November 21, 2016
From downtown, we took the metro to Luz, the largest and most historic train station in São Paulo. Through this station have passed agricultural products from far-flung farms and plantations, as well as natural resources such as coal and minerals. Luz was the hub of transportation activity as well as the place where immigrants entered the country back in the late 19th and early 20th century when the city was beginning to expand rapidly.
Across from the station, in Praça da Luz, is a historic building called the Pinacoteca, from the Latin word for art gallery. In this museum are housed works by Brazilian painters and sculptors from the 18th and 19th centuries. There are also temporary (which are located in Pinacoteca’s other building in the district of Bom Retiro) and permanent expositions of modern Brazilian art. This is what we ended up seeing.
The building was constructed in 1900 and was originally a lyceum of arts and crafts. It was renovated in the 19990s and since then has become one of the most important cultural centers in Brazil. We went inside as much to see the building as the artwork.
There were artworks made of words:
A fantasy landscape made of knitted yarn:
One of these galleries contained paintings by Brazilian artists.
We saw sculptures:
By the time we emerged and wanted to take a walk at the adjoining park, Praça da Luz, it was 6 pm and the park was closed, the entry gate padlocked. We looked through the bars at the beautiful tropical plants and meandering paths within.
We headed back to Vila Mariana on the metro. It was rush hour on a weekday and Luz Station was teeming with people anxious to get home, Luz Station being a hub with connections to the other lines in the São Paulo Metro system. As “idosos” (elderly – age 60 and over), we got to ride free!