Itaú Cultural is an institute devoted mainly to research and content production – mapping, stimulating and disseminating artistic and intellectual initiatives. In this way, it greatly contributes to the promotion of the culture of such a complex and heterogeneous society as the Brazilian one.
The Itaú Cultural Institute, conceived by Olavo Egydio Setúbal and created by Law no. 7505, of October 3, 1986, aims to map artistic expressions and encourage artistic and theoretical research and production related to the most diverse cultural segments.
“Itaú Cultural Institute aims to encourage, promote and research artistic languages and cultural events, as well as preserving the country’s cultural heritage, acting directly or in an associated way … ” – Creation Statute.
Segment mapping is carried out through the program Rumos, visual arts, cinema, dance, education, cultural journalism, literature, music, research, theater, the art and technology biennial Emoção Art.ficial and its online encyclopedias, which form the its main lines of action.
Itaú Cultural is an institute dedicated to the research and production of content and to the mapping, incentive and diffusion of artistic-intellectual manifestations. In this way, it contributes to the valorization of the culture of a society as complex and heterogeneous as the Brazilian one.
To inspire and be inspired by the sensitivity and creativity of people to generate transformative experiences in the world of Brazilian art and culture.
To be a reference in the valorization and articulation of cultural experiences and the most accessible and reliable source of knowledge about Brazilian art and culture.
By considering culture as an essential tool for building the country’s identity and an effective means of promoting citizenship, the institute seeks to democratize and promote social participation.
Center of cultural reference, promotes and disseminates Brazilian production in Brazil and abroad since 1987.
It has in programs like the Rumos in its mission and vision consistent differentials that put it between the most important cultural institutes of the country.
She was elected by the Great Place to Work Institute (GPTW) as one of the hundred best companies to work in Brazil.
The place is an institute directed to research and production of content, and can receive up to three exhibitions (always free) simultaneously, which usually bring the trajectory of musicians, actors, painters, artists, among other personalities that contributed to the national knowledge. The shows are aimed at young people who in future use them for their own productions. Itau Cultural also has cinema, restaurants and coffee programs.
Visitors through the media have access to the collection of more than thirty thousand documents talking about Brazilian art and culture in books, movies and collections of CDs and DVDs that can be both leased and used locally. The Itaú Numismatic Museum – Herculano Pires Museum can also be visited and has an average of 7 thousand items, among them coins, decorations and medals.
Created in 1987, with the inauguration of the first Information and Culture Center (CIC I), the Itaú Cultural Institute began to be open to the public on October 5, 1989. Its Computerized Database becomes available to visitors, and the institute becomes the first institution in Latin America to offer this type of service.
In 1997 the first edition of Rumos was launched, a program to promote artistic production in various areas such as visual arts, technology, dance, among others, and will become the flagship of the Institute’s actions. One year later, in 1998, the Institution adopted its current logo and the denomination Instituto Itaú Cultural.
In the year 2000 Itaú Numismatic – Herculano Pires Museum is open to the public, on the 9th floor of Itaú Cultural, with more than 2 thousand coins, medals and Brazilian decorations.
In 2001, Milú Villela assumed the presidency of the Institution and inaugurated the Itaú Cultural Encyclopedia of Visual Arts, evolution of the work begun in 1987 with the creation of the Computerized Data Bank. In 2004, Itaú Cultural de Enciclopédia de Teatro, a virtual reference work on theater activities in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, from 1938 to 2000, with a total of 600 entries, is launched on the Itaú Cultural website.
In 2007, the institute celebrates two decades with the launch of the new website, web-radio, Continuum and Itaú Cultural Observatory and Itaú Cultural 20 Anos.
The space of Itaú Cultural was reformulated in 2004 by Roberto Loeb, aiming at a better circulation and access to the public, besides giving greater transparency to the space. With five months of work, the project was aimed at conquering the public.
Some of the novelties were Ponto Digital, a room dedicated to cybernetic art; the reformulation of a single access for visitors, in this case, Avenida Paulista; improvement in auditorium capacity and visibility; reform in the restaurant and kitchen, aiming to better meet the demand of the public and others.
In relation to the more technical reforms, there were profound transformations in the construction of more than 3 thousand m² reformed. Among them, the construction of a metallic marquee, with a transition area between the public space of the sidewalk and the museum; design a new logo for the facade, which would draw more attention from the public and establish a new identity for the building; the construction of the great staircase that crosses the five floors, integrating all the spaces; old parking transformed into exhibition space and new sanitary, electrical and air-conditioning facilities.
Before the renovation, the building designed by the engineer Ernest Mange in 1995, presented several functional errors and that compromised the operation with all the capacity of the space.
Itaú Cultural’s main program, Rumos, was created in 1997 with the aim of stimulating Brazilian artistic and intellectual production in the fields of music, visual arts, audiovisual, dance, research, art and technology, literature, education and cultural journalism.
Of national character, the Rumos mobilizes, by means of edicts, artists and creators of all the Brazilian regions, broadening the look for the art that is made outside of the Rio-São Paulo axis. In its 16 years since its creation, the program has already selected 1130 artists, producers and researchers and its work has already reached more than 5.1 million people.
In 2014 the online encyclopaedia began to include entries from episodes and artists from the areas of dance, film and music and was re-adapted to be accessed unified.
The Brasiliana Collection is a permanent exhibition in the museum, inaugurated on December 13, 2016 and open to the public with two floors of the headquarters, in the space Olavo Setúbal, and has a wall with 300 engravings on one of the floors, regarding the flora and of the Brazilian fauna, relating to the history of Brazil, since the 16th century, encompassing several images of animals and plants.
There, 1,300 works of two distinct collections belonging to the bank are exhibited: the Brasiliana and Numismatic (coins) presenting paintings, drawings, engravings, maps and documents depicting Brazil from the arrival of the colonizers. One of the illustrious works that attract attention is the portrait of Pedro 2º, and there are also several gold coins and bars, created since the Portuguese came to the present day.
The exhibition is divided into nine modules, assembled in a chronological order. In the first place, the unknown Brazil, which gathers images of the impression of the foreigners when entering a country that they had just discovered. In the second, Dutch Brazil, there is focus on the arrival of Mauricio de Nasau, and the works produced on the country. Module three, The Secret Brazil, where all the attention is focused on Antônio Francisco de Lisboa, Aleijadinho. In module four, Brazil of naturalists, occupies the two floors, being the part of the exhibition that draws the most attention, because of the presence of color. In O Brasil da Capital, there are several images that depict Rio de Janeiro, through panoramas the variety of its vegetation. In the O Brasil module of the provinces there is the panorama of the city of São Paulo, based on the technique of oil on canvas, considered the most important work of the paulistan arts, before photography. In Brazil of the Empire is presented the royalty of Brazil, there are artistic productions depicting kings, princes and princesses. The Brazil Module of Slavery reminds us of slavery, with images and purchase and sale documents. The last module, Brazil of the Brazilians has works produced by Brazilian artists, emphasizing their creativity, there are documents signed by all the presidents until Tancredo Neves.
The two floors that house the exhibition space were restructured to expose the works of the collection. According to the director of the museum, Eduardo Saron, Itaú finally brings to the public one of the collections of greatest historical and artistic value in Brazil.
The coins that stand out in the exhibition are the Dutch, the first coined in Brazilian territory, in 1645 and 1646, during the Dutch invasion in the northeast of the country, in Recife. In all, there are more than 6 thousand pieces in coins, of which 395 are exposed. These show the production of Brazil since the beginning of colonization.
In order to house all the items of the exhibition, it took 3 years of work, where the set designers and architects had to adapt the small space they had to show the maximum of possible works. In addition, in some modules, original prints and paintings were transformed into cartoons to explain in a didactic way what would be happening when those images were created.
Through the works, the visitor crosses the timeline and can contemplate the modern montage there, the clear and objective texts and the paintings and engravings of names like Debret, Descourltiz, Regendas and the double Spix and Martius; These reveal the fascination of Europeans for nature and the inhabitants. In addition, the show has forty videos that are capable of giving movement to some of the exposed drawings, where a series of them does, in the corridor, with which the spectator is walking along the Brazilian flora, among the bugs. Beside this, there are rare coins and shelves with objects that can be handled by the passing public.
The Brasiliana Collection is an initiative of Olavo Setubal, where he believed that for the bank, it would be important to have works that tell the story of Brazil. In 1970, he began to collect what he found and sought to find more works and understand their relevance. Paintings and documents came from national and international collectors from European families who hardly knew the importance of the works they kept. Forty years later, he decided to transform these works into an exhibition that has already passed through Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza, Brasília and Paraná, and which is now in São Paulo.
The exhibition is available for visitation and is permanent, open to the public from Tuesday to Friday from 9am to 8pm.