Exploring ‘Brazilian Modernism and Its Discontents’

In mid-May, an experiential art history course took a group of 12 Rice students on a two-week exploration of Latin American metropolis Rio de Janeiro and a one-week tour of three other cities: supermodern Brasilia, Brazil’s capital; Belo Horizonte, a 19th-century planned city; and cosmopolitan Sao Paulo, the most populous city in the Americas. The students’ experiences in images and words are now on display in “HART in the WORLD: RIO” in Herring Hall’s first-floor gallery walkway. The exhibit will be on display through the spring semester.

Through lectures, seminar discussions, museum visits, architectural itineraries and field trips, the students examined the complex political, social and cultural histories that have shaped these cities. It provided them the “opportunity to interrogate Brazilian modernism and its discontents,” according to course instructors.

Pictured above is an aerial view of Rio de Janeiro from the famous Corcovado (“hunchback” in Portuguese) mountain, photographed by Madeleine Pelzel, a Lovett College senior majoring in architecture.

The course was part of the HART in the World program, an art history initiative established by former Department Chair Linda Neagley, an associate professor of art history. The program covers airfare and lodging for students to travel to one of the greatest centers for art in the world each year with department faculty. This year’s course was led by Fabiola Lopez-Duran, an assistant professor of art history; Olivia Wolf, an art history Ph.D. student; and Brazilian artist Ana Maria Tavares, who is also a professor at the Universidade de Sao Paulo. After a break in 2018, the next course will visit London in 2019. For more information, go to http://arthistory.rice.edu/hart-world.

Pictured below on the rooftop of the Palace of Manguinhos, seat of the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz in Rio de Janeiro, are, from left: Tiffany Xu, Miao Zhang, Toshiki Niimi, Eric Hsu, Madeleine Pelzel, Olivia Wolf, Jennifer Heon, Tayler Bennett, Natalia O’Neill Vega, Mitch Mackowiak, Claire Hopper, Fabiola López-Durán, Renato da Gama-Rosa Costa and Ana Maria Tavares.

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.