Lina Bo Bardi (1914). Preliminary Sketch - Belvedere Sculptures from the Trianon Art Museum, 1968 © MASP Archive Research Center

About the Art of DisplayDialogues of Lina Bo and P.M. Bardi

doctoral dissertation by Marcelo Della Giustina

This study examines the work of Pietro Maria Bardi and Lina Bo Bardi at the Museum of Art of São Paulo (MASP).

The museum was idealized as a reaction to the preconceived ideals within a post-war discussion about society and cultural heritage. At the time, in 1947, the idea of the Italians Pietro Maria Bardi1900-1999) and Lina Bo Bardi (1914-1992) was to create a "modern museum out of bounds, not with the narrow purpose of informing, but of instructing". (Bardi, 1948)

MASP was directed and created by P.M. Bardi, financed by magnate Assis Chateaubriand (1892-1968). The director of the museum had the collaboration of his wife, Bo Bardi, in charge of the architecture and curatorship of the exhibition spaces. At this point, MASP became an institution with a bold educational program that included the HABITAT Magazine, besides courses and educational exhibitors as didactic support to the exhibitions. Later, in 1968, Lina Bo designed the museum building on Paulista Avenue, which became an architectural icon of São Paulo and was completed in 1968.

In this context, this thesis reinterprets the intertwined paths of the Bardis in three distinct acts. The first consists of a review of the writings and documents of the less researched Pietro Maria Bardi, focusing on his work as curator and museum creator. Based on this revision, the second act consists in revisiting the dialogue of the Bardi couple from the initial conception to the triad of the inaugural exhibitions of MASP Paulista. Finally, the third act emphasizes the curatorial process, using exhibitions as case studies. The research is based on archive research and analysis of writings, catalogs and also considers interviews with members of the MASP curatorial team. With this structure, the research aims to review parts of a dialogue about the complex art of making exhibitions.

CV Marcelo Della Giustina
Portuguese text