Camila Maroja

Theme: Collecting Modernisms – Rewriting Modernisms

Showcasing Brazilian Modernity? The Case of the Museum of Art of São Paulo (MASP)

Today MASP is mostly renowned for its architecture and display of crystal easels envisioned by Lina Bo Bardi that showcase European old master paintings. Amassed by MASP’s director Pietro Maria Bardi, the collection reflected his European training. And yet the 1968 concrete box with glass walls in the middle of the Paulista Avenue enclosing artworks that seemed to float on space became synonymous of Brazilian modernity. How did a predominantly European collection become associated with Brazilian Modernity? In this paper I examine how the Bardi couple successfully adapted their theory of the importance of the vernacular to produce modern Italian art to their new homeland.

Camila Maroja is an art historian and visual culture theorist specializing in modern and contemporary art with an emphasis on Latin America. She completed her doctoral studies at Duke University in 2015 and now is the Kindler Distinguished Historian of Global Contemporary Art and Assistant Professor of Art and Art History at Colgate University, US. Her work has been published internationally in magazines like Art Journal, ArtMargins, Arte & Ensaios, and Carte Semiotiche.

From the conference Multiple Modernisms. A Symposium on Globalism in Postwar Art.

Louisiana Museum of Modern Art 2017