Cultural Recife: Workshop and Brennand Institute + Fundação Gilberto Freyre

Cultural Recife: Workshop and Brennand Institute + Fundação Gilberto Freyre

International tourism

Francisco Brennand Workshop

Cultural tours in Recife are not limited to Olinda and Recife Antigo. The outskirts of Várzea and the North Zone of Recife provide a beautiful full-day program, visiting the Francisco Brennand Workshop (of the great ceramist Francisco Brennand, recently deceased), the Ricardo Brennand Institute (by collector Gilberto Brennand), Gilberto Freyre Foundation (which preserves the house where the sociologist lived) and the Poço da Panela neighborhood (with beautiful houses by the Capibaribe river).

The tour covering the three museums can be done from the 3rd to the 6th (on the 2nd, the Brennands are closed, and at the weekend the Gilberto Freyre Foundation does not open).

The best way to do this tour is to arrange with a taxi driver from the point of your hotel. The other way is to go by Uber – in this case, however, know that you can lose some time until a car appears in the vicinity of the Brennands (especially the Workshop).

To make the most of the day, start with the Oficina, which always opens earlier than the Institute. Both museums have cafeterias for a snack. At the Institute there is also a restaurant, the Castelus.

  • Francisco Brennand Workshop
  • Ricardo Brennand Institute
  • Gilberto Freyre Foundation
  • Pan Well

Francisco Brennand Workshop

Recife: Francisco Brennand Workshop

THE Francisco Brennand Workshop it is the museum-studio of Francisco Brennand, the greatest Brazilian ceramist, who died in December 2019. Installed in an old pottery that Brennand received as an inheritance, the Workshop gathers more than two thousand works by the ceramist.

Get ready to enter a laboratory full of mythical creatures and delusional forms that exude eroticism. In some moments you will not know if you are in a museum or in the artist’s private amusement park. It is this (and not exactly the aesthetics) that makes Brennand the Gaudí of Pernambuco.

Francisco Brennand’s work can also be admired at the Marco Zero Sculpture Park, in Recife Antigo. There you will see Brennand forming part of the city’s landscape. But to travel through your creative universe, even just going to Várzea.

Ricardo Brennand Institute

Recife: Ricardo Brennand Institute

Francisco’s cousin, Ricardo Brennand set up his Institute on another family site, on the opposite bank of the Capibaribe River. In a straight line, the two museums are 1 km away. But how to get from one Brennand to the other, you have to take a big walk to Av. Caxangá, the route between museums is almost 8 km.

Ricardo Brennand Institute it is the dream of its eccentric owner. After collecting one of the most important collections of armory (armor, swords, daggers, knives) in the world, Ricardo Brennand built a medieval European castle – in the middle of the tropics – to expose his treasure.

Recife: Ricardo Brennand Institute

But it didn’t stop at the little castle. He also built a pinacoteca, where he keeps the largest private collection of paintings by Frans Post, a landscaper who portrayed Brazil during the Dutch occupation of Pernambuco. Engravings, letters, Gobelin tapestries and coins from the time of Dutch Brazil are also part of the exhibition.

Replicas of 19th century European sculptures (and an authentic Botero!), Arranged in the garden and outside the castle, complete the collection.

Gilberto Freyre Foundation

Recife: Gilberto Freyre Foundation

Gilberto Freyre Foundation

THE Gilberto Freyre Foundation – or rather: Casa-Museu Magdalena e Gilberto Freyre – is in the place where the sociologist-writer-poet-politician-causer lived with his wife Magdalena for more than 40 years until he died.

The mansion had its last major renovation in 1881. Freyre only added paintings, books, furniture and objects, all preserved as when he lived there. The guided tour takes 40 minutes. The script is delicious, full of quotes from the work and anecdotes from Freyre’s life.

Too bad you can’t take pictures inside the house.

Pan Well

Recife: Poço da Panela

A nucleus of low houses, many of them centuries old, makes the charm of the Pan Well, a neighborhood listed in the middle of vertical upper middle class neighborhoods in the North Zone of Recife.

The historic mansions are located on Estrada Real do Poço and around the Church of Nossa Senhora da Saúde, next to the Capibaribe River.