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Metrô bus inegrated from Largo do Machado
A year closed to the public afforded the MIAN, the International Museum of Naïf Art, time to reconsider its role in the city and stake its claim on Rio's cultural frontline. The late Lucien Finklestein's permanent collection is of global significance, providing the vivid, narratively strong genre a global home when few took it seriously, the redesigned space making room for some intriguing additions to classic images like the 24-metre long work ‘Brasil, cinco séculos’ (Five Centuries of Brazil) by Aparecido Azedo.
Those additions include a reconstruction of Finkelstein's office on the ground floor, complete with the little gifts and ornaments that those artists whose work he collected made especially for him. The house doubled as a workshop for several of them, and the desire to continue those links with the contemporary figures and the local community is strong. Thoughtful additions such as an exhibition slanted towards the visually impaired are also a welcome touch; The Panamanian Kuna Indians' layered embroidery is intended to be felt as much as seen, and the second smallest ethnic minority on the planet's work has an audio guide in English, Portuguese and French to explain all, as does Azedo's huge mural.
With pieces dating back to 1782, on the lower floor is an installation of work by Henri Rousseau, the forefather of naïf art despite being a contemporary of the Impressionist painters. The Frenchman's work may not be instantly recogniseable as 'naïf', but his determination to follow his own style captures its essence, and MIAN proudly follows the likes of The Louvre and New York's MOMA in exhibiting the work.
The location, just 30 metres from the train up to Corcovado, adds an essential piece to Cosme Velho's attractions too, and will maximise the attentions of the thousands of tourists flocking to see Cristo Redentor every week. As such one room is dedicated to naïf portrayals of forty of the city’s most famous attractions, including Dalvan da Silva Filho’s ‘Confeitaria Colombo’ and ‘Réveillon’ by Ozias, with visitors encouraged to vote for their favourite.
22 May 2013.