The Museu Nacional (Rio de Janeiro): science and education in the history of a Brazilian institution

Luiz Fernando Dias Duarte About the author


In the moment when the Brazilian National Museum commemorates its bicentennial, it is appropriate to tackle its institutional “biographic illusion”, from the point of view of an insider who is not a professional historian. The analysis concentrates in the rhythms of continuity and discontinuity of the successive institutional projects, focusing in some especial periods when a clearer identity came to the fore, in a permanently complex, dependent and mutant context. The contrast between the rich period spawning from the end of the 19th century through the first half of the 20th and the relatively stagnant first decades of the second half (partly due to the actual incorporation to the University) will allow to understand the deep change triggered by the union between research and graduate studies programs characteristic of the last quarter of the century; a process that is still flourishing in the institution, in its most explicitly scientific dimension – in spite of the 2018 disastrous event.

museum; science; education; history

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