Ricardo Brennand Institute: The best museum in South America is in Recife

Every single year since 2014 the Ricardo Brennand Institute was voted the best museum in South America at Travelers’ Choice ™, promoted by Tripadvisor. The museum was on my list of destinations which I wanted to visit for quite some time already and as I went to a wedding in Recife, I took the time to get to know it and I was blown away.

The Institute is located in the district of Várzea, about 30 minutes driving from Recife’s historical center. The museum property is gigantic, with imperial palms along the road from the entrance gate to the box office, and next to it an enclosure with some exotic animals.

The architectural complex is made in a Gothic style and the exhibitions are spread between the São João Castle, the Pinacoteca, the gallery and the library.
Currently, the exhibitions “Frans Post and the Dutch Brazil”, “The Judgment of Fouquet” and “Brazilian Landscapes of the 19th Century” are on display at the Pinacoteca.

Exhibition in the Pinacoteca
Exhibition in the Pinacoteca

The exhibition “Frans Post and the Dutch Brazil” was organized because of the visit of then Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, then Prince Willem-Alexander (now king of the Netherlands) and then Princess Máxima (current queen) in 2003. Frans Post was the first landscape painter in the New World and the Institute holds the largest collection of his work, composed of 15 paintings.

In the Institute collection are replicas and originals of important sculptures
In the Institute collection are replicas and originals of important sculptures

In the gallery are original sculptures and replicas of artists like Rodin, Fernando Botero, Debret. Outside is a gigantic replica of Michelangelo’s David.

In the Castelo São João Museum is an impressive collection of steel weapons (like swords, pocket knives and knives), armor, tapestries, furniture. The Institute acquired those works for more than 50 years and they come from Europe, Asia, America, Africa. They are stated between the 15th to the 21st century.

Armors on display at Castelo São João
Armors on display at Castelo São João

The Institute was founded in 2002 by the Pernambuco collector and entrepreneur Ricardo Brennand. The institute’s name, in fact, is a tribute to his uncle, the entrepreneur’s namesake.

Gardens of the Institute
Gardens of the Institute

Ricardo Brennand is one of those museums that fascinates children as well as adults. A place that everyone should go at least once.

Address: Alameda Antônio Brennand, s / n – São João – Várzea, Recife – PE
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm

R$ 25,00 (Adult)
R$ 12,00 (People with disabilities, students, teachers and senior citizens over 60 years of age with supporting documentation).
Children under 7 years old are for free.
The last Tuesday of each month is free for all except for January, July and December.
Contact: (81) 2121.0352 / 0365
Website in Portuguese: http://www.institutoricardobrennand.org.br/index2.html