As the institutional arm of Banco Itaú dedicated to research, mapping, incentive, production and dissemination of Brazilian culture in all of its expressions, Itáu Cultural has maintained an intense programing since 1987, always offered free of charge to the public. Its activities are carried out at its headquarters in São Paulo, as well as at partner cultural institutions throughout the country. Nowadays, activities are also broadcast online.


Since its very start, Itaú Cultural has organized close to 6,200 activities focused on the most diverse areas of cultural expression, some of which had an international reach. Up until the end of 2016, more than nine million people had been impacted by the projects produced by the institute throughout the 30 years of its existence.


The institute also keeps pace with contemporary debates, encouraging reflection on the new themes that permeate Brazilian society. Solutions related to accessibility for blind and deaf audiences were instituted in the exhibition galleries, on the institute’s website and for its employees themselves by means of the Accessibility Committee. The institute has also been intensely active in the topic of diversity. It created the Committee for Race Topics, and promotes a greater presence of blacks in the contemporary Brazilian cultural scene. The works enrolled in the most recent edition of the Rumos program reflect this by supporting projects related to racial, indigenous and gender issues, as well as those of marginalized groups.


Since 1997, Itaú Cultural has been producing Rumos, one of the largest privately funded calls for projects in the country. The initiative has received more than 52,000 applications since its inception. There were 12,000 applications for its most recent edition (2015-2016), from which 117 were selected. A new edition will open in September of this year. The program has already supported around 1,400 projects related to the visual arts, art and technology, film and video, dance, education, literature, cultural journalism, music, theater and research. This content has already impacted 6 million visitors throughout the country up to now.


The institute is also a major producer of content related to Brazilian art and culture. There are 780 published titles in its portfolio, in the form of CDs, DVDs, CD-ROMs, videos, books and encyclopedias. In 30 years, about 973,000 items have been distributed free of charge to libraries, public schools, cultural institutions and public and community radio and TV broadcasters, as well as to researchers, educators, producers and cultural managers throughout Brazil. This concern with education is also present in an intense programming for public and private schools at the institute’s headquarters.

Exhibitions, film festivals, theater productions, literary activities and music shows along with with educational programs, courses for educators, research, debates, digitizing collections, among other activities, are all part of the legacy of Itaú Cultural has developed throughout these 30 years. It is a constant effort focused on the development of Brazilian art and culture.

Itaú Cultural – three decades
supporting Brazil’s art and culture
with free admission for the public



Programing, debates and education online

Itaú Cultural also produces content for an online public. Most of its activities have components in the virtual world. In 2016, its website received 15.5 million unique users – and more than 127 million since it was created in 1997. The institute also increasingly invests in social networks, the online dissemination of its programming and the accessibility of people with disabilities. As is the case with its on-site activities, all activities broadcast online have interpretation in Libras, the Brazilian sign language. Most of the institute’s activities have virtual components and part of its programing is broadcast on radio and TV programs as they are distributed to a wide network of public and community broadcasters in order to increase the reach of the institute’s initiatives.


The institute’s website is also an important tool to bring the public closer to all of its products, events and reflections. It broadcasts online talks, debates, shows and presentations, so that audiences in other parts of the country can also simultaneously partake of the programing. In the past 30 years, the website has already received more than 127 million unique users. The website also hosts the online Itaú Cultural radio, which offers music, literature and interview programs.


On its website, Itaú Cultural also maintains the O Mundo de Bartô, platform devoted to children. A source of entertainment and knowledge for the young ones, it is hosted by a mouse named Bartolomeu who interviews personalities from the children’s world and recommends movies, books, shows and other attractions.


There is also a series of electronic magazines with various types of coloring and cutting games, as well as texts written in a simple language about topics related to the world of art and culture. Although it is devoted especially to children aged 5 to 12, the website is also an area for the entire family to enjoy.


Online encyclopedia

Among its online-based initiatives, the institute makes available the Itaú Cultural Encyclopedia of Brazilian Art and Culture. One of the institute’s main platforms, the encyclopedia was created in 1987, the same year the institute was founded, even before the advent of the internet. Available on the web since 2001 at the address, it previously focused solely on the visual arts. Today, it contains databases with more than 200,000 entries for artists, institutions, groups, exhibitions, shows and works from various fields. In February 2017, when Itaú Cultural celebrated its 30 years, the encyclopedia became also accessible from mobile phones, in both Android and iPhone systems, with a new look and keys for people with sight and hearing disabilities.


The Itaú Cultural Encyclopedia today is the first and most complete online network of information on Brazilian culture. Each artist’s entry includes a biography, analysis of the artist’s work, and information on the whole context in which they created their work. It also provides definitions of terms and concepts used in the art world and the history of groups and movements. The crossing of this information, which has been validated by Itaú’s researchers and consultants, allows visitors to discover artists’ incursions in other fields of the arts beyond their original context. For example, author Mario de Andrade or theater director Flávio Rangel, among others, whose work has crossed into other areas of expression.


Just to mention some of the names that are found in the encyclopedia: among musicians we can find Dorival Caymmi, Tom Jobim, Chiquinha Gonzaga, Milton Nascimento; in the visual arts, Leonilson, Hélio Oiticica, Cândido Portinari, Tarsila do Amaral; Regina Silveira under computer art, to give an example; authors Nelson Rodrigues, Machado de Assis, Monteiro Lobato, Clarice Lispector, Milton Hatoum, Moacir Scliar; actors Walmor Chagas, Ruth de Souza, José Celso Martinez Corrêa, among others from the stage. Also, cartoonists Henfil, Angeli, Laerte e Glauco. In dance, Ballet Stagium, Grupo Corpo, Lia Roberto, Marilena Ansaldi, Maria Duschenes or, in film, Sandra Kogut, Beto Brant, Rogério Sganzerla and Luiz Sergio Person.


The Encyclopedia today is a gigantic network of cultural and artistic information that grows every day and covers various areas of expression of Brazilian culture: theater, literature, art and technology, music, film and dance. The unified platform allows for a more in-depth and synergetic browsing of the contents already produced by Itaú Cultural. In order to guarantee the uniformity of this data and the coherence between the materials allocated to each area, the institute has adopted common methodologies for its execution, such as indexation, controlled vocabulary, inclusion criteria and choice of entries, order of presentation.


Education and Cultural Observatory

Furthering its natural vocation as a platform for the creation of content and artistic-cultural expressions from throughout Brazil, Itaú Cultural also makes use of its own means of communication. The institute created and edits the magazine Observatório Itaú Cultural, dedicated to public policy issues involving Brazilian culture. Its main focus is to encourage discussion of topics in Brazilian culture public policy by encouraging constant dialogue with researchers, universities, government institutions in the field of statistical data, multinational organizations and research centers in the field of cultural public policy.


Observatório was created in 2006 with a focus on management, the economy and cultural policies, and it has been fostering studies and debates on theses themes, encouraging reflection on the various aspects of culture and analyzing national indicators. It extends its reach by means of seminars, meetings and talks; by publishing books and the Revista Observatório, available online free of charge; and by promoting research on cultural fields in addition to its specialization in cultural management.


In the field of academic education, Itaú Cultural is the first private cultural institute in the country to create a graduate course in cultural management. By means of the Observatório, the institute has been offering for almost 10 years a course of Specialization in Cultural Policy Management, in partnership with the Unesco Chair in Cultural Policy and Cooperation at the University of Girona, Spain. Classes are taught both online and on-site. Until now, the course has received more than 10,500 applications from many Brazilian states and has enrolled more than 360 students.


Also in the field of management, the institute has created the Cultural Management and Policies Week, where it goes out onto the field. Since its creation in 2008, this 40-hour course has benefited close to 3,000 culture professionals in the 25 cities where it has been held: São Luiz (MA), Porto Velho (RO), Boa Vista (RR), Rio Branco (AC), Salvador (BA), Aracaju (SE), Maceió (AL), João Pessoa (PB), Florianópolis (SC), Curitiba (PR), Porto Alegre (RS), Goiânia (GO), São Paulo (SP), Macapá (AP), Recife (PE), Bauru (SP), Ribeirão Preto (SP), Presidente Prudente (SP), Belo Horizonte (MG), Janaúba (MG), Feira de Santana (BA), Crato (CE) and Canoas (RS).


The purpose of this quick course is to provide education to cultural producers and managers so they can better manage the specific situations of cultural management, understand the various demands in their region and the current challenges of the field. Also in this area, the institute will start in 2017 the first class of a distance-learning course specialized in cultural management and policy.


In 2016, Itaú Cultural created the Olavo Setubal Chair, the first one at the University of São Paulo to discuss topics from science, the arts and technology. Created in partnership with the Institute for Advanced Studies (IEA/USP), it has a minimum duration of five years. The first holder of the chair was the political scientist, philosopher and diplomat Sérgio Paulo Rouanet. This year the holder of the chair is architect, graphic designer and cultural manager Ricardo Ohtake. This represents recognition for the institute’s dedication to management and cultural policy education and is part of Observatório Itaú Cultural’s 10 years celebrated this year.


Art and culture in the entire country

Itaú Cultural is physically present throughout the country by means of partnerships with public and private cultural institutions. The institute has adopted this policy in order to be present in the entire country. Instead of creating new locations in other states, it has opted to join and strengthen existing organizations that are familiar with the local realities. In this manner, the institute sends art exhibitions, theater productions, seminars, meeting with artists, debates on cultural topics and other activities to all regions in Brazil.


Just in terms of traveling art exhibitions – from the collection or produced by the institute – in the past few years, 203 exhibitions were shown in different places in the country, from north to south and center, attracting more than 1.7 million visitors. In 2016, the institute organized 750 activities in all states and reached more than 540,000 people.


Also in 2016, in the field of the visual arts, for example, the institute was present at partner institutions in Belém (PA), Brasília (DF), Curitiba (PR), Salvador (BA), Fortaleza (CE), Ribeirão Preto (SP), Santos (SP), Porto Alegre (RS) and Rio de Janeiro (RJ). The Oscar Niemeyer Museum in Curitiba and the Paço Imperial Museum in Rio both received Moderna para Sempre – Fotografia Modernista Brasileira na Coleção Itaú Cultural. Also in Rio, but at the Parque Estadual Library, it was the turn of Ocupação Aloisio Magalhães. Belém and Salvador received the exhibition A Arte da Lembrança – A Saudade na Fotografia Brasileira.


The Pinacoteca Benedicto Calixto, in Santos, hosted Imagens Impressas: um Percurso Histórico pelas Gravuras da Coleção Itaú Cultural. For the Contemporary Art Museum of Ceará – Dragão do Mar Center for Art and Culture it was Filmes e Vídeos de Artistas na Coleção Itaú Cultural. Ribeirão Preto was the first to show the new exhibition Narrativas em Processo – Livros de Artista na Coleção Itaú Cultural. The Iberê Camargo Foundation in Porto Alegre received Sergio Camargo: Luz e Matéria.



Preservation and rescue of works by Brazilian artists

Pursuing its belief that culture is an asset that every country must preserve and disseminate, Itaú Cultural also had a strong presence in making better known the production, history and creation process of important artists of Brazilian culture, whether through exhibitions or the production of documentaries. The institute also supports the cataloging and digitizing of the archives of artist such as Hélio Oiticica, Waldemar Cordeiro, Lygia Clark, Regina Silveira and Nuno Ramos, musician Elomar Figueira Mello, clothing designer Zuzu Angel, architects Sergio Camargo and Oscar Niemeyer, stage designer and visual artist Flávio Império, photographer Claudia Andujar and other Brazilians of all origins and artistic segments, a total of approximately 30 names.


One of the projects in this field is Ocupação, a series of exhibitions devised to foster a dialogue between the new generation of artists with the creators who influenced them and expand the public’s knowledge of these personalities. Since its creation, this initiative has revisited the work and history of artists such as Nelson Leirner, Abraham Palatnik, Zé Celso, Paulo Leminski, Chico Science, Rogério Sganzerla, Regina Silveira, Haroldo de Campos, Angeli, Nelson Rodrigues, Antonio Nóbrega, Mário de Andrade, Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Sérgio Britto, Zuzu Angel,  Jards Macalé, Laerte, Aloisio Magalhães and the group Giramundo. The Ocupação exhibitions have also paid tribute to names such as Elomar, Hilda Hilst, Dona Ivone Lara, João das Neves, Vilanova Artigas, Grupo Corpo, Glauco, Cartola and Abdias Nascimento. In 2017, the entire series is dedicated to women: the first was actress Laura Cardoso, followed by author Conceição Evaristo, currently on view, curator Aracy Amaral, psychiatrist Nise Silveira and musician Inezita Barroso.


Also in the field of preserving heritage, Itaú Cultural developed a series of documentaries about the great names of Brazilian culture. Entitled Iconoclássicos, it includes the titles Daquele Instante em Diante, on musician Itamar Assumpção, directed by Rogério Velloso; EVOÉ! Retrato de um Antropófago, a documentary on playwright Zé Celso, directed by Tadeu Jungle and Elaine Cesar; Mr. Sganzerla – Os Signos da Luz, a portrait of Rogério Sganzerla under the gaze of Joel Pizzini; Ex-Isto, free adaptation of Paulo Leminski’s Catatau by Cao Guimarães, and Assim É, se Lhe Parece, a film by Carla Gallo about Nelson Leirner. The series was shown on Canal Curta!, as part of the partnership between the institute and the broadcaster.


All these films have already been shown for free at the Espaço Itaú de Cinema movie theaters in different cities of Brazil. In the same spirit, in 2014 the film Ouvir o Rio: Uma Escultura Sonora de Cildo Meireles was shown in various Brazilian cities. Directed by Marcela Lordy, this feature length film is about the artist’s search for the sound of the water mentioned in the film’s title (“Listening to the River: A Sound Sculpture by Cildo Meireles”). The institute also produced A Paixão de JL, a documentary about artist Leonilson directed by Carlos Nader, which has played at various festivals and received many important awards inside and outside Brazil. Eryk Rocha’s documentary about musician Jards Macalé, JARDS, is another Itaú Cultural production that had a successful run.

These artists have been the topic of major exhibitions at Itaú Cultural, consolidating an in-depth research of their works and creative processes. All the films were shown for free to the public at Espaço Itaú de Cinema movie theaters in various cities in Brazil.


More recently, in 2016 the Rumos Itaú Cultural also supported the project Olhar: Um Ato de Resistência, which carries out the digitizing of a part of the work of director Andrea Tonacci (1994-2016). Previously inaccessible due to its currently obsolete support, the material gathers statements by indigenous leaders from various places in the Americas, recorded by the filmmaker between 1979 and 1980. The material will be made available to researchers at the Cinemateca Brasileira.


Itaú Cultural maintains one of the most complete art and culture libraries in the country. Located at its headquarters on Avenida Paulista, the library is dedicated to the research and dissemination of Brazilian artistic and cultural production and holds a collection specialized in visual arts, music, theater, dance, film and video, design, architecture, literary critic and cultural policy.


Currently, it directs its activities to the artistic and academic fields, open to researchers, artists and undergraduate and graduate university students by appointment. The online catalogue can also be consulted at:, which makes available 10,000 books, 13,300 art catalogues, 1,000 video titles (DVD + VHS), 460 works of reference (encyclopedias, dictionaries and guides, among others), 60 periodicals on Brazilian art and cultural policy.

Traveling and permanent collection

Composed of more than 15,000 items, the Itaú Unibanco Art Collection is one of the largest corporate collections in the world and the largest one in Latin America. It includes contemporary and modern art, such as paintings, prints, stamps, photographs, sculpture and installations, and houses the Brasiliana Collection, with national iconographic images since the discovery of the country, and the Numismatics Collection of rare coins, decorations and medals that are part of Brazilian history.


The collection is further complemented by the Computer Art and Artist Films and Videos collection formed by Itaú Cultural, which was entirely formed using its own funds, without resorting to the Rouanet Law tax incentive program. In an effort to guarantee the public’s access to these works, Itaú Cultural continuously puts on free exhibitions at its headquarters in São Paulo, and organizes traveling exhibitions throughout the country and abroad (read more here, Art Collection).


The Itaú Brasiliana collection totals 2,902 items, which contain close to 6,000 iconographic images ranging from paintings from Dutch Brazil to the first editions of most the best-known print albums produced about the country in the 19th century, as well as illustrated artist books from the 20th century, works of art, objects, maps and manuscripts. Many of the publications dating from the 16th to the 20th century contain reports of foreign travelers who ventured throughout Brazil in the search of wealth and glory, whether real or imaginary.


The numismatics collection began with the acquisition of the coin collection of Herculano de Almeida Pires, a member of Banco Itaú’s Board of Directors, in December 1984. At that time, the collection totaled 796 gold, silver, copper, nickel, cupronickel, aluminum and bronze coins. Thanks to new acquisitions in Brazil and abroad, the collection has grown to close to 7,000 items, which also include medals, decorations and gold bars.


A selection of the Brasiliana and Numismatics collections is on permanent display since 2014 at the Olavo Setubal Gallery, open to the public. More than 108,000 people have visited the collections, as of March 30, 2017. Installed on two floors at the headquarters of the Itaú Cultural, the gallery displays 1,300 objects selected by the curatorial team among the highlights of the two collections that together hold 10,000 items.


Among the items on display is an oil on wood painting by Frans Post, Povoado numa Planície Arborizada, dated between 1670 and 1680 – the first work purchased by Olavo Setubal for the collection – and a vast selection of prints by Rugendas, Debret, Chamberlain, Auguste Sisson, Schlappriz, Buvelot and Moreau, Bertichen and Emil Bauch, portraying the first landscapes portrayed of the country.




Ibirapuera Auditorium

On another front, Itaú Cultural took over in August 2011, by means of a public tender of the São Paulo Municipal Cultural Secretariat, the management and maintenance of the Ibirapuera Auditorium – Oscar Niemeyer, one of the most emblematic cultural structures in the city of São Paulo. The funds allocated by Itaú to this project do not make use of the tax benefits of the Rouanet Law program.


Since the start of its management, Itaú Cultural has expanded the range of the auditorium’s programing beyond music to include dance, theater and film, highlighting the multicultural character of the space. As soon as it became responsible for the programming and the management of the Ibirapuera Auditorium, the institute reduced ticket prices to more affordable levels – R$ 20 e R$ 10 (half-price tickets) –, increasing the public’s access to the events on offer. Between 2011 and 2016, 930 performances were staged, seen by more than 1,3 million of people. In 2016, there were 147 performances, of which 59 were free to the public.


In addition to art programming, the auditorium houses the Auditorium School, which offers free courses in Brazilian music, with a duration of 5 years, for 170 students (starting from the age of 12) of the public school system who reside in the city of São Paulo. The students also receive a monthly scholarship to help cover their transportation and food costs.


The goal of the school is to provide a solid education in the area of popular music, uniting theory and practice. Students learn how to play an instrument, developing their musical perception and learning about Brazilian music history, its styles, instruments and personalities. The repertoire is focused on Brazilian authors in the classroom, as well as in the performances by the various groups of the School, such as the Orquestra Furiosa do Auditório and the Orquestra Brasileira do Auditório (OBA), providing cohesion and direction to the instruction.


The disciplines taught in the free music course are divided into two groups: theory classes, where students learn and develop the reading of music, harmony and skills of rhythmic and melodic perception; in the laboratory various Brazilian rhythms are presented, including their histories and personalities – and practical or instrument classes given individually. The students also participate in groups and acquire experience playing in orchestras.


Since the start of its activities, the Auditorium School under the artistic-pedagogic of musician direction of Nailor Proveta has graduated four classes with 44 students – 19 of them graduated in 2016 – providing these young people the opportunity to start and develop their career in music, often within the Auditorium itself, which already has former students on its faculty as professors and conducting assistants.


Beyond its programming, which between 2011 and 2016 it has received more than 1.3 million spectators in 930 performances – in 2016 there were 147, of which 59 were free –, the Auditorium houses a school of music, the Auditorium School, which annually teaches approximately 170 children and adolescents from the public school system. The students pursue a free music course and receive a monthly scholarship that helps pay for their transportation and food costs. The School has already graduated four classes with 44 students – 19 of them graduated in 2016.


Through initiatives of this nature, Itaú Cultural reaffirms its firm commitment to Brazilian culture, acting as a strong supporter of the arts and culture in the country, in democratizing and expanding the access to cultural activities among Brazilians and preserving and disseminating of Brazil’s cultural and artistic heritage in order to create a lasting legacy.



Modos de Ver o Brasil: Itaú Cultural 30 Anos
[Ways of Seeing Brazil: Itaú Cultural celebrates 30]

Exhibition dates: May 25 to August 13, 2017

Tuesdays to Sundays: from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Appropriate for all audiences - Free Admission


At the Oca

Avenida Pedro Álvares Cabral, Portão 3, Parque Ibirapuera

Itaú Cultural

Avenida Paulista, 149, Estação Brigadeiro do Metrô

Phones: +55 11 2168-1776/1777

Air conditioned

Parking: Entrance on Rua Leôncio de Carvalho, 108

If visitors have their parking ticket stamped at the Itaú Cultural reception desk:

3 hours: R$ 7; 4 hours: R$ 9; 5 to 12 hours: R$ 10.

Valet parking with insurance, free for bicycles.


Press Consultants:

Conteúdo Comunicação

Phone: +55 11 5056-9800


At Itaú Cultural:

Larissa Correa:

Phone: +55 11 2168-1950

Carina Bordalo (Rumos program):

Phone: +55 11 2168-1906