The Art Lover's Guide to Rio de Janeiro

The Art Lover's Guide to Rio de Janeiro

Candida Sodré, our Regional Director of Brazil, offers four inspiring must-sees and -dos in Rio, the city she calls home.

Candida Sodré, our Regional Director of Brazil, offers four inspiring must-sees and -dos in Rio, the city she calls home.


In the first of our new series of Art Lover’s Guides, Candida Sodré spotlights the glamorous visual world of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, once the country's capital and an ideal destination for artists, poets, and musicians.

Born and raised in the city, Candida prides herself on being a true "carioca"—for her, Rio's attraction for the creative-minded seems obvious because of its natural beauty: the bay, the beaches, Ipanema, the Tijuca forest. Below, Candida shares her must-sees and -dos for art lovers visiting the place she loves most, from the museum that bore witness to the most prominent Brazilian art movements to the best spot for a poolside meal.

1. Museu de Arte Moderna (MAM)

Photograhy by Fabio Souza.

Arriving in downtown Rio, right in front of the bay and Sugarloaf Mountain, one sees Museu de Arte Moderna’s breakthrough architecture. Designed by Affonso Reidy, my mother’s first cousin, MAM is a landmark of Brazilian Modernism. After its founding in 1948, it witnessed many prominent Brazilian art movements, such as Grupo Frente, formed by artists like Hélio Oiticica, Lygia Clark and Lygia Pape.

Photography by Clara Choveaux.

2. Casa Roberto Marinho

Photography by Cesar Barreto.

You may want to walk through the Burle Marx gardens, to survey the indigenous species or the fish in the lake—or perhaps you prefer to step into the lovely house to see the exhibitions. Located in the neighborhood of Cosme Velho, not far from the uphill tram to Corcovado mountain, the Casa Roberto Marinho, where I've been many times as a friend of the family, is filled in with art and good taste. Marinho started the collection—one of the best in the city—with artists of his generation as soon as the house was ready in 1948.

Candida Sodre, age 14 at Casa Roberto Marinho. Photography by Marcos Cezar de Andrade.

3. Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR)

Photography by Adriano Facuri.

The youngest museum in town, MAR was born with the mission of telling the history of the city, its people, traditions, conflicts, and contradictions. The museum occupies two buildings linked by a bridge and a “flying roof." Unmissable exhibitions take place at the Dom João VI Palace, (circa 1900). Next door, at the modern building, the “Escola do Olhar" develops programs for public education. MAR is located by the bay: from the top one can see the port and Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow). The view is breathtaking.

4. Instituto Moreira Salles (IMS)

Photography by Jéssica Senra. 

High up in the Gavea neighborhood and surrounded by the Tijuca Forest, the house where Walter Moreira Salles and his family lived became the Institute Moreira Salles in 1999. The IMS offers exhibitions, film screenings, concerts, and cultural events, and shelters the institute Photography, Music, Literature and iconography collections. The house, planned by Olavo Redig de Campos, is an elegant example of the 1950's modern architecture and is an attraction on its own. One can see the exhibitions and have a lovely meal by the pool.

Photography by Rafael Adorjín. 

On the Map


Candida Sodre
Regional Director, Brazil
+55 21 99981 7442

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