Eloisa Rodrigues

E RodriguesContact: eer11@le.ac.uk

Twitter: @eloisarod

Supervisors:

Dr Isobel Whitelegg, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester
Dr Giasemi Vavoula, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester
Dr Courtney J Campbell, School of History and Cultures, University of Birmingham

Thesis title:

Braziling: mapping Brazilian art in collections across the UK

Thesis Description:

My research project aims to analyse the acquisition of Brazilian art by public museums in the UK, exploring the underlying factors influencing how museums and galleries shape public understanding of art from previously under-represented nations. Using object histories, I will interrogate how shifting perceptions of Brazilian art within an established US-Western European canon (Barriendos 2013) have influenced acquisitions. From the post-war period to the present, UK interest in Brazilian art has shifted with political and economic allegiances and the interests of art-world brokers. Broader international acquisition policies have signalled a move from viewing art history as a geographically restricted canon, but the factors influencing decisions to acquire particular artworks from specific nations remain unexamined.

Previous studies have addressed the presence of Brazilian art in relation to exhibition history or the art market. By focusing on museum acquisitions, I will build on Whitelegg and Caragol’s (2009) distinction between temporary reception and permanent acquisition. Whereas temporary visibility within exhibitions allows for the reception of Brazilian art to be analysed in specific moments in time, my proposal will impact understanding of the factors that influence a public institution’s decision to permanently invest in specific objects, an act that both grants such works a place in an expanded historical canon and endows them with a capacity to represent Brazilian art in perpetuity.

An audit of Brazilian art and archival research will be part of my methodology, to show the range and extent of public holdings in the UK and form the basis for the selection of case study institutions/objects. Whereas interest in Brazilian art in the UK has focused on modern and contemporary art, I aim to cover acquisition of art produced from the colonial period onwards allowing for a more complex consideration of how works from diverse time-periods form part of a history of collecting activity. The development of an accessible database of Brazilian art held by public collections will be a longer-term outcome of the research project.

Research Interests:

•             Brazilian art, culture and history
•             Latin American art and culture
•             Transnational art
•             Object biographies
•             Exhibition practice
•             History of collecting
•             Digital in Museums
•             Postcolonialism theory
•             Archives
•             Digitisation projects
•             History of Art

Qualifications:

2013-2014: MA in Museum Studies (University of Leicester)
2008-2012: BA in History of Art (Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal)
2004-2007: BA in Journalism (Faculdade Prudente de Moraes, Brazil)

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