In Brazil and in the World

Folk Art in Brazil

Museu Nacional da República
Brasilia / Distrito Federal

The Museu Casa do Pontal and the Museu Nacional presented the "Folk Art in Brazil – the Museu Casa do Pontal Collection", exhibiting 1,500 works by 70 popular artists, the largest of its kind ever held in the country. The exhibit was visited by more than 45,000 visitors. Curated by anthropologist Angela Mascelani the exhibit showed works from the collection begun more than 50 years ago by French designer Jacques Van de Beuque.  Apart from geographic representation, the curator related to the works to the cultural and symbolic universes of the authors. At the entrance, visitors were greeted by a 20-meter-long blue panel with suspended boats in an allusion to the São Francisco River, which crosses five states - Minas Gerais, Bahia, Pernambuco, Sergipe and Alagoas, an important axis in the production of folk art, with its gargoyles and myths. On other rivers, the exhibition takes the visitor to the Jequitinhonha Valley where older artists let their imagination soar and transform pots and pitchers into dolls, breast-feeding mothers, radiant and solemn brides. The exhibition next went to Alto do Moura, in Caruaru, Pernambuco, to visit Mestre Vitalino and his famous school of ceramic dolls. In its religious section, the exhibit featured Catholic festivals in Juazeiro do Norte, Ceará; Umbanda in Rio de Janeiro, Candomblé from Bahia and afoxé from Pernambuco. Also represented were the suburbs of Rio, the adult games played in the streets and squares of the City and the effervescence of carnaval in the Sambódromo.