The Eva Klabin Museum

The Eva Klabin Museum (22)

Eva Klabin was born in São Paulo on 8 February 1903 and spent her childhood and adolescence between her hometown, Europe and the United States before settling in Rio de Janeiro after marrying journalist Paulo Rapaport, who left her a widow 24 years later in 1957.

She was a fan of buying works of art, and her pieces were mostly acquired from antique shops and European and American auction houses. The pieces she bought range from her very first acquisition, as a teenager, of two small paintings by the 17th century Dutch painter Glauber, to engravings by Rembrandt, a 'Madonna and Child' by Sandro Botticelli, and even beautiful and rare objects from the Orient, such as an Egyptian death mask dating from 1550 and 1307 B.C. 

Her refined taste when buying the various works of art that make up her collection give it an eclectic air that, far from being subdued or badly combined, exudes elegance and evokes an exquisite taste for aesthetics. In addition, the collection provides one of the most incredible journeys through the history of art due to the combination of pieces from various cultures and civilisations. Eva Klabin's collection contains objects dating from both the 19th century and Ancient Egypt, but it also features numerous works of art from the Italian Renaissance, a movement that the São Paulo artist was passionate about.

The house that currently houses the Eva Klabin Museum was built in 1931 and was bought by the collector in 1952. In order to accommodate the extensive collection of art owned by the Brazilian, the house was extended in 1960 and took its first steps to becoming a foundation. 

However, it was not until 1990, a year before the collector died, that she achieved her dream with the creation of the Eva Klabin Foundation, after bequeathing her house and collection to the city of Rio de Janeiro. The foundation is a nonprofit institution for cultural purposes and on 22 August 1995, the collection opened to the public.

If you visit the Eva Klabin Museum, you should be aware that the distribution of the pieces throughout the house and the names of the different spaces were written down by the collector before her death.

And since you're in such an elegant and artistic place, you should also admire the museum's garden, which was designed by Burle Marx, a great friend of Eva Klabin. It is reminiscent of the style with which the landscape architect decorated much of the city of Rio.

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