History of the Museum
The largest museum in Latin America
Designed in 1967 to be the headquarters of the Education Institute of Paraná, the main building that now houses the MON started to be used to host some state secretaries in the 1970s. At the time, it received the name Edifício Presidente Humberto Castelo Branco.
In 2000, negotiations began to transform the space into an art museum, under the management of then governor Jaime Lerner.
In 2001, 23 years after its inauguration, the State authorities decided to transform the generous area into a museum and, on November 22, 2002, the building ceased to be the headquarters of State secretaries to become the, initially named, Novo Museu (New Museum).
The building underwent adaptations and gained an annex, popularly called “Olho” (Eye, due to its architectural shape), both authored by the renowned Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.
Today, it is considered the largest museum in Latin America, with around 35,000 square meters, with over 17,000 square meters of exhibition spaces.
Awards and recognitions
MON won the TripAdvisor Travellers' Choice Award, by being among the select group of the 10% best attractions in the world. The rating is based on ratings given by the spontaneous audience over the last 12 months.
The “Arte para Maiores” (Art for Seniors) program was selected and prominently presented to the working groups of the 1st National Meeting on Museum Education, promoted by the Brazilian Institute of Museums (Ibram), in the state of Bahia.
The “Arte para Maiores” (Art for Seniors) program, which seeks to provide conditions for participants to have a broader view and more knowledge about visual arts, was awarded the “Prêmio Darcy Ribeiro”, one of the most important national awards in the field of museum educational programs.
TripAdvisor visitors ranked MON among the top 25 museums in South America and among the top 10 in Brazil, ranking eighth and fifth respectively.
MON was chosen as one of the ten museums in Brazil to be integrate the ultimate travel list by the tourism website Pure Viagem, alongside the Museu Imperial, in Rio de Janeiro, the Instituto Inhotim, in Minas Gerais, the Pinacoteca do Estado of São Paulo and the Institutp Ricardo Brennand, in Recife, among others.
It was chosen as one of the 20 most beautiful places in Brazil by the American news network CNN.
For several consecutive years, MON has featured in the world ranking of the most visited exhibitions, organized annually by the English magazine The Art Newspaper.
Life and death
Oscar Niemeyer, one of the biggest names in international modern architecture, was born in Rio de Janeiro on December 15, 1907 and died on December 5, 2012, at the age of 104.
He has more than 600 architectural designs around the world and is one of the most recognized representatives of modern architecture. He was the architect assigned to bring the “Olho” (Eye) annex to life and make MON a work of art in its own right.
The plans for the Museum, authored by Oscar Niemeyer, combine straight and curved lines, concrete and green areas, neutral and bright colors.
In the 1940s, Niemeyer created the Conjunto Arquitetônico da Pampulha, in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, commissioned by the then Mayor Juscelino Kubitschek, built between 1942 and 1944: the “Cassino da Pampulha”, the “Casa do Baile”, and the “Igreja de São Francisco de Assis” (or, Igreja da Pampulha).
In the 1950s, the buildings that would solidify Niemeyer’s in the history of national architecture and project him internationally were built: the first buildings in Brasília, such as the Congresso Nacional, the Palácio da Alvorada, the Praça dos Três Poderes and the Cathedral.
His brand traveled the world and, in 1965, in France, he designed the headquarters of the French Communist Party. In 1968, other expressive works were added, such as the Editora Mondadori, in Milan, Italy, and the Algiers Mosque, in Algeria.
In Brazil, in 1980, Oscar Niemeyer paid tribute to his friend, Juscelino Kubitschek, with the construction of the JK Memorial. Nine years later, he designed the Memorial da América Latina, a landmark in São Paulo that celebrates Latin American ties.
In 1994, he also became the architect of spaces dedicated to art, such as the Niterói Museu de Arte Contemporânea (RJ), and again of democratic spaces, such as the headquarters of the OAB (Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil), in Brasília, in 1998.
The Eye Annex Building
In 2002, an annex was built in Curitiba, popularly called “Olho” (Eye), along with another building by the architect, giving way to the Museu Oscar Niemeyer.