HAR is pleased to announce one of the latest releases from BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology: an article (in Portuguese), on the Anthropological Exhibition that took place at the Museu Nacional of Rio Janeiro in 1882.

Agostinho, Michele de Barcelos, 2024. “A Exposição Antropológica Brasileira de 1882: história, ciência e poder no Museu Nacional do Rio de Janeiro”, in BEROSE International Encyclopaedia of the Histories of Anthropology, Paris. 

The Museu Nacional of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro is a bicentennial scientific institution, the first in Brazil, which had one of the largest collections of natural and anthropological sciences in Latin America, much of which disappeared in the fire that struck its historical building on September 2, 2018. Initially called the Royal Museum, then the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro, its trajectory occupies a prominent place in the country’s history insofar as the disciplinary knowledge produced there was closely linked to state policies aimed at managing territories and populations. At the end of the 19th century, the concern with consolidating and legitimizing anthropological science in Brazil, inscribing indigenous peoples in national history, and demanding a museum from the imperial government which specialized in ethnography motivated the then director of the Museu, Ladislau Netto, to hold the Brazilian Anthropological Exhibition of 1882, the first and only of its kind in Brazil. The exhibition lasted three months, displayed hundreds of indigenous objects and received thousands of visitors. This study analyzes the intentions of those who conceived it, the practices of representation that constituted the exhibition order and its repercussions with the public. In this lavishly illustrated article, Michele Agostinho takes readers on a true guided tour, which is also a travel in time.

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