By Mira Olson, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO – The ‘Marvelous City’ offers a wealth of options when it comes to art exhibits, especially for photography. While there are countless small shows happening at various galleries around the city, there are a few larger, more established venues not to be missed.

A view of Rio's Museum of Modern Art in Flamengo, photo by Sheila Tostes/Flickr Creative Common License.

The Instituto Moreira Salles (IMS/Rio) in Gávea has an extensive permanent collection of works by Brazilian and international photographers. IMS/Rio regularly features temporary exhibits, as well as traveling collections from the other IMS locations in São Paulo and Minas Gerais. Their combined collection represents more than 550,000 images.

Part of IMS/Rio’s fascinating permanent collection is the “Coleção dom João de Orleans e Bragança”, a compilation of over 400 photographs gathered by Emperor Dom Pedro II from the nineteenth century. These pieces were donated by Rio’s modern-day royalty, Prince João de Orleans e Bragança, a direct descendant of Pedro II and a prolific photographer whose subject of choice is the beauty and culture of Brazil.

The Galeria Tempo in Copacabana is a relatively new gallery solely dedicated to photography and video art. Opened in 2006, it offers an array of traditional and contemporary images regularly featuring new talent, and hosted a collection by Sebastião Salgado throughout February 2010. Until April 24th, the gallery will be featuring a selection of eighteen images of Rio by Brazilian photographer Custodio Coimbra, from his recent book Rio de Cantos 1000.

Over thirty images by Italian photographer Claudio Carpi are on display until May 2nd at the Rio de Janeiro Museum of Modern Art (MAM) in Flamengo. Carpi is an internationally recognized celebrity photographer, and his work has been featured in publications such as Vanity Fair, Time, Entertainment Weekly, GQ and Issue One.

The serene surroundings of the Instituto Moreira Salles in Gavea, photo by Tay/Flickr Creative Commons License.

Through to this Thursday, March 25th, MAM is also featuring works by award-winning artists from the 3rd Edition CNI SESI Marcantonio Vilaça Award for Visual Arts, including Brazilian photographer, videographer and performance artist Yuri Firmeza. The artist’s mixed-visual media work tests the limits between fiction and reality, and from a critical and ironic standpoint questions the power relations in art and contemporary society.

Ateliê da Imagem in Urca is a space dedicated to image research, production and reflection. On Fridays, through its Projeto Sexta-Livre (Free Friday Project), the center offers events open to the public that incorporate photo, video, cinema, and music exhibitions with discussion and debate.

At 7PM this Friday, March 26th, the center will celebrate the launch of Brazilian photographer Iatã Cannabrava’s new book, Uma Outra Cidadee, with a projection of images and discussion. Cannabrava is known as one of Brazil’s most culturally provocative photographers and is the organizer of the international photography festival “Paraty em Foco”, among others.

For those looking to expand their knowledge of photography in general or further develop their creative techniques and skills, Ateliê da Imagem also offers regular training courses and workshops. For further information, visit:



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