Brazil (University of São Paulo) Integrated with USP since 1963, Museu do Ipiranga serves teaching, research and extension functions

Originally conceived as a monument to Independence, the Ipiranga Museum was built between 1885 and 1890 and was inaugurated on September 7, 1895 as a Museum of Natural History and a representative landmark of Independence, the History of Brazil and Paulista. Its first nucleus of collection was the collection of Colonel Joaquim Sertório, which constituted a private museum in São Paulo. It is the oldest public museum in São Paulo and one of the oldest in the country.

According to Solange Ferraz de Lima, a professor at Museu Paulista and  president of the Culture and Extension Committee of the Museu do Ipiranga , it was a project of the empire, which was ready in the Republic. “And the State Museum, which is being founded at the same time, is transferred to him. It was a museum built along the lines of natural history museums in the 19th century,” she says. “It is an encyclopedic museum”, defines the teacher.

“The Museum was integrated into USP in 1963, curiously in the same year that MAC (Museum of Contemporary Art at USP) was integrated. There was then, in fact, an interest in integrating museums. But since 1934, when the University of São Paulo was created, the Museu Paulista (in Ipiranga) has appeared as a complementary institute”, he explains. According to Solange, in practice, it means that many professors who worked at USP carried out their research at the museum, such as Sérgio Buarque de Holanda, who was one of its directors.

Located within the Parque da Independência complex, it was listed by the municipal, state and federal historical heritage, and under the administration of USP, it serves the functions of teaching, research and extension, pillars of the University’s performance. The Master Plan of 1990 defined the History of Material Culture as an institutional specialty area. In this field, it instituted three lines of research: Daily Life and Society; Universe of Work; History of the Imaginary, as a result of which the Museum’s collections and exhibitions have been expanded and reoriented.

historical character

In the period of the Centenary of Independence, in 1922, the historical character of the institution was reinforced. New collections were formed, with emphasis on the History of São Paulo. The interior decoration of the building was carried out, with paintings and sculptures presenting the History of Brazil in the Lobby, Staircase and Main Hall. Time when the Republican Museum “Convention of Itu” was installed, an extension of the Museu Paulista in the interior of the State.

Over time, the Museu do Ipiranga has substantially expanded its collections referring to the period from 1850 to 1950 in São Paulo. Currently, it has a collection of more than 450,000 pieces, including objects, iconography and textual documentation, from the 17th century to the mid-20th century, significant for the understanding of Brazilian society, especially with regard to the history of São Paulo. In addition, it has a specialized curatorship team.

Learn more about the history of the Museu do Ipiranga in the digital timeline . Through an interactive platform – with videos, audios, images and historical archives – it is possible to explore the facts that marked the Independence of Brazil and the construction of the Building-Monument, as well as the evolution of the current works of restoration and expansion of the site. The timeline also has accessibility features, such as pounds and audio description.