Pernambuco School Of Fine Arts
Monday, 16 April 2012 10:11

Virgínia Barbosa
Joaquim Nabuco Foundation Librarian
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The Pernambuco School of Fine Arts was born from the need to have, in NortheastBrazil, a school that would meet the public interest in terms of artistic vocations.

On 29 March 1932, some artists came together in the studio of painters Alvaro Amorim and Mário Nunes, located onJ oaquim Tavora St (currently 1 de março St) in the neighbourhood of Santo Antônio in Recife, to establish what was “baptised” ‘Escola de Belas Artes de Pernambuco’ (Pernambuco School of Fine Arts). The goal of this group was to create an institution to teach artistic knowledge. Initially, it held courses in architecture, painting and sculpture, and later courses in music and drama were offered (starting in 1958). Attended this meeting were: Antão Bibiano Silva (chosen by those present to chair the meeting), Jaime Oliveira (Secretary), Baltazar da Câmara, Murilo La Greca, Henrique Elliot, Emílio Franzozi, Heitor Maia Filho and Abelardo Gama. That same day, the Pro-Fine Arts School of Pernambuco Committee was constituted, formed by the sculptor Bibiano Silva (Chairman), architect Jaime Oliveira (secretary) and the painter Baltazarda Câmara (treasurer), who had the role ofacting in favour of this movement on behalf of artists residing in the State. The committee ended its mandate in June 1932, when the school’s administrative structure was formed. Its early leaders in June 1932 were: Bibiano Silva, director, Heitor Maia Filho, deputy director, Jaime Oliveira, secretary, and Luiz Mateus Ferreira, treasurer.

The building at150 Benfica St, in in the neighbourhood of Madalena,was rented in 1932 to house the schoolfor a period of twoyears. Later, the building was bought by the government of Pernambuco, and years later donated to the school.

Before its official opening on 20 August 1932, the founding artists had a hard time due to lack of financial resources. All were called upon to obtain the minimum infrastructure required for its installation and operation. For that purpose, they created several committees to seek support from the authorities, intellectuals, commerce, industry and the press: donations, setting-up, regulations, advertising and media. Murilo La Greca said, in 1984: “The teachers’ motivationto work was art [...] The old furniture was donated by teachers, [and many goods by] the Arts and Crafts Lyceum [...]. This was the hardest moment of the School.” Donations of furniture also came from government agencies and individuals. What they considered worthless was very helpful to the new institution, as well as cash donations.

The School’s best time, also according to Murilo, was when Professor Joaquim Amazonas (first dean) in the late 1940s, added the School of Fine Arts to the Federal University of Pernambuco, because from then on both teachers and staff had their wages matched to that of other higher education institutions. It was also Prof. Joaquim Amazonas who authorized the delivery of free evening courses.

The bylaws of the School, published in 1932 in the Diário do Estado (State Gazette), was prepared according to the model of the National School of Fine Arts, although unlike the latter, which was created with the approval and assistance of the Emperor, thisone started its activities with only the support of artists.

Under the management of Prof. Joel Galvão (1936-1943),there was full commitment for the School to be recognized by the Ministry of Education. However, federal recognition only occurred in 1945, by a decree on November 14, allowing the institution to issue degrees valid nation wide.

In 1976 the Pernambuco School of Fine Arts was dissolved to form, together with the Faculty of Architecture, the Department of Literature and Librarian ship course, the Centre for Arts and Communication of the Federal University of Pernambuco.

The Pernambuco School of Fine Artstrained artists, promoted and supported artistic movements, and contributed to the development and preservation of culture in the State of Pernambuco.

Translated by Peter Leamy, January 2012.


BREVE crônica da Escola de Belas Artes de Pernambuco. Revista da Escola de Belas Artes de Pernambuco, Recife, ano 1, n. 1, p. 5-12, 1957.

CÂMARA, Aurora Christina Dornellas. A escola de Belas Artes de Pernambuco: contribuição para a cultura pernambucana. Recife, 1984. Trabalho de pesquisa da disciplina Estrutura e funcionamento do Ensino I, do curso de Licenciatura Curta em Educação Artística, Centro de Educação, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco.

CASTRO, Philipe. CAC comemora 30 anos com exposição. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 7 abr. 2007.

GALVÃO, Joel F. Jayme. Memórias de uma cruzada. Revista do Arquivo Público, Recife, n. 7-10, n. 9-12, p. 579-632, jan./dez. 1952-1956.


Source:  BARBOSA, Virgínia. Pernambuco School Of Fine Arts. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at:  <http://basilio.fundaj.gov.br/pesquisaescolar/>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009



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