What is it?
The Museu de Arte do Rio (aka MAR) is Rio’s newest art museum. MAR’s dazzling mix of architectural design styles means that there is plenty to look at before you’ve even got through the doors. One half of the museum is a modern building featuring white pillars, frosted green glass and clean lines. The other half is the Palacete Dom João VI, built in 1916 with a more classic, traditional style. These two main buildings are linked by the wave-like concrete canopy that is supported by more white pillars.
After purchasing tickets, visitors take a lift to the top floor of the modern building and are instantly treated to wonderful views of Rio’s Port district, Guanabara Bay and the massive Rio-Niterói Bridge which spans it. From there visitors descend an elegant staircase and then travel through a 2001 style walkway, into the older building which is houses the exhibition spaces.
Update: The spectacular new Museu do Amanhã (Museum of Tomorrow) is two minutes’ walk away, just across Praça Mauá. If you’re going to MAR then you’d be crazy not to go see the Museu do Amanhã at the same time. Also, there is Kobra’s immense (world record breaking) mural, Las Etnias, a few minutes’s walk down the Olympic boulevard (map link).
Naturally exhibitions will come and go at the museum so it’s worth checking the MAR website to see what’s going on before you visit. At the time of writing there is a fascinating collection of historic art depicting Rio throughout it’s history, from the first paintings of European explorers, through to 1950s tourist posters and beyond.
As well as classic art, the museum also houses contemporary pieces, such as Projeto Morrinho, a fascinating collaborative project which models the favelas of Rio.
From Wikipedia: Morrinho aims to bring positive change to the local community, as well as challenge the popular perception of Brazil’s favelas. The belief that favelas are merely dominated by drug trafficking and violence is not all encompassing. Morrinho communicates the realities of life … and shows that life in the favela is multi-dimensional.
How to get there
MAR is at Praça Mauá, 5 in Rio’s Centro district.
A taxi from Ipanema will take 20-30 minutes depending on traffic.
If you take the Metro, the museum is a 10 minute walk from Uruguaiana station.
Opening hours are 10:00 – 17:00.
The standard ticket price is R$8 (around $4 US).
Half price tickets are available for people under 21, students, people with disabilities, and public servants of Rio.
Entry is free for a variety of other groups including people over 60 and children under 5.
MAR is free for everyone on Tuesdays!
Main MAR website: http://www.museudeartedorio.org.br/en
Current Exhibitions: http://www.museudeartedorio.org.br/en/exhibitions/current