Founded in 1951, Rio de Janeiro’s Museum of Modern Art (Museu de Arte Moderna) has had a tumultuous history, mainly due to a fire that ripped through the galleries and destroyed much of its original collection, including hundreds of priceless works by Picasso, Miro and Dali. Even so, the museum has since rebuilt its home—and its collection—to become the premier destination for modern art lovers traveling to Rio. What was once a collection totaling 1,000 pieces now features about 6,500 works of art, including the most complete collection of contemporary Brazilian art in the world.
Travelers will find an extensive collection of modernist art in the museum’s galleries, with permanent collection highlights including works from Di Cavalcanti, Maria Martins and Bruno Giorgi. Temporary art, photography and design exhibits are always top notch, and an on-site theater screens art-house films from around the world. While the museum proves a major draw to modern art enthusiasts, travelers agree that the unique collection, well-stocked shop and knowledgeable staff make it a destination for those new to art, too.
Visitors to the Museum of Modern Art are met with a towering stone pillar façade tucked between colorful, well-kept, modernist gardens. In addition to the museum's impressive exterior, a stunning courtyard and quiet outdoor terrace connect the structure to its surrounding landscapes.
The Museum of Modern Art is located in Rio's Centro district on Gunabara Bay. The easiest way to get there is by taking the metro to Cinelandia Station.