Latest Posts

  • From the pages of Life Magazine: São Paulo in the late 1940s

    From the pages of Life Magazine: São Paulo in the late 1940s

    Life Magazine sent Ukrainian photojournalist Dmitri Kessel on assignment to São Paulo in the late 1940s. Now available on the Google-hosted Life photo archive, these photos have been shared on several websites and forums over the past few years, always said to date from 1947. Yours truly decided to dig for specifics, and found on […]

  • Debret exhibit captures the vibrancy - and inequality - of colonial Rio

    Debret exhibit captures the vibrancy – and inequality – of colonial Rio

    This year marks the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the French Artistic Mission to Brazil, whose mission was to launch an arts academy in Rio de Janeiro and introduce European Neoclassicism to the city, which had recently become the capital of the short-lived United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves. Ultimately, the Mission’s most […]

  • Naná Vasconcelos gets a musical farewell

    Naná Vasconcelos gets a musical farewell

    He would have wanted it this way. Mourners for percussionist Naná Vasconcelos made music a centerpiece of his farewell in his hometown of Recife, Pernambuco. Voz Nagô, a female vocal group he launched eight years ago to participate in his annual opening ceremonies for the city’s Carnival, performed at his wake on Wednesday night. Here’s Vasconcelos […]

  • Percussionist Naná Vasconcelos dead at 71

    Remembering master percussionist Naná Vasconcelos

    World-renowned Brazilian percussionist Naná Vasconcelos died Wednesday in his hometown of Recife, Pernambuco. Vasconcelos had collaborations with artists such as B. B. King and Ella Fitzgerald under his belt, and was recognized as the world’s best percussionist by DownBeat magazine eight times. Born Juvenal de Holanda Vasconcelos on August 2, 1944, he inherited his artistic […]

  • 'Pixote' actress Marília Pêra dead at 72

    ‘Pixote’ actress Marília Pêra dead at 72

    Actress Marília Pêra, known to international audiences for her role in Hector Babenco’s gritty 1981 drama Pixote (Pixote: A Lei do Mais Fraco), died Saturday at her Rio de Janeiro home. Pêra’s portrayal of Sueli, an aging prostitute who adopts a gang of street children as her pimps while dealing with the aftereffects of a […]

  • 10 photos of Rio de Janeiro's iconic sidewalks

    10 photos of Rio de Janeiro’s iconic sidewalks

    Rio de Janeiro’s 1.2 million square meters (3 million square feet) of mosaic sidewalks constitute one of the world’s most remarkable specimens of the art of Portuguese pavement — a tradition introduced by Portuguese settlers to Brazil and other colonies. The world-famous promenade on Copacabana Beach and the median strip alongside it are the most notable examples. The Copacabana sidewalks, designed […]

  • The City of Open Ports exhibit takes you back to 1908 Rio

    The City of Open Ports exhibit takes you back to 1908 Rio

    Brazil’s National Archive is observing Rio de Janeiro’s 450th birthday celebration with the return of Rio 1908: A Cidade de Portos Abertos (The city of Open Ports), an exhibit originally mounted in 2007 to celebrate the bicentennial of the transfer of the Portuguese Court to Brazil. The exhibit includes 114 illustrations — drawings and plans from […]

  • The Central Bank of Brazil's priceless art collection on display

    The Central Bank of Brazil’s priceless art collection is on display

    The Central Bank of Brazil’s Museu de Valores (Monetary Museum) tells the story of money and wealth exchange from the country’s colonial era to the present through coins, currency notes and artifacts. But the museum also has a collection of more than 2,300 priceless artworks, and now their story is being told through the ambitious “The Persistence of Memory” (“A […]

  • Tom Jobim statue unveiled in Rio

    Tom Jobim statue unveiled in Rio

    Bossa nova pioneer Tom Jobim was honored on Monday with the dedication of a bronze statue on Rio de Janeiro’s Ipanema Beach, which he made world famous with the 1964 song “Garota de Ipanema” (“Girl from Ipanema”). The ceremony, which included a performance by the Sexteto Terra Brasilis band, brought together friends, relatives and admirers of the artist on the […]