Earlier this summer, I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro with a group of American art librarians. My colleagues on the trip included librarians from MoMA, the New York Public Library, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, the Ghetty, the University of Texas at Austin School of Architecture, and many other great institutions. We were all part of the Art Library Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) contingent who went on a study group tour to meet our art librarian counterparts in Brazil.
It was pretty amazing to travel so far and find that the art libraries and museum libraries that we visited in São Paulo and Rio had many of the same journals, books, scanners, blogging platforms and challenges and opportunities for creating digital libraries that we have here. Some of them also had great artist book collections. Among the places we visited were MASP, (the Museu de Arte de São Paulo), the Brasiliana Library at São Paulo University, and the private collection of Andrea and José Olympio Pereira in São Paulo. In Rio we toured the Casa Daros Museum and Library, the Rare Book Collection of the National Library, the Parque Lage School (School of Visual Arts), the Museu de Arte Moderna (MAM), and the private home of artist Anna Bella Geiger.
In São Paulo we attended a symposium to learn about trends in Brazilian contemporary art and of particular artists and scholars’ views. And in Rio, our group of American art librarians each gave a presentation on some aspect of their home institution so that our Brazilian art librarian counterparts could learn a bit about our U.S. institutions. Since private and special collections as well as creating new physical spaces had been a focus on our tour, I gave my presentation on the Seydel Reading Room at the Hampshire College Library.
All in all, it was a pretty amazing experience, so I wanted to share it with all of you! I will be purchasing some books on Brazilian contemporary artists for the Hampshire College Library, and I’m always open to suggestions. Come ask me about the collection of Latin American art books available at Hampshire and in the Five College libraries anytime.