The Murilo Mendes Art Museum (MAMM), belongs to the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF), and it contains the writer’s library and visual arts collection. Its origins date back to 1976, when his widow Maria da Saudade Cortesão Mendes, in an act of generosity, after the poet’s death in the summer of 1975 in Lisbon, donated her library with 2,864 copies to the University, which housed it in the Center of Knowledge Diffusion, until 1994, the year of the signing of a contract which transferred Murilo Mendes’ visual arts collection to the University, costituting 150 works of national and foreign art.
These two important collections enabled UFJF to create, in 1994, the Murilo Mendes Study Center, in the former building of the School of Philosophy, Languages and Literature, located at Rio Branco Avenue, in the neighborhood of Alto dos Passos – according to the condition established by Maria da Saudade and her wish. The Study Center, in 2005, originated the MAMM, located in a modern architecture building, which had housed UFJF’s rectorate.
In addition to inventorying the writer’s collections, MAMM seeks to broaden the understanding of the poet’s dialogue with the artistic universe, ensuring continuity and expansion of the wealth of the Murilo legacy.
The development of studies and scientific-cultural actions on teaching, research and outreach is the mission of MAMM, guided by the principles of preservation, conservation and dissemination of bibliographical and documentary collection, and visual arts collections housed in the institution. The principles also include promotion of exchange among similar institutions within the scope of its mission, publications resulting from research and cultural projects encouraging actions in the field of literature and visual arts, and the establishment of policies for the valorization of the literary memory from Juiz de Fora.