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Best Contemporary Art in Rio de Janeiro

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Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR)

This 2013 addition to the city's cultural landscape has a futuristic look that will surely dazzle you. Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR) comprises of two buildings that belong to different eras. The first one is the 1916 Dom João VI Mansion, an eclectic, heritage structure and the other one was a former bus terminal which was revamped to its current modern look. These are connected by a crest-like canopy which is sustained by white pillars. The museum's exhibition halls are located in the mansion and displays artworks between 1920 to 1980. There are also educational visits for students and other organizations. A visit here will definitely be an eye opener as it shows the different shades of Rio.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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Museu Chácara do Céu

This museum with 360 degree views of the city and the Guanabara Bay is worth visiting just for the location alone. The present structure was created in 1954 by famed architect Wladimir Alves de Souza and the art contained inside is primarily European, but with works from some famous names like Modigliani, Matisse, Miró and the pointillist Seurat. Aside from the Europeans, the museum also has plenty of works from local Brazilians, both famous and not-so famous. This is another museum that falls under the patronage of the organization Castro Maya, named after the philanthropist and empresario extraordinaire, Raymundo Ottoni de Castro Maya.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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Museu da Imagem e do Som

Museu da Imagem e do Som (Museum of Image and Sound) in Rio was the first of its kind in the country and was established in 1965, after which several others followed suit in other cities. It has an impressive collection of images and sound that includes in various forms such as caricatures, recordings, gramaphones, musical instruments, drawings, books and discs that are related to the cultural history of Brazil. Most of these media documents were donated to the museum. There are also some personal mementos of artists such as Ernesto Nazareth's piano, Elizeth Cardoso's costumes and more. The exhibits also showcases forgotten artists belonging to Brazil's Golden Age of Radio such as the Batista sisters. Museu da Imagem e do Som regularly conducts educational videos, lectures and other activities to promote cultural awareness among Rio's citizens.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro

The magnificent Parque do Flamengo is a modern and exquisite building in concrete and glass that houses The Museum of Modern Art, the main center for modern art in Rio. The permanent collection now has more than 4000 pieces by Brazilian artists, including the Gilberto Chateaubriant collection, one of the most significant Brazilian art collection in the country. There are various temporary exhibits of well-known artists from other countries as well, plus an art cinema and a restaurant. Guided tours are in English and Spanish, phone to reserve. All printed matter and painting information is also in English.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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Urban Arts

This compact space is a part of the Urban Art family that has galleries all around Brazil. This trendy, digital gallery showcases top-notch artists, illustrators and designers as well as upcoming ones that is funky and interesting. The collection ranges from posters, paintings to wall stickers, laptop skins, tote bags, pillows, mugs and more. The exhibits are all temporary as the artists change regularly. Visit the Rio branch to add some color and a dash of indie creativity in your itinerary.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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Museu de Arte Contemporanea

A 15-minute ferry ride across Guanabara Bay from Praca Quinze in Downtown Rio brings you to the neighborhood of Niteroi. A further 5 minute taxi ride then delivers you to the entrance of one of Brazil's most iconic buildings, Oscar Niemeyer's Contemporary Art Museum. Though critics say that the building is usually more impressive than the art within, MAC hosts a huge variety of exhibitions of international artists, talks by noted speakers, and cinema specials that should interest art lovers. If, however, the current displays do not interest you, the restaurant/café in the building is an excellent and relatively inexpensive place for a bite to eat. The round building offers a panorama of the bay you will not find anywhere else.

Niteroi, Brazil
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Gam Arte e Molduras

Gam Arte e Molduras is a chic gallery that has an impressive collection of contemporary and modern art paintings, sculptures and photographs. They also specialize in frames which suit the beautiful artworks. The gallery focuses on customizing their photos according to the clients' needs and are into art consulting for corporate houses and private residences.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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