Best Museum in Rio

The best museum in Rio is the Instituto Moreira Salles. It has not only the most comprehensive photography collection in Brazil, and great rotating exhibits, but the mid-century building (someone’s house, really) and the gardens designed by Burle Marx are simply stunning.

A visit to IMS is almost a meditative experience. It is hard to imagine a more beautiful and serene place to experience art.

Instituto Moreira Salles Details


R. Marquês de São Vicente, 476 - Gávea, Rio de Janeiro - RJ, 22451-041 (Gavea neighborhood).

Tuesday to Sunday and Holidays from 11AM to 8PM. CLOSED MONDAYS.

Rio de Janeiro Branch.

Current exhibits

Chichico Alkmim, Photographer
This exhibition features over 300 pictures taken by the photographer from the state of Minas Gerais during the first half of the 20th Century. Chichico Alkmim (1886-1978) settled in Diamantina, Minas Gerais in 1912 and set up his definitive studio in 1919. His collection has been under the tutelage of IMS since 2015.

Contrary to many photographers with studio in the hinterlands of Brazil at the time, self-taught Chichico never limited his work to portraying the bourgeoisie. He photographed weddings, baptisms, funerals, popular and religious festivities, landscapes, street views and the area's locals. The exhibition rounds up the different phases of the photographer's trajectory, presented in rooms with dedicated scenery. More than one hundred glass negatives can be viewed through a glass panel, as well as original objects from Chichico's laboratory and a bellows camera similar to the one used by the photographer.

In the words of curator Eucanaã Ferraz, "Chichico is one of those photographers who seem to have the power to bring the life of his models to the foreground. The existential density expressed in the set of physical features which we call physiognomy is patent, and may be taken in like the momentary realization of a destiny". 
Learn more.

J. Carlos: Originals
This exhibit presents a selection of works by one of the greatest visual chroniclers of 20th-century Rio de Janeiro. The wide-spanning output of José Carlos de Brito e Cunha (1884-1950), known as J. Carlos, includes caricatures, cartoons, typographic alphabets, sketches, advertising, covering the entire graphic repertoire of the first illustrated magazines in Brazil. Curated by Cássio Loredano, Julia Kovensky, and Paulo Roberto Pires, the exhibition rounds up 290 original drawings that mark decisive moments of his extensive yield.

J. Carlos was one of the first representatives of Modernism in Brazil, with his – direct or indirect – interpretation of art nouveau and art déco springing up in the 1910s. The drawings were picked out from a roster of around one thousand original items under the custody of IMS since 2015. By favoring the original, frequently annotated drawings, the exhibition sets out to not only account for some of the artist’s recurring themes, but also show the illustrations’ trajectory from drawing board to page. Learn more. Learn More.

On Screen
The IMS also has a movie screening room. It's currently showing Crônica da Demolição (Chronicle of the Demolition) which narrates the violent and authoritarian process by which the Monroe Palace, a landmark of Rio, came to be demolished. This is a film that will be enjoyed particularly by urbanists and historians.

Getting there
Virtual Tour

Don't have time to go? "Explore" it with Google

Nearby Jonts

Parque Lage
This is the most beautiful park in Rio. Experience the Atlantic forest without leaving the city. A nice alternative to the Botanical Garden. Details.

More Art Jonts

World’s Largest Street Mural
According to Guiness, this is the “World’s Largest Street Mural by a Team”. Even if it weren’t the largest, it’s damn impressive and beautiful! Details.

Gregorian Chants at São Bento
“Live Gregorian chants by Benedictian monks will send you back in time time a couple hundred years. Details.

One comment on “Best Museum in Rio
  1. Absolutely brilliant recommendation! Very intimate place. I couldn’t agree more with you that this is how art is meant to be experienced. If you are into photography this is the place to go in Rio.

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