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Transnational perspectives in the relationship between architecture and State in Brazil: the connections of Kubitschek and Niemeyer in the United States of America (1938-1961)

Grant number: 21/14021-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): August 17, 2023
Effective date (End): February 17, 2024
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Architecture and Town Planning - Fundamentals of Architecture and Urbanism
Principal Investigator:Rafael Augusto Urano de Carvalho Frajndlich
Grantee:Rafael Augusto Urano de Carvalho Frajndlich
Host Investigator: Jean-Louis Cohen
Host Institution: Faculdade de Engenharia Civil, Arquitetura e Urbanismo (FEC). Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP). Campinas , SP, Brazil
Research place: New York University, United States  


Brazilian Modern Architecture was the subject of constant circulation and international dissemination from exhibitions such as Brazil Builds (1943) to the impact of the inauguration of Brasília (1960). In this framework, Oscar Niemeyer's highlight is mostly through works for the State, thanks to his association with Minas Gerais politician Juscelino Kubitschek. Individually, the contact that these figures had with the United States is still little studied relying on primary sources: Niemeyer has designed in 1938 the project for the Pavilion of Brazil in New York, relations with the circle of MoMA and John Rockefeller Jr. Kubitschek, in turn, had a government in Minas Gerais and the Presidency of the Republic intensely linked to the USA, a country he had visited in 1948 and which, in his memoirs, is highlighted as important for his political ideas. The relationship between Kubitschek and Niemeyer was studied in previous Fapesp grants (2016/13340-2), making evident the intricacies of an ideological machine that supported, at the same time, the state discourse, and Modern Architecture in Brazil. The result of this long partnership, however, is not explained only by actions within the country: the ties established with the Americans are fundamental within the scope. The hypothesis is that the relationship between Kubitschek and Niemeyer between 1940 and 1960 could only succeed in transnational terms, eminently with the United States, a country in which the political tensions of a diplomatic relationship in crisis were colored by the ideological construction of spaces and images of development. Through consultations with public and private archives in the United States of America, the aim is to accurately define how an association between Niemeyer and Kubitschek was widely supported on international platforms. (AU)

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