Rio’s Museum of Modern Art was founded in 1948 by a group of art enthusiasts headed by Raimundo Castro Maia (see Museu do Açude and Chácara do Céu). In 1958 it was transferred to its permanent headquarters. It is impossible to miss the impressive main building, designed by architect Affonso Reidy. It stands right in the heart of Flamengo Park, surrounded by gardens planned by Brazil’s quintessential landscape designer Burle Marx. MAM has a very active role in Rio’s cultural scene, and influenced several generations of Brazilian artists.
In 1978 a tragic fire burned most of the its collection, and damaged the structure of the building. A major reconstruction effort put the museum back to its feet, and today the permanent collection has over 2,000 pieces by Brazilian and international artists. A major contribution was the Gilberto Chateubriand collection with over 4,000 pieces. It is also under the care of MAM, and can be seen in the permanent exhibition.