Nelson A. Rockefeller and Art Patronage in Brazil after World War II: Assis Chateaubriand, the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) and the Musee de Arte Moderna (MAM)

by Zueler R. M. A. Lima

Jan 1, 2010
My research at the Rockefeller Archive Center looked for evidence of Nelson A. Rockefeller's involvement in the creation of art museums and cultural programs promoted by Brazilian philanthropists, particularly in São Paulo in the decade after the end of World War II. This research is part of the project for a comprehensive book about the work and life of Italian-born Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi (1914-1992) who, among other important buildings, designed the temporary and permanent facilities for the Museum of Art of São Paulo (MASP). The museum, co-founded in 1947 by Brazilian press magnate Assis Chateaubriand (1892-1968) and her husband, Italian art dealer and critic Pietro Maria Bardi (1900-1999), contains one of the most prestigious art collections in Latin America and pioneered the layout of modern museums and the concept of comprehensive art institutes based on North American and Bauhaus models. The archival material reveals that the creation of MASP was closely related with the creation of the Museu de Arte Moderna (MAM), and that both represented the aspirations of local elites in creating a modern, cosmopolitan culture in the city with the direct and indirect help of Nelson A. Rockefeller.
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