This talk discusses early photographic highlights from the Instituto Moreira Salles, a privately funded cultural institution in Brazil with a clear public mission. Inaugurated in 1992 and with cultural centers in three cities, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Poços de Caldas, the IMS photography collection and archives were formed through the incorporation of over 160 groups of images of different provenances. These included entire photographer’s archives, large 19th-century photographic print collections, and smaller sets of images or individual objects.
Since acquiring its first collection in 1995, IMS has focused on creating a broad program of activities and acquisitions oriented to the preservation, investigation, and diffusion of Brazilian photography.
IMS boasts several significant 19th- and early 20th-century collections. It houses one of the earliest surviving photographic objects in the Americas, an original work by Antoine Hercule Romuald Florence (1804-1879) based on his investigations on the light sensitivity of silver nitrate and gold chloride.
Another important holding is the Gilberto Ferrez Collection, an extraordinary set of 19th- century Brazilian photography from different authors compiled by the first photo historian in Brazil and himself the grandson of photographer Marc Ferrez (1843-1923), the most important name in Brazilian photography from the period.
Sergio Burgi has been a curator of the Photography Department of IMS since 1991. He has organized several exhibitions on Brazilian photography from the 19th and 20th centuries, and is author of significant books and catalogs on photography in Brazil.
Previously, he was coordinator of the Photographic Conservation and Preservation Center of the National Arts Foundation / FUNARTE between 1984 and 1991.
He graduated from the University of São Paulo and earned a Master of Fine Arts in Photography and an Associate in Photographic Science degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Presented on May 8, 2021.