Making the Modern and Cultured City: Art, Architecture, and Urbanism in Post-WWII São Paulo


ACLS Project Development Grants




My project analyzes the consequences of overlaying a cosmopolitan vision of the city onto a rapidly changing environment. It reveals how São Paulo based actors collaborated with and drew inspiration from New York’s leading institutions and argues that the selective appropriation of external ideas and practices in art, architecture, and urbanism enabled Paulistanos to pursue an idealized urban sensibility. Though this vision earned São Paulo global standing, it further divided the city along the lines of race and class and triggered a response among the urban poor and non-white residents, thereby challenging Brazil’s claim to being the original “post-racial” society.