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The Stone as Monument: The Museu Paulistas Stonework Collection as Epic Topography of the Colonial Past

Grant number: 19/01651-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): June 01, 2019
Effective date (End): July 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - History of Brazil
Principal researcher:Paulo César Garcez Marins
Grantee:Francisco de Carvalho Dias de Andrade
Home Institution: Museu Paulista (MP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


This project proposes a deep research on the Museu Paulista's stonework collection, which is composed of nine objects collected in São Paulo and coastal cities (dating from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century) and one of the most significant stonework collections in Brazilian museums. Those pieces having been gradually formed during the first three decades of the Museum's activity and it plays a prominent role in the museography formulated by the historian Affonso Escragnolle de Taunay, who made it key elements for his narrative on the geographical expansion of colonial Brazil. Thus, the research aims to investigate the circumstances responsible for the making of this collection in a comparative perspective with similar pieces at others Brazilian museums. It also tries to understand how Taunay could reaffirm the paulista's pioneering role in the Brazilian territorial formation by his construction of an epic meaning for the Museum, which illustrated the regional past based on its most illustrious sites and characters. In order to do so, it will investigate the Museum´s archives and the archives of other institutions linked to the regional memory, like historical societies and cultural heritage institution. Besides these, it will look for public and private collections in São Paulo and coastal cities, like city council's archives and academic journal's collections. This research also aims to study the collection in order to contribute to its curatorial treatment, providing subsidies for a new exhibition of the pieces when the Museum reopen to the public, in 2022. Lastly, it intends the acquisition of new objects already mapped in previous surveys.

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