Paranaense Museum – An Overlooked Treasure
On a recent visit to the Paranaense Museum, founded in 1876, my timing was perfect. With a brief rain discouraging most browsers, I was free to move among the thousands of exhibits with no one to obstruct my view or interrupt my delight.
Visitors to the museum are greeted with a friendly smile and prompted where to put their umbrellas. The opening room of the museum has ornate wooden floors and ceilings, as well as uniquely painted walls with designs that look like wallpaper. Here I found an exhibit of a life-like setup of pioneer Vladimir Kozak, who took photos of Indians, did oil paintings, and displayed their artifacts. This was clearly a labor of love full of pride, which had required many hours to create.
There are three floors in the Museum, filled with over 400,000 items ranging from personal belongings to archaeological gems. Well-lit displays exhibit bayonets, knives, guns, uniforms, maps and other war-related relics. There are many cannons, including a Metralahodora 8mm.
Oil and water paintings appear throughout the museum of the Guarani Indians, Jesuits, governors and other luminaries from the state of Paraná.
Not to be missed is the exhibit featuring the centuries-old Indian spears, bows, arrows, pottery and arrowheads. Hand-carved figures of animals, drawings and maps are among the objects here. For fans of taxidermy, there are animals from days gone by. There are so many points of interest, including skeletal remains, you must take your time to appreciate the entire exhibit.
In another area, there is an exhibit of typewriters from all over the world, along with a variety of books in English, Portuguese and German, among others. One fascinating display consisted of musical instruments ranging from a variety of guitars to pianos.
Sculptures, basketry, porcelain, numismatics, clocks and documents are just a few of the historical finds you will enjoy as you venture leisurely through this well-planned building. It is as if someone still resides here, with a bathroom intact using early 1900s fixtures. One particular artistic piece that caught my eye was an intricate wooden ship carved with delicate skill.
The museum also holds nearly eight thousand books and periodicals in its library, which can be viewed by appointment. There is a staff that concentrates on preventive preservation. The Education Department ,which is open to professionals and those studying history, permits visits in a classroom setting if scheduled in advance.
I know you will thoroughly enjoy this fabulous museum as much as I did!
Information:The Paranaense Museum Hours: Tuesday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday 11 am to 3 pm Rua Kellers 289, São Fransisco 80410-100 Phone: (41) 3304-3300
Admission is free.
Rick Parnell is a regular contributor to Curitiba in English.