Lia Maria Aguiar Foundation sells Emanoel Araújo collection for R$30 million

2023-11-01 11:39:29

The Bahian artist’s collection acquired at auction includes around 5,000 pieces, including works of art, jewelry and historical artifacts.

Emanoel Araújo and pieces from his collection. Reproduction: ABRA – Brazilian Academy of Art

Emanoel Araújo’s collection was acquired in its entirety by the Lia Maria Aguiar Foundation (FLMA), in Campos do Jordão, at auction last Saturday afternoon. Lia Maria Aguiar, president and founder of her namesake institution, is from Amador Aguiar, founder of Bradesco bank. FLMA operates in the Campos do Jordão region and is dedicated to promoting social inclusion with its cultural and health centers.

The sale was carried out by Bolsa de Arte, an auction house specializing in modern and contemporary art, directed by Jones Bergamin. The auction had previously been postponed by Ibram – Instituto Brasileiro de Museus, as museums linked to the federal body have priority in the event of an auction of cultural assets, such as the Bahian artist’s collection. However, none of the museums were able to acquire the collection, with a minimum bid of R$30 million. The price refers to the complete collection. Bergamin expressed that the heirs’ desire was to sell the entire collection, so that it remained together.

The collection includes examples from artists such as Carlos Bastos, Xavier das Conchas, Carybé, Rubem Valentim, Francisco Brennand, João Câmara, Siron Franco, Franz Krajcberg, among others. Furthermore, some properties in the Bixiga neighborhood, in São Paulo, are included in the auctioned lot. “Emanoel Araújo was a great art buyer. I even had the opportunity to meet him and now appreciate, in detail, his private collection, which has great historical importance, with pieces from the 17th and 18th centuries and rarities ranging from baroque to modernism”, says Jones Bergamin .

Visual artist, curator, museologist and activist, Emanoel Araújo was one of the most important personalities in Brazil in the 20th century. In his work, aesthetic currents such as constructivism were explored in a way that expressed themes strongly related to Brazilian reality. Both his artistic work and his work as a curator and researcher highlighted the importance of African heritage in national culture. Araújo also created and directed the Afro-Brazil Museum – holding the position from the museum’s inauguration in 2004 until his death in 2022.

Araújo commented that he would like to give his collection a public destination when he dies. The funds from the sale will go to Araújo’s eight brothers and four of his employees, as requested by the artist in his will.

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