Rio de Janeiro is a magical place, a city of fabled beauty and dramatic contrasts, where nature and the human hand have joined to create a landscape of panoramic views and iconic images—Guanabara Bay, the peaks of Sugarloaf and Corcovado, the rows of royal palms, Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, the arcos of the eighteenth-century aqueduct, the Avenidas Rio Branco and Beira-Mar, the statue of Christ the Redeemer, historic churches, and hilltop shantytowns known as favelas.
This exhibit shows how over the past two hundred years artists and photographers have repeatedly been drawn to these images in a process of icon building within a dynamic context of urban growth and modernization. Such visual presentations reect not only the changing times through which the cariocas—people of Rio—have lived, but are tied to their indomitable spirit as manifested in Carnival, popular music, beach culture, and daily life. Transcending persistent problems of poverty and crime, Rio is internationally acclaimed for its fun-loving atmosphere and its people, who call it the "marvelous city."
Materials selected for this exhibit, principally from the Research Library Department of Special Collections, illustrate the depth and variety of UCLA’s collections on Rio de Janeiro. Printed books, periodicals, and photographs are featured, as are to a lesser extent manuscripts, maps, films, original artworks, lantern slides, stereocards, chapbooks, and ephemera.