The texts gathered for the exhibition Tradição e Ruptura: síntese de arte e cultura brasileiras (1984) are introduced by the curator, João Marino. Marino is an advocate of the purposes of the exhibition: to assemble artworks along with archaeological and indigenous artifacts, design objects, photography and architecture. Together, these pieces would provide the visitor with a broad perspective on Brazil and its richness, its peoples and their struggles, from the precolonial period down to the day of the exhibition. The archaeologists Irmhild Wüst and Ulpiano Bezerra de Meneses explain the selection of artifacts to illustrate the diversity of the technological and stylistic traditions of the precolonial period. In their essay, they point out matters related to the pace of such innovations, the resistance to change, the specific languages of certain sets of objects, cultural marginality and moments of rupture. In turn, the anthropologist Lux Boelitz Vidal highlights the contemporaneity of the art produced by Native peoples. She notes that she has tried to avoid exoticism as a basic assumption of Brazilian history. She also confirms her interest in the movements of resistance and renewal as well as the links between ethics and aesthetics, individual and social identity, freedom of creation and the social function of this art. In his introduction to the colonial section, Marino ties interruptions in the flow of the work produced to political, religious and social transformations. He describes the selection of the objects and works, dividing them by centuries. For his part, the journalist and writer Alexandre Eulálio explains that the works selected embrace a wide range of the artwork produced in the 1980s. In referring to the increasing pace of change, this writer brings up the arrival of foreign artists on the local art scene, the importance of the photographic record, the training of the viewing public, the phenomenon of art collection and the establishment of art institutions. Ana Maria Belluzzo sets forth the criteria for selecting works of Modern art and design for this exhibition. They would have to represent the general trends of the period through a focus on the most significant moments of artists and creators, relating their work to the search for a national identity. As a set, they would have to highlight the diversity of languages, their relationship to popular art and the constructive nature of the works. Fábio Magalhães comments on the selection of contemporary art starting from the focus established with the introduction of biennials and the establishment of Modern art museums. He also emphasizes the presence of a range of art trends as well as periods of rupture within the span of recent Brazilian art history. At the same time, he is aware of the lack of other parameters related to creative work.