Estádio Municipal Paulo Machado de Carvalho, in Pacaembu, São Paulo, turned 80 years old in April 2020. A virtual exhibition in the Google Arts&Culture Platform relives the history of its construction. Designed from the beginning as a sports square with multiple functions – also including leisure and cultural areas – Pacaembu was the largest stadium in Brazil until the inauguration of Maracanã, in 1950. It also holds, since 2011, the house of the Football Museum.
Why a virtual exhibition?
Um aniversário de 80 anos é uma data importante e o Museu do Futebol planejava uma exposição especial para homenagear o Pacaembu. Mas com a eclosão da pandemia do novo coronavírus em março de 2020, as atividades culturais foram suspensas temporariamente em todo o Brasil. Para não deixar de homenagear o “Paca”, a equipe do Museu planejou uma exposição virtual para contar essa história desde que o estádio era apenas uma ideia.
The 80th birthday is an important date and the Football Museum had planned a special exhibition to honor Pacaembu. However, with the outbreak of the new coronavirus in March 2020, cultural activities were suspended temporarily all over Brazil. To honor “Paca”, the Museum team planned a virtual exhibition to tell the story since the time the stadium was only an idea.
In the 1920s, football was a mass phenomenon and the sports press and fans were asking for a stadium for great matches. From the idea to the project, and from the project to the works, a lot changed in the concept of Pacaembu. A central figure of the idea that the stadium should have multiple functions was writer Mário de Andrade, who was the Municipal Secretary of Culture at the time.
The virtual exhibition displays the original plans and allows comparing the changes made over the development of the project. You will also see old pictures of the erection and inauguration of the Pacaembu Stadium, besides a video from the period.
Actually, there would be two exhibitions...
That’s it. In the beginning of the research, the Football Museum team also wanted to tell the story of Pacaembu beyond football. Until 2005, the stadium was the main stage of mega-events in the city of São Paulo – from masses with the Pope to concerts of international bands. The plan was to count on contributions from the audience, who would send pictures and stories. But we overlooked a small detail: when the age of mega-events was over, digital photography did not have the popularity it has today. Cell phones with cameras were still relatively new, and not much people kept negatives or printed photos. The idea was vaulted – for now.