Emanoel Araújo, plastic artist and founder of the Afro Brasil Museum, dies

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Died this Wednesday (7), at the age of 81, the plastic artist, sculptor, founder and current curator of Afro Brazil Museum, Emanoel Araújo . The artist was found dead by a museum employee at his home, in the Bela Vista region of São Paulo.

In a note, the advisory Afro Brazil Museum expressed solidarity with the artist’s family and friends and stated that “Emanoel Araújo has always been a patriot who elevated and spread Brazil and the culture of our country.”

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The governor of Sao Paulo, Rodrigo Garcia , declared three days of official mourning. In a post on social media, the governor declared that the artist founded the Museu Afro Brasil and worked throughout his life for the appreciation of the history of Afro-Brazilian art and African art. São Paulo will continue with its teachings.”

The funeral will be open to the public. According to information from the Afro Brasil Museum, the ceremony will be held on Thursday (8), from 9 am, at the museum’s headquarters, with entry at gate 3 of Ibirapuera Park. Burial will take place at 16:00, Consolação Cemetery.


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Emanoel Araújo was born in Santo Amaro da Purificação, Bahia, on November 15, 1940. At the age of 19, he held his first exhibition. Afterwards, he moved to Salvador, where he studied at the Escola de Belas Artes da Bahia (UFBA).

Awarded for his works at a national and international level, Araújo was director of the Museu de Arte da Bahia, taught at Arts College, at The City University of New York, was director of the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo and, in 2004, founded the Museu de Arte Afro Brasil, cultural equipment icon of the rescue of black culture in Brazil.

The plastic artist, throughout his career, presented around 50 individual exhibitions and more than 150 group exhibitions.


“Emanoel Araújo, and a group of visual artists, black and white, thought that Brazil deserved a museum the size of the Afro Museum”, says Maurício Pestana, CNN expert, CEO of Revista Raça and who worked with the artist at the Pinacoteca de São Paulo and at the Afro Brasil Museum.

Emanoel Araújo will leave a big gap in culture, in art, in the way of thinking and looking at black culture, but also at humanity. Araújo was a man who did not just call himself black, but a man of the universe. He will be missed. Go in peace, my friend.

Maurício Pestana, CEO of Revista Raça and CNN Specialist

Already Jose Vicente, dean of the Zumbi dos Palmares University, defined the plastic artist as “a symbolic black, because for the few times black people reached this far in the political scene of our city. And arriving, he opened the door to so many others who came after.”

And the story of Emanoel Araújo, according to José Vicente, is also represented in the legacy of the Afro Brasil Museum, “a public facility that brings together, values ​​and recognizes the value of the trajectory and work of black Brazilians. And that was only possible because Emanoel Araújo committed all his energies, committed his prestige and, personally, fought when it was necessary to transform the Afro Brasil Museum into the first Afro-Brazilian museum”.

Emanoel Araújo was a character beyond his time, who had dedication and formidable work to build a career out of the place of black people in Brazilian society. He has always had the interest, commitment and willingness to work to strengthen his belonging, his history.

José Vicente, dean of the Zumbi dos Palmares University

On Twitter, the singer’s official account Gilberto Gil honored the artist. “It is with great regret that Gil received the news of the death of the visual artist Emanoel Araújo. Born in the Recôncavo Baiano, his art and his talent reached national and international projection. We wish peace and comfort to family and friends.”

The musician Caetano Veloso also on social media, published images of two meetings with Araújo and said that “a friend and namesake died”.

Source: CNN Brasil

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