Photos: Alisson Ricardo


On display from 18 July to 25 October 2015.

The partnership between the Museu da Casa Brasileira and the Parque Villa-Lobos Library, on the occasion of the celebration of the centenary of the birth of the architect João Batista Vilanova Artigas, presented two exhibits: an exhibition panel at the MCB with a selection of original drawings and toys from a role that the architect played as entertainment with his grandchildren and a show in the Library with enlargements and original drawings from the same series. Both presentations were selected based on the research done by Michel Gorski and Sílvia Zatz for the publication “The free hand of grandpa”, a work aimed at small readers produced by Editora Terceiro Nome.



With this rescue of the drawings of Vilanova Artigas, we see the founding architect of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of São Paulo and a central figure for the establishment of modern professional practice to emerge through a relaxed bias. Here, the grandfather with talent and a practical and expressive command of drawing, distracted his grandchildren. They played together building machines, animals, drawing musical instruments, recreating universes with free drawing; the same medium that made his works technically feasible and served as a deep reflection as the desire to create a better world, remains here as a memory, to the visitor, of his world created for fun.



In response to the requests of his grandchildren, the architect João Batista Vilanova Artigas created a world of images. Passing through machines, objects and animals, he faced the blank sheet, as he always did in life, creating a universe that combines technology, anatomy and invention. The images represent a small percentage of a very rich material, selected by Michel Gorski and Sílvia Zatz and organized in the form of a narrative. The drawings, made on plain or sketch paper, with colored pencils, hydrographic and ballpoint pens, many of them including grandchildren’s interventions, reveal decided features from which stories overflow.



Loaded with poetry and sensitivity, the publication “A Mão Livre do Vovô”, which inspired the exhibitions at the MCB and at the Library, takes the reader on a journey that can never end, full of curiosity and pleasure in unraveling the love relationship between adults and children. With text by Michel and Silvia, it accompanies the departure of a train that runs in winding lines through the pages of the book, setting the tone for this fun trip. Following the initial game that presents different types of grandparents – the funny one, the one who plays ball, lives together, gets sick, tells a story -, at the end, readers are invited to describe their own grandparents, filling in train wagons with blanks .



Check out the highlights in print and online in the media:



Architecture and Urbanism | Shake | Maxpress | Piracicaba in Party | Arch Daily | CX Constructions


Check out the trailer and the excerpt from the documentary “Vilanova Artigas – The architect and the light”:



About the architect João Batista Vilanova Artigas
Vilanova Artigas was born in Curitiba on June 23, 1915. He moved to São Paulo and graduated as an architect at USP’s Polytechnic School in 1937. He was the founder of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of São Paulo, in 1948, in which he led, later in 1962, a movement for educational reform that influenced other faculties of architecture in Brazil. He was a member of the Communist Party and a militant of popular movements and, therefore, persecuted by the military dictatorship. He was impeached in 1969 under the AI-5. His work was twice awarded internationally (Jean Tschumi-1972 Prize and Auguste Perret Prize – 1985, this posthumous). Its way of designing continues to influence architects until today and, therefore, it was recognized, by some critics, as a true “school”, the so-called “Escola Paulista”. Among the 700 projects he produced during his career, the following stand out: Building of the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of São Paulo; the housing complex Zezinho Magalhães Prado, in Guarulhos; the Morumbi Stadium; the Louveira Building, clubs; unions; apartment buildings and houses.

About MCB
The Museu da Casa Brasileira, an institution of the Secretary of Culture and Creative Economy of the State of São Paulo, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020, is dedicated to the preservation and diffusion of the material culture of the Brazilian house, being the only museum in the country specializing in architecture and design. The MCB’s program includes temporary and long-term exhibitions, with an agenda that also includes educational service activities, debates, lectures and publications contextualizing the museum’s vocation for the formation of critical thinking on topics such as architecture, urbanism, housing, economics creativity, urban mobility and sustainability. Among its numerous initiatives, the Design MCB Award stands out, the main segment award in the country held since 1986; and the Casas do Brasil project, to rescue and preserve memory about the rich diversity of living in the country.

Brazilian House Museum
Brig. Faria Lima, 2705 – Jardim Paulistano
Phone .: +55 (11) 3032.3727

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