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Eloisa Rodrigues

Cultural and Museum Studies, University of Leicester

Thesis title:

Braziling: mapping Brazilian art in collections across the UK

My project aims to analyse acquisitions of Brazilian art by public museums and art galleries across the UK, exploring the factors influencing institutional decisions when acquiring artworks by artists from previously under-represented nations. From a decolonial theory framework perspective, I aim to reflect on how studying acquisitions’ history can contribute for also understanding museum’s collecting practices. Broader international acquisition policies have signalled a move from viewing art history as a geographically restricted canon (Asbury 2012), but the factors influencing decisions to acquire artworks from specific nations remain unexamined. 

By focusing on museum acquisitions, I will build on Whitelegg and Caragol’s (2009) distinction between temporary reception and permanent acquisition. Whereas temporary visibility within exhibitions allows for the reception of Brazilian art to be analysed in specific moments in time, my proposal will impact understanding of the factors that influence public institution’s decision to permanently invest in specific objects. This is an act that can both grants such works a place in an expanded historical canon and endows them with a capacity to represent Brazilian art in perpetuity. 

As part of my methodology, I carried out a survey to map Brazilian art in public collections in the UK. I have contacted over 500 institutions requesting details of any Brazilian artworks in their holdings. The data collected from this survey has informed the case studies that will form my thesis. 

Research Area

  • Cultural and Museum Studies

Conferences

21 June 2021: presented a paper entitled "The story of a Brazilian painting acquired by the Tate in 1945: a reflection on museums’ acquisitions" at the Association for Art History Summer Conference "Global Britain: Decolonising Art's History".

August 2020: "Mapping Brazilian art in public collections across the UK", poster presentation at the ACHS - Association of Critical Heritage Studies Conference.

September 2019: "From “poor and struggling”  to an international canon: the shift in the discourse on Brazilian art in the UK", paper delivered at the International Conference “Interaction, Integration and Flow: Researching the Museum in the Global Contemporary”, Shaanxi Normal University, Xi'an, China

June 2019: "Braziling: mapping Brazilian art in collections across the UK", paper delivered at Research Week, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester

June 2019: "Elas se divertem and the first acquisitions of Brazilian art in the UK", paper delivered at SPLAS Forum 2019, University of Nottingham

May 2019:  "Mapping Brazilian art in collections across the UK", poster presentation at the M3C Research Festival, Birmingham

March 2019: "Mapping Brazilian art in the UK: first steps", poster presentation at the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Poster Fair, University of Leicester





Public Engagement & Impact

June 2021: Selected participant to take part at the Liverpool Biennial's Curatorial Study Group

May 2021: Convenor of the roundtable event "Let's Talk: Art museums and contemporary collecting practices", School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester

May 2021: Workshop partipant at the Continuous Professional Development event "Doing the work: Collecting practices and acquisition estrategies", organised by The Contemporary Art Society.

June 2020: Chair of guest speaker, Alexia Tala "The pandemic as an opportunity to rethink art biennials", University of Leicester

June 2020: 3 Minute Thesis Competition, University of Leicester

June 2019: Chair of keynote address at the SPLAS Forum 2019, University of Nottingham

May 2019: Chair of research relay session at the M3C Research Festival.


Other Research Interests

  • Brazilian art, culture and history
  • Transnational art
  • Decolonial theory
  • History of collecting
  • Postcolonialism theory
  • Archives
  • Digitisation projects
  • Latin American Art
  • History of Art


Memberships

Member of the Association for Art History, and Committee Member of the Doctoral and Early Carreer Network (DECR)

Member of ICOM

Member of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies

Conferences organised

20th May 2021:  Round-table event: "Let's talk: art museums and contemporary collecting practices", held online and funded by AHRC/M4C. https://contemporarycollecting.art.blog/ 

1 to 4 June 2020: Research Week, School of Museum Studies 

June 2019: Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies Postgraduate Community Forum, University of Nottingham

May 2019: M3C Research Festival, Birmingham

Other activities

July to November 2021: Research Associate at the Santo Domingo Centre of Excellence for Latin American Research at the British Museum.

2021 onwards: Committee member of the Doctoral and Early Career Research Network of the Association for Art History, since 2021

June 2019 to June 2020: Editor-in-Chief of Issue 24 of peer-reviewed Journal Museological Review : What is a Museum today?, published June 2020. Available at: https://le.ac.uk/museum-studies/about/journals/museological-review