This was the private residence of Eva Klabin, a wealthy art collector and a grand hostess in Rio during the late 20th century. Her parents were Lithuanian immigrants to Brazil; they built extremely successful business', and Eva went on to build a collection of over 1000 pieces of paintings, sculpture, silver, china, and furniture that span art history from the ancient civilizations to the impressionists. What makes this museum/house special is that the collection is beautifully arranged and displayed in residential rooms, usually by period, and designed to show the art to its advantage. This house was one of the first residences built around the lagoon, but due to remodeling and security issues, one cannot discern the actual exterior architecture; only a gate and address face the street. We were the only visitors when we arrived on an early Thursday afternoon and we thus had a private docent English speaking tour. Our guide was excellent and made Eva Klabin's personality come alive as he pointed out
a Botticelli here, a Reynolds there, Jewish silver pieces behind the glass and Tang Dynasty
ceramics in the Chinese Room, etc. Today the museum is a cultural center and there is a music room with programs offered to the public as well. For some unknown reason this museum is not
mentioned in many guide books, but I would strongly recommend a visit here for all art history buffs. Our visit lasted about an hour so this makes a great stop before or after a walk or meal
around the lagoon or on a rainy day.
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