Over a century of activity in the fields of literature, music, theatre and dance, Cultura Artística has accumulated a vast amount of iconographical material, including hundreds of concert programmes and thousands of photographs of the many performances and attractions—both Brazilian and foreign—that have graced its stages since the first decades of the 20th Century. Given its inestimable historical value, this rich archive was placed under National Heritage Protection by the Brazilian Heritage Trust (IPHAN).
In the interests of preserving this patrimony, in April 2011 Cultura Artística joined forces with Via das Artes to catalogue and divulge this hundred year-old archive, a project sponsored by the Culture Secretariat’s Cultural Action Program (ProAC) and the winemaker Vinícula Aurora. Over twelve thousand photographs were digitalized as part of a massive conservation drive that completed its first phase in March 2013
However, there is more to the initiative than simply digitalizing Cultura Artística’s valuable iconographic heritage. The second phase of the project will involve treating and classifying the images so they can be made available to other institutions involved with the arts and cultural history of São Paulo. This will give scholars and researchers access to a cultural archive that is unique on the music and scenic arts scene in São Paulo.
After a hundred years promoting art, culture and education, Sociedade de Cultura Artística is eager to offer its members and the general public a slice of the history of music, theatre and ballet of the 19th and 20th centuries—a history its stages have been helping to write since 1912.