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Domestic environment and material culture in colonial São Paulo based on the study of Museu Paulista's collections


The research proposal to be developed at the Young Researcher Program consists in questioning the upbringing of collections and the exposure history of the artefacts related to the domestic colonial space, and, on a same movement, make a picture of the material dimension of the paulista society through the XVIII century and through the beginning of the XIX. The main focus of the research is to bring the museum-catalogued objects to a context, which implies analyzing both the constitution of the collections - trying to establish the relation between its implementation and the strategies of representation and legitimating of social groups - and the trajectory of the objects in the institution, in order to understand the colonial past of the paulista people that has been represented through the disposition and placement at the museum exhibition. Nevertheless, both the pathways of the objects in the museum and the approximation of their historic contexts, as well as their preceding uses provide the grounds for demystifying the pieces as relics, removing them from the typological and stylistic finitude of art works. In this sense, we try to elaborate the route of the object before its entry into the institution, in an effort to identify the uses that people made of it and the persons articulated by it. Beyond the tridimensional documents, the use of iconographic and textual sources - mostly inventories and wills - is fundamental for the study of the domestic colonial environment, once the information related to physical attributes, the utility functions and the social uses of the objects and the social mediator role they played in the local society support their classification as products and vectors of social relations and allow the objects stored at the Museu Paulista to be intelligible. (AU)

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