Monday, April 2, 2012


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.
Leighton - Monday


  1. As one about to depart for an arid island, I thank you for giving me a dose of pastoral beauty.

    As one with haunting allergies, I thank for allowing me to see flowers in their natural habitat without my eyes watering.

    And as a lover of great mysteries I'm sad that I will be in transit when the discussion of your latest Mario Silva, "A Vine In the Blood," kicks off tomorrow on 4 Mystery Addicts, moderated by our own Beth Crowley. But since it runs until the 13th, I'll be sure to check in on 4MA when I reach the promised land.

  2. Definitely adding to my must-see Garden/Museum list. Don't know when I'll make it back to Belo Horizonte... When in the Bay Area, you need to add the Di Rosa Preserve to your list. Love to take you there next time you're in the Bay Area. It's a fantastic art collection/garden complex of several acres on the Napa/Sonoma border.

  3. Just a wonderful post. Thank you for your tour :)

    1. What a beautiful place, with the artwork representing so many artists and nationalities, the landscaping, the flowers.

      I swear, the more I see of Brazil, especially on the website, the more I wish I were there.

      It seems from reading this blog that Brazil, South Africa and Greece are the most beautiful places on earth.

      In a p.s., was perturbed to see a NYT story about a young man on a bicycle killed by wreckless driver, son of a Brazilian billionaire, and to see how many people are year die on that particular road. Hope there's justice for his family.

  4. Next time in Brasil I will visit INHOTIM