Emanoel Araújo’s collection at Bolsa de Arte celebrates brazilian culture’s richness and diversity

In parallel with the Bienal de São Paulo, Bolsa de Arte presents an exhibition and auction highlighting Emanoel Araújo’s collection (1940-2022), a renowned Brazilian artist, museum director and curator.

The exhibition begins on September 6th at Bolsa de Arte, São Paulo, with auctions scheduled for the evenings of September 25th to 28th at 8 pm.

Given Emanoel Araújo’s importance, this exhibition attracts collectors and museum directors from all over the world, including those who are in São Paulo for the biennial art fair. With this perspective, the auction is anticipated to achieve remarkable success.

He has assembled an impressive personal collection of over 4.000 works, celebrating Brazilian culture’s richness and diversity through old masters, paintings, Brazilian sculptures, design, photography, sacred art, colonial jewelry, ceramics, and handicrafts.

The pieces are organized into different categories, such as African art; Afro-Brazilian art; Modern art; Oriental art; European art; and Brazilian art. Next year, another auction will be held, featuring pieces from the collection of the Museu Afro Brazil, founded by Emanoel Araújo in 2004.


The exhibition showcases Araújo’s collection, providing a wider view of Brazil’s cultural richness. The importance of Emanoel Araújo’s legacy, and collection, transcends the boundaries of art: his collection aims to question the historically dominant narratives about black identity in Brazil.

Emanoel Araújo’s collection ranges from representations of Orixás in Afro-Brazilian religion to European representations in colonial bronzes.

Mestre Valentim,
Anjo Querubim, 18th century.
Polychrome wood sculpture,
100 x 70 x cm.

Xavier das Conchas, Cesta de flores e frutas, 18th century
Shelves, rocks, fabric and wood,
69 x 85 x 14 cm.

Francisco Brennand, Peixe, 1958.
Glazed ceramic
49 x 55 cm.

Niki de Saint Phalle,
Nana Negra.
Acrylic on papier mâché,
36 x 21 cm.

The auction features remarkable pieces by Rubem Valentim, using geometric shapes and Afro-Brazilian symbols, and Xavier das Conchas, inspired by the Ancestral.

Rubem Valentim
Emblema 89, 1989.
Acrylic on canvas,
70 x 50 cm.

Xavier das Conchas,
Alegoria à América, 18th century
Ceramic, shelves, leaves, wood and glass,
64 x 30 x 30 cm.

The exhibition also links the cultures of the African continent and Brazil through a significant collection of African art.

The collection reflects as well an eclectic approach to painting, reflecting the diversity inherent in Brazilian history and culture and celebrating the coexistence of different styles, influences and perspectives.

Rubem Valentim
Emblema 87, 1987,
Acrylic on canvas, 35 x 50 cm.

Emanoel Araújo’s collection includes Baroque artworks. It is a veritable anthology of artistic interpretations from all of Brazil’s states, and also includes syncretic religious influences. Every piece conveys a unique story, from the integration of syncretism elements in Creole jewelry to the depiction of black saints from the Catholic Church.

Mestre Valentim
Talhas, 18th – 19th century.
Polychrome wood carving,
138 x 20 x 10 cm and 100 x 56 x 51 cm.

Pair of Brazilian wood armchairs, swan side claw feet with rich carving details, straw seat and backrest, 19th century, 100 x 56 x 51 cm.

Sideboard with two central doors and bulging sides, marble top finished and decorated in bronze, gilt with birds and flowers, Brazil, c.1930. 98 x 2 x 60 cm.


Emanuel Araújo (1940-2022) was one of the greatest art collectors in recent Brazilian art history. His private collection was previously housed in his properties in Morro dos Ingleses, in the Bela Vista district.  

Emanuel Araújo

He was born in 1940 to a family of traditional goldsmiths in Santo Amaro da Purificação, a small city in Brazil’s northeastern state of Bahia. As a child, he was introduced to carpentry and the world of publishing.  He continued his studies in printmaking and engraving at the Escola de Belas Artes da Bahia (UFBA), with a first solo show in 1959.

In the 1970s, he traveled to Africa, North America and Europe, which were key points in his artistic and museological practice. 

In 1977, he was invited to exhibit at FESTAC 77 – the 2nd World Festival of Black and African Arts and Culture in Lagos, Nigeria. He was exposed to local art and that of his diaspora, which encouraged him to start a collection of art and objects focused on black issues. 

FESTAC 77, the 2nd World Festival of Black and African Arts and Culture in Lagos, Nigeria.

In Europe, he developed his knowledge of sacred art, mainly Baroque, but also of classical art, with academic and modernist paintings. 

Araújo’s first solo show at the MASP, in 1981.

From 1981 to 1983, Araújo was the director of the Museu de Arte da Bahia. He was responsible for the restoration of a mansion in the Corredor da Vitória in Salvador and the creation of the museum. It has a collection of art from the 16th century onwards, as well as objects from old families with Brazilian, European and Oriental decorative arts, furniture from different centuries, jewellery and silverware. 

He then went to teach printmaking and sculpture at the City University of New York.

Upon his return to Brazil in 1992, Araújo assumed the role of director at the Pinacoteca de São Paulo, one of the nation’s most prominent art institutions. In the same year, he presented an exhibition of works from his personal collection at the Museum Bärengasse in Zurich, titled “A casa do baiano: The artist Emanoel Araújo and his Afro-Brazilian collection.

In 2004, he founded the Museu Afro Brasil, to which he generously donated more than 2.000 artworks over the years, establishing it as an internationally renowned institution. 

Emanoel Araújo participated in numerous national and international exhibitions, totaling approximately 50 solo exhibitions and over 150 group exhibitions.

View of the exhibition “Emanoel Araújo, a ancestralidade dos símbolos: África-Brasil”
at MASP in 2018.

Bolsa de Arte’s exhibition and auction proposes a journey through the richness of Brazilian art through the unique lens of Emanoel Araújo, who became a guardian of Brazil’s cultural diversity and a master of artistic expression that transcends the barriers of time and narrative. He once said: “I am Brazilian body and soul”, a statement that resonates in each work in the collection, which tells of Brazil’s identity, translating an unwritten history into brilliant artistic expressions.

As our reader you’re cordially invited to Emanoel Araújo’s exhibition, where Sophie Su Art Advisory will be available to make your visit exceptional. Join us for a truly unique art experience. 


Auction Exhibition of the Emanoel Araújo Collection

Inauguration: September 6th, from 3:00 to 8:00 PM

Visitation:  Monday to Friday, from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Address: 63 Rio Preto Street, Jardins, São Paulo-SP

Emanoel Araújo Collection Auction

Live Auction: September 25th, 26th, 27th, and 28th, at 8:00 PM

Location: Bolsa de Arte Headquarters in São Paulo

Address: 63 Rio Preto Street, Jardins, São Paulo-SP


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