The collection of the Burle Marx Institute gathers a diversity of formats, materials, and techniques, totaling over 120,000 items in different collections.
The collection encompasses practically all of the landscape projects developed by the Burle Marx Office from the 1930s to the present day (project plans, drawings, sketches, gouaches, and models), as well as artworks and a documentary collection that includes newspaper clippings from the 1930s to the 1990s. Correspondence, lectures, documents, books, printed photographs, and slides that constitute a portrait of urbanism and landscaping in the 20th century are also cataloged. They are an invaluable contribution to thinking about cities, public spaces, the relationship with the environment, the diversity of landscape and flora, and innovative aesthetic experience.
These documents are testimonies of a collective and continuous work marked by an aesthetic and ethical commitment, which is reflected in proposals for the creation of democratic environments, artistic enjoyment, and well-being based on human integration with nature.
One can observe in this documentary material a constant concern to value and expand knowledge about Brazilian natural biomes.
Throughout his history, Burle Marx demonstrated a true fascination for natural landscapes, their plant compositions, and the dynamics of the relationships between natural elements (vegetation, water, rock formations, air-winds), which always inspired him in the creation of gardens, parks, and works of art. An example is the Burle Marx Site, his residence and living laboratory, which houses his botanical and art collections. Donated to the Brazilian state by the landscape architect himself in 1985, the Sítio is now recognized as a world heritage site and a reference point around the world.
It is worth highlighting the timeliness of Burle Marx's public discourse and environmental activism, present throughout the collection, which prioritized issues that are still pressing in global debates today, such as the devastation of ecosystems, the extinction of native botanical species, and the importance of landscaping for the creation of greener and more favorable cities for contemplation and social encounters.
Throughout his career, Burle Marx reflected on art, Brazilian history, forms, uses, and access to urban space, rights, public policies, socio-environmental transformations, development models, and their impact on the quality of life of local populations. This public discourse is recorded in numerous newspaper articles, letters, essays, and lectures in the Institute Burle Marx's collection.
It is interesting to understand the creative process and the choices made through observation of the sketches and early drawings until their realization. In the archived projects, the artistic and humanistic dimensions stand out, expressed in the clear intention to propose the creation of spaces for coexistence, pleasure, and rest in cities. Spaces focused on integrating urban and natural landscapes, and promoting greater connection between inhabitants, always sensitive to their individual and collective experiences.
Throughout 7 decades, we can observe a thematic diversity in the projects, with a wide range of coverage in the national territory and contributions to the international scene, both in the private and public spheres. Some projects developed for public facilities related to health, education, and leisure catch our attention, indicating a strong intention to contribute to changes in society's way of life.
Burle Marx made significant contributions in his time and is now an inspiration for a vision of the future for both the country and humanity, built upon his powerful and creative aesthetic experiences, promoted through the art form of landscape design.
The Burle Marx Institute, as a recent non-profit civil society organization, has as one of its priorities for the coming years to ensure - through partnerships and institutional support - the preservation of its collection and its future public availability through inventory, cataloging, and digitization.