Gravura de Fortier - Floresta Virgem, 1822. Foto: EdouardFraipont


The collections

One of the largest Brazilian corporate historical and visual memories, the brainchild of Olavo Setubal, Brasiliana Itaú displays 2,529 items, making up around five thousand images – from paintings of Dutch Brazil to the first editions of the best-known nineteenth-century albums of images of Brazil; there are also illustrated twentieth-century artists' books, objets d'art, maps, documents and manuscripts. Publications on display span the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries: many are the accounts of foreign travelers who struck out into the heart of Brazil to seek wealth and fame - real or imaginary.


From 2010 onwards, Brasiliana Itaú toured six Brazilian cities: São Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Fortaleza, Brasilia and Curitiba. A selection of the Fauna and Flora module travelled to Latin American capitals: Buenos Aires, Santiago, Montevideu, and Assunción. Approximately 340,000 people visited the exhibition. It has now come home to this building on Avenida Paulista, to open to the public at the Espaço Olavo Setubal.

The numismatics collection began with the purchase of Herculano de Almeida Pires's collection in December 1984: he was a member of the Board at Itaú. At that time it contained 796 gold, silver, copper, cupronickel, aluminium and bronze coins. After further purchases in Brazil and overseas the collection now holds nearly seven thousand pieces, including medals, decorations and gold ingots.


From 2000 to 2010 it was housed at Itaú Numismática - Museu Herculano Pires, itself on the top floor of the Itaú Cultural building, and was sub-divided into 30 chronologically-arranged modules with the most significant specimens of Brazilian coinage, offering a range of standpoints to the audience. The venue was closed in 2010 in order to add the contents to the Brasiliana collection, so as to generate a more complete panorama of the iconographic set reflecting the history of Brazil in the Espaço Olavo Setubal.