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The Adolpho Leirner Collection of Brazilian Constructive Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston


The Collection was formed by the São Paulo-based art patron Adolpho Leirner and acquired by the Museum between 2005 and 2007. It represents a brilliant window into the seminal decades of the 1950s and 1960s when, stimulated by an economic boom and a surge in modernization, Brazil emerged at the vanguard of the region’s social and cultural development. Details about each of the Adolpho Leirner Collection’s 97 artworks can be found in the Museum’s Online Collections as well as on the Google Art Project. Created by the ICAA, this web-based exhibition project gives viewers direct access to the entire collection, with detailed information on each work as they were first presented in the exhibition Dimensions of Constructive Art in Brazil: The Adolpho Leirner Collection, organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston from May 20 to September 23, 2007, and curated by Mari Carmen Ramírez, The Wortham Curator of Latin American Art and Director of the ICAA.

Library and Archive

In 2016, Mr. Leirner generously gifted his personal archive and library to the Museum. These holdings complement the artworks and jointly comprise The Adolpho Leirner Collection of Brazilian Constructive Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Access to these materials can be made via the Museum’s Hirsch Library as well as through the Documents Project’s digital archive. To explore the full range of materials, users may perform keyword and/or advanced searches or browse through a specially created shared collection. We also encourage our users to explore the Collection’s Exhibition History and Published References, which outlines the exhibition and publication history for each of the ninety-seven works in this collection.

These resources jointly provide worldwide access and visibility to this historically significant art collection, which is in keeping with Adolpho Leirner’s passion for art and strong sense of social responsibility.