Saturday, June 1, 2013


by Leighton Gage

This gentleman,
Bernardo Paz, is a chain-smoking, hard-drinking, Brazilian man-of-means.
And Inhotim is his creation.
It’s a botanical garden…
…and contemporary art museum, rolled into one…
...located about an hour’s drive from Belo Horizonte, Brazil’s third largest city.
The name, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, is difficult for non-Brazilians to pronounce or remember. But perhaps this will help: Inho, in the local dialect, is short for Senhor. And Tim, of course, is a name. The Tim in question was an agriculturist who previously owned the land upon which Mr. Paz ultimately built his complex. Mr. Tim’s farm (fazenda de Inhotim) they called it back then. Later, in its abbreviated form, the area simply became known as Inhotim.
Mr. Paz’s museum contains more than 500 works...

…from more than a hundred artists…
…representing more than 30 nationalities.
The works are of all kinds, sculptures, paintings, drawings, photography, film and video.
Some are displayed in pavilions.
Others in the open air...

...with a number of them being site-specific – works constructed in locations chosen by the artist.
The botanical garden, in which they make their home, is a brilliant tour-de-force of landscape architecture.
Burle Marx collaborated on an early plan that has since been developed by a number of talented successors.
It contains more than 3,500 species of plants, including the world’s largest collection of palms…

…and more than 350 species of orchids.

Inhotim is, I admit, a bit off the beaten track.
But it’s rapidly becoming a “must-see” destination for globetrotters with a passion for contemporary art.


Jean Henry Mead said...

All I can say is WOW!

June Shaw said...

Wow, thanks for taking me there!

Jaden Terrell said...

oh, Leighton. These photos are so beautiful. You make me feel as if I've been there.