Experience the Whimsy of Lina Bo Bardi’s Drawings at Carnegie Museum of Art

Experience the Whimsy of Lina Bo Bardi’s Drawings at Carnegie Museum of Art
Exhibition in the Heinz Architectural Center Highlights Bo Bardi’s Creative Practice

Taia Pandolfi
Carnegie Museum of Art

Lina Bo Bardi Draws
November 22, 2019–March 29, 2020
Heinz Architectural Center

Pittsburgh, PA—Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) is thrilled to present an exhibition exploring the drawing practice of famed 20th-century architect Lina Bo Bardi. Lina Bo Bardi Draws brings together a selection of nearly 100 drawings, ranging from Bo Bardi’s early life to the end of her career, from more than 6,000 drawings in her extensive archives in São Paulo.

Bo Bardi was a prolific and idiosyncratic designer. Born in Italy, she was educated in Rome and worked in the Milan studio of the Modernist architect Gio Ponti. Bo Bardi moved to Brazil in 1946, where her interest in local materials and practices enriched her Modernist approach to design. Her most notable projects include the Museu de Arte in São Paulo (MASP) and SESC Pompeia, a factory rehabilitated into a cultural center, also in São Paulo. Her creative work extended far beyond architecture, incorporating furniture and jewelry design, theatrical design, teaching, curating, and architectural criticism.

The exhibition invites visitors to explore the importance of drawing to this influential architect’s design process and built work. Completed in a variety of media—pencil, watercolor, gouache, felt pen, pen and ink—the drawings reveal Bo Bardi’s broad view of design and architecture as accessible to everyone, nurtured by her interest in nature and everyday life.

A colorful mixed media artwork showing the inside of a building, two people walking down a pathway, and colorful banners on the ceiling.

Lina Bo Bardi, Study for furniture design at Milan Triennale (detail), ca. 1946, Courtesy of INSTITUTO BARDI / CASA DE VIDRO

“Drawing, with its slow and intimate gestures, was her way of dwelling in the world,” writes curator Zeuler R. Lima, PhD, in his introduction to Lina Bo Bardi Drawings (Princeton University Press, 2019). “Drawing conveyed, at the tip of her hands, a representational purpose and also a somewhat magical realism spell.”

A version of this exhibition, also curated by Lima, appeared at the Fundacío Joan Miró in Barcelona as Lina Bo Bardi Drawing from February to May 2019.

Lina Bo Bardi Draws is curated by Zeuler R. Lima and brought to the museum by the Heinz Architectural Center.


General operating support for Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments and Allegheny Regional Asset District. The programs of the Heinz Architectural Center are made possible by the generosity of the Drue Heinz Trust. Carnegie Museum of Art receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


Carnegie Museum of Art creates experiences that connect people to art, ideas, and one another. The museum is committed to global engagement and regional advancement. We champion creativity and its importance to society with experiences that welcome, inspire, challenge, and inform. Our core activities—collecting, conserving, presenting, and interpreting works of art—make those experiences possible. Our collection of over 30,000 works emphasizes art, architecture, photography, and design from the 19th century to the present. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Museum of Art was founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895. To learn more, please call 412.622.3131 or visit cmoa.org.