateca
do MAM holds shows and festivals that are open for the general public
that offer Brazilian and foreign cult films not shown in the commercial
MAM also regularly hosts art workshops exploring both the creative
and the historical side of art making. The Modern Art Museum is
open from Tuesday to Sunday 12:00-6:00pm.
Surrounding the Modern Art Museum there is 1,200,000 square meters
by the sea known as the Flamengo Embankment. A landscape project
also led by Roberto Burle Marx, it extends from Santos Dumont Airport
to Botafogo Cove. The park offers many attractions including sports
courts, bike trails, and cooper trails. After spending a day at
the museum the Embankment is the perfect place to take a leisurely