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The reinvention of a modern art collection: the exhibitions of the MAC USP collection under the management of Walter Zanini: a comparative study between Brazil and France.

Grant number: 23/09129-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): January 04, 2024
Effective date (End): July 03, 2024
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Arts - Art Fundamentals and Criticism
Principal Investigator:Helouise Lima Costa
Grantee:Helouise Lima Costa
Host Investigator: Jerome Thomas Glicenstein
Host Institution: Museu de Arte Contemporânea (MAC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Université Vincennes Saint-Denis (Paris 8), France  


This study falls within the field of exhibition history and aims to understand to what extent French museums served as a model for the exhibitions of the MAC USP collection in its early years. Founded in 1963, MAC USP originated from the modern art collection that belonged to MAM SP, becoming the first contemporary art museum in the country. The research seeks to analyze the stance that the newly-founded institution took regarding its collection, the criteria for organizing exhibitions, the adopted references, the involved agents, and the reception of such initiatives. The temporal scope of this research covers the tenure of its first director, Walter Zanini (1963-1978), who has been extensively studied in relation to his pioneering initiatives in fostering new artistic practices, but not regarding his collection policy. Zanini received a solid education in France in the 1950s and remained in contact with the European art scene in subsequent years through institutional visits and participation in international conferences. Our hypothesis is that Zanini's exhibition program for the collection at MAC USP was influenced by these experiences, particularly by the examples set by the museums of modern art in Paris and the discussions in which he participated at CIMAM. We argue that it was up to him to "reinvent" the collection inherited from MAM SP, adapting it to the purposes of a public university museum focused on the promotion and display of contemporary art. (AU)

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