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A Photo Tour of the Coffee Museum in Santos, SP

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Stained Glass Panel by Benedicto Calixto
A Photo Tour of the Coffee Museum in Santos, SP
©Patricia Ribeiro

The stained glass panel on the ceiling of the Trading Room was also created by Benedicto Calixto, who was a historian as well as an artist. If you’ve ever struggled with the impulse to lie down on your back in the middle of a museum room, you will understand why, to a Brazil history buff, the panel – a summary of São Paulo State history - is worth the need for a neck massage.

Santos online culture magazine Novo Milênio features a reproduction of the 1922 brochure about the panel which was handed out at the time of the Coffee Palace inauguration. The brochure is in the personal collection of Santos historian Waldir Rueda.

Issued by Casa Conrado, the São Paulo stained glass company that produced the panel, with an introduction by owner Conrado Sorgenicht, the brochure contains an explanatory text written by Calixto himself.

The center panel represents the Gold & Emerald Cycle in the 16th/17th centuries and is called Anhanguera’s Dream. In the lower right, Calixto pictured Anhanguera – a bandeirante, or an explorer/Indian hunter, mesmerized by the vision of Mãe D'Ouro – the Mother of Gold – and Mães D'Água, or Mothers of Water, native mythical figures from gold-rich Central Brazil closely related to the deposits of gold in Brazilian rivers.

The left side of the panel shows the Empire period (1822-1889) and the abundance of agriculture, revived after the bandeirantes came back from their pursuit of gold and emeralds. The right side of the panel, labeled Republic (1889-1922), features Industry and Commerce, a cycle which, in Calixto's words, "is the natural consequence of the one immediately before it", as coffee took over previously abandoned lands and boosted Brazilian economy.

The panel frame portrays more bandeirantes and is decorated with images of indigenous myths, local agricultural products and native animals.

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