Rio de Janeiro’s Museum of Modern Art (Museu de Arte Moderna) is one of Brazil's foremost collections of modern and contemporary art, with roughly 12,000 works housed within its concrete and glass-fronted facade. Highlights of the permanent collection include works by Di Cavalcanti, Maria Martins, and Bruno Giorgi.
Nicknamed MAM, the Museum of Modern Art is full of natural light and contains a vast main gallery space free of internal columns and structural walls. Outside, you can find sunny outdoor terraces, modernist gardens, and an assortment of sculptures.
Peruse the collection, visit the Memory Center (a scholarly resource dedicated to gathering and updating information on Brazilian and international art), or stop by the Cinematica do I, a film collection boasting 23,000 reels. Skip-the-line access tours allow you to bypass ticketing queues and gain a deeper understanding of the museum collection from your guide.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The MAM is a must-see for art and culture lovers.
- Teachers and students receive half-price admission to the museum.
- Laguiole is the MAM's on-site restaurant and is considered one of the best in Rio; reservations are highly recommended.
How to Get There
Located within Rio’s Centro District on Guanabara Bay, the MAM lies within Flamengo Park (Parque do Flamengo), an urban planning project created by Roberto Burle Marx and Affonso Eduardo Reidy. The easiest way to get there is by taking the metro to Cinelandia Station. Bus lines 472, 438, 154, 401, and 422 stop on Beira Mar Avenue in front of the catwalk; buses 121, 125, and 127 stop on Presidente Antônio Carlos Avenue.
When to Get There
The museum is only open in the afternoons, which means your morning is free for sunning on one of Rio's beaches or exploring other parts of the city. Visit during the Carnival season to see one of the city’s best block parties (known as “blocos”), when the Orquestra Voadora stages their rehearsals in the MAM’s gardens leading up to the day of Carnival.
The History of MAM
The museum has had a tumultuous history since its founding in 1951. A fire destroyed much of its original collection in 1978, including hundreds of priceless Brazilian artworks and other pieces by Picasso, Miro, and Dali. The museum rebuilt its collection, now featuring about 12,000 works of art, to become the premier destination for modern art lovers traveling to Rio.