Who wants to know the way of life of the wealthy families of São Luís of past centuries, its customs, habits and curiosities, you cannot miss visiting the Historical and Artistic Museum of Maranhão.
Based in a XNUMXth-century manor house, the organ rebuilds the houses of a São Luís that has remained in time.
With a rich collection, composed of approximately 10 thousand pieces, the museum was inaugurated on July 28, 1973, the date on which Maranhão's accession to the Independence of Brazil is commemorated.
In the house it is possible to keep in touch with a city that has long ceased to exist. “We set up the museum in order to give an idea of how families lived and lived at that time”, highlights the person responsible for the museology sector, Conceição Monteiro Ribeiro.
Those who arrive at the manor have, as soon as they enter, the notion of the sumptuousness of the property.
Built with material brought from the Itapecuru Valley by farmer José Inácio Gomes de Sousa, who built the manor in 1836, the house retains most of its original features.
“Of course, we had to adapt some rooms in which the administrative part of the museum works, but the property is practically original”, says Conceição Ribeiro proudly.
Video about the Historical and Artistic Museum of Maranhão
On the ground floor are located the garden, entrance hall, shop, monitoring room and the administrative headquarters, in addition to the Teatro Apolônia Pinto.
On the upper floor, the 14 rooms have a living room, music room, bedrooms for couples, girls and boys, as well as a kitchen and sewing room.
The access hall on the ground floor, used as a distribution point between the sectors of the manor and as a shelter for vehicles such as carts and others, also houses the access staircase to the reception halls of the house.
The “U” shaped plan zones the building into wings: the social wing, intended to receive visitors and less intimate people, who could not or should not have access to the rest of the house's dependencies; the intimate wing, composed of bedrooms and dressing rooms and also the balcony, where meals were taken; and the service wing, comprising a kitchen, storage rooms and alcoves.
This distribution was only on the first floor, since the ground floor was intended for the service and circulation of slaves, with the exception of the theater, a differential of the property, where Arthur Azevedo even rehearsed some of his plays.
The space was named Teatro Apolônia Pinto, in honor of the 1st lady of Maranhão theater. There is also a well on site.
In 1857, Alexandre Colares Moreira, one of the owners of the manor, bought the land next door and opened doors and windows to access it, transforming it into a beautiful garden. On site, today, sculptures of Greek gods and a fountain that was removed from Avenida Silva Maia (Downtown).
Collection of the Historical and Artistic Museum of Maranhão
Mostly made up of donations, the collection features curious pieces such as spittoons or spittoons and the throne chair (used inside the room, it is made of wood and served as a toilet.
“The old houses did not have internal bathrooms, so the throne chair was used by the masters at night and, in the morning, the slaves threw away the excrement deposited in the potty”, explains Conceição Ribeiro.
In addition to these pieces, a rocking cradle, French, Portuguese and English porcelain, hand-cranked sewing machines, as well as rich furniture from the first half of the XNUMXth century attract the visitor's attention.
In the living room, a wooden bookcase, a gift from the then president of Argentina Júlio Roca, has rich drawings that represent tourist attractions in São Luís and Buenos Aires, carved in wood.
Visitors can also see the manuscripts of the second edition of “O Mulato”, by Aluísio de Azevedo and “Malazarte”, by Graça Aranha, among other rarities such as sheet music and a violin that belonged to the writer Dunshe de Abranches.
Tiles of diverse origin, porcelain, numismatic collection, glass, crystals, paintings, sculptures, engravings, Catholic sacred art, art of African origin and documentary collection are part of the museum's collection.
To set up the space, the organizers had as a source of inspiration novels that describe the way of life of Maranhão families, such as “O Mulato”, by Aluísio de Azevedo. Some environments were created according to passages from the book, such as the kitchen.
Historical and Artistic Museum of Maranhão
Where: Rua do Sol, 302, Centro
Visitation: From Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 am to 18 pm
São Luís do Maranhão and Northeast Tourism Guide