Originally conceived as a monument to Independence, the Ipiranga Museum was built between 1885 and 1890 and opened on September 7, 1895 as a Natural History Museum and a representative landmark of Independence, the History of Brazil and Paulista. Its first collection nucleus was the collection of Colonel Joaquim Sertório, which constituted a private museum in São Paulo. It is the oldest public museum in São Paulo and one of the oldest in the country.

According to Solange Ferraz de Lima, a professor at the Museu Paulista and president of the Culture and Extension Commission of the Museu do Ipiranga , it was a project of the empire, which was completed in the Republic. “And the State Museum, which is being founded at the same time, is transferred to him. It was a museum built along the lines of 19th-century natural history museums,” she says. “It is an encyclopedic museum”, defines the professor.

“The Museum was integrated into USP in 1963, curiously in the same year that the MAC (Museum of Contemporary Art at USP) was integrated. There was then, in fact, an interest in integrating museums. But since 1934, when the University of São Paulo was created, the Museu Paulista (from Ipiranga) has already appeared as a complementary institute”, he explains. According to Solange, in practice, it means that many professors who worked at USP developed their research at the museum, such as Sérgio Buarque de Holanda, who was one of its directors.

Located within the Parque da Independência complex, it was listed by the municipal, state and federal historical heritage, and under the administration of USP, it serves the functions of teaching, research and extension, pillars of the University’s performance. The 1990 Master Plan defined the History of Material Culture as an area of ​​institutional expertise. In this field, he instituted three lines of research: Daily life and Society; Universe of Work; História do Imaginário, as a result of which the Museum’s collections and exhibitions have been expanded and reoriented.

historical character
In the period of the Centenary of Independence, in 1922, the historical character of the institution was reinforced. New collections were formed, with emphasis on the History of São Paulo. The internal decoration of the building was carried out, with paintings and sculptures presenting the History of Brazil in the Lobby, Staircase and Noble Hall. Time when the Republican Museum “Convenção de Itu” was installed, an extension of the Museu Paulista in the interior of the State.

Over time, the Ipiranga Museum has substantially expanded its collections for the period from 1850 to 1950 in São Paulo. Currently, it has a collection of more than 450,000 pieces, including objects, iconography and textual documentation, from the 17th century to the mid-20th century, significant for the understanding of Brazilian society, especially with regard to São Paulo history. In addition, it has a specialized curation team.

Through the Museum’s extensive collection, researchers can investigate the history of São Paulo and aspects of Brazilian society – Photo: Disclosure/MP
Learn more about the history of the Ipiranga Museum on the digital timeline . Through an interactive platform – with videos, audios, images and historical archives – it is possible to explore the facts that marked the Independence of Brazil and the construction of the Monument Building, as well as the evolution of the current restoration and expansion works of the site. The timeline also has accessibility features, such as pounds and audio description.

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