Museu De Arte Contempor%C3%A2nea, Rio

January 23, 2013 by  

Museu De Arte Contempor%C3%A2nea, Rio, This museum, also known as the MAC, was designed by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. It resembles a flying saucer, and offers excellent views of the bay and Rio. a Barcas S/A runs 20-minute ferrys across Guanabara Bay every 30 minutes on weekends, leaving from the downtown Pra├ža XV de Novembro.

Oscar Niemeyer’s spaceship design for Niter?i’s new Contemporary Art Museum has done for this bedroom city what Gehry’s Guggenheim did for Bilbao, Spain: put it on the map (at least in Brazil). Set atop a promontory with a stunning view of Rio, the all-white flying saucer says clearly yet elegantly that here is a landmark structure. As a gallery, however, the museum has serious drawbacks, not least that most of the construction funds were spent on the exterior. Curators bring in a constantly changing selection of Brazilian contemporary art (think abstract sculpture, textiles, and painting) but one can’t help thinking the best piece of work on display is the building itself. Allow about an hour.

Exploring What’s Beyond the Saucer — From Niemeyer’s saucer-shaped museum, it’s only a short walk to Niter?i’s main beach, Icarai, which offers a pleasant stroll and fabulous views of Rio. Niter?i’s main shopping street, Rua Coronel Moreira Cesar, runs parallel to the beach, 1 block inland. The stretch between Rua Miguel Frias and Rua Otavio Carneiro is lined with boutiques and galerias (small shopping centers). Take a break at the bakery and restaurant Confeitaria Beira Mar, Rua Coronel Moreira Cesar 149, corner of Rua Pres. Backer (tel. 021/2711-1070), or for an excellent kilo lunch try Buzin, Rua Pereira da Silva 169 (tel. 021/2711-5208), just 2 blocks past Rua Colonel Moreira Cesar. To return to the ferryboats, catch any bus on the waterfront that says BARCAS. You can also catch a van straight to Ipanema via downtown and Copacabana (R$5).

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