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Autographs by Bidu Sayão, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Roberto Burle Marx (1946)

Autographs by Bidu Sayão, Heitor Villa-Lobos and Roberto Burle Marx (1946)

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In 1946, Rio's intellectual and artistic elite witnessed Bidu Sayão's return to Brazil and asked the State for more resources for culture.

  • Petition from Brazilian Social Action to the Mayor of the Federal District of Rio de Janeiro, with 45 signatures.
  • 4 pages.
  • 22.4 cm x 30.4 cm.
  • In Portuguese.
  • Rio de Janeiro, August 15, 1946.
  • Good state.
  • Unique piece.
  • Brazilian Social Action

Your Excellency Dr Hildebrandro de Góes, Mayor of the Federal District

The artistic movement of Rio de Janeiro for its broad development, not being able to do without another one or two large concert halls, and on the other hand, the plastic arts urgently lacking suitable galleries for their exhibitions, the artists, the intellectuals and those who interested in Art, come to present to Your Excellency the request to favorably grant the fair claim of BRAZILIAN SOCIAL ACTION, which by Law already has the right to land in the central area of ​​the city.

This high culture venue will be a relevant service provided to the city, elevating Rio de Janeiro in the eyes of all intelligentsia in Brazil and abroad and placing our Capital at the height of the great Art centers of all the major cities in the world.

August 15, 1946

Bidu Sayão
Burle Marx

and X other names.

In 1946, Bidu Sayão returned from the United States to Brazil for a period. She performed at the Theatro Municipal on August 15, 1946, in the production of Gounod's opera Romeo and Juliet, with conductor Jean Morel and the Theatro Municipal orchestra. This event was quite remarkable for the history of Brazilian music and culture, as Bidu Sayão was considered one of the best sopranos in the world at the time. Specialized critics highly praised her performance, highlighting her crystal clear voice and her moving interpretation.

In the 1940s, Brazil was going through a period of great cultural and political ferment, and the city of Rio de Janeiro was considered the country's cultural center. Many Brazilian artists and intellectuals were involved in social and political movements that defended democracy, workers' rights and the appreciation of national culture. Several important artistic and cultural movements emerged, such as modernism and the anthropophagic movement, which proposed a new way of thinking and making art in the country.

It is likely that this petition was the first act of what would become, in 1948, the "Grupo dos Primitivos" (1), formed by artists, intellectuals and personalities of Brazilian culture brought together by Bidu Sayão, with the composer Villa-Lobos or the landscaper Burle Marx, among others whose signatures appear on this document. The group's objective was to promote national culture and value Brazilian roots, as opposed to the European influence that still predominated at the time.

The group held meetings, debates and cultural events at the Anchieta Building, which became an important meeting point for Brazilian culture in the 1950s. These initiatives had great importance in valuing Brazilian culture and promoting national art, and their influence could be perceived to this day.

In short, here we have a petition marking a doubly historic moment for Brazilian culture. On the same page, you can find the beautiful signatures of Bidu Sayão, Villa-Lobos, Burle-Marx and many others. I am very happy to present this unique document to you.

(1) "Bidu Sayão and the Grupo dos Primitivos: the Brazil of plastic arts and music in the 1940s" by Denise Mattar (book). "The Group of Primitives: an art and an idea of ​​Brazilianness" by Cauê Alves (academic article)

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