Museu do Oratorio (Ouro Preto; tel. 031/3551-5369; www.oratorio.com.br): Behind Ouro Preto's main square stands the town's loveliest museum, which houses a colorful collection of oratories, which are in fact little mini-altars, used by people so they could pray without having to go to church. The Afro-Brazilian oratories are decorated with flowers and shells from the Candomblé religion.
Museu de Arte Sacra (Mariana; tel. 031/3551-4736): One of the best collections of sacred art in Brazil can be found in the small town of Mariana, just outside of Ouro Preto. The vast collection of impressive gold and silver works is displayed in a gorgeous old colonial mansion.
Monument to Latin America (São Paulo; tel. 011/3823-4600; www.memorial.org.br): Designed by famed Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, the monument is, well, so Niemeyer -- shy of a visit to Brasilia, it's the best place to see Brazilian modernism in all its concrete austerity.
Pinacoteca do Estado (São Paulo; tel. 011/3324-1000): The Pinacoteca in São Paulo is the place to come for anyone who wants to see Brazilian art. The museum has an excellent collection of Brazilian art from the 19th and 20th centuries, including works by Alfredo Ceschiatti, the artist who designed many of the sculptures in Brasilia.
Museu de Arte Sacra (Salvador; tel. 071/3243-6310): One of the finest museums in Salvador, the Arte Sacra displays one of Brazil's best collections of Catholic art. The artifacts are shown in the monastery adjoining the Igreja de Santa Teresa, a simple, beautiful building that is itself a work of art. The collection includes oil paintings, oratorios (small cabinets containing a crucifix or saint image), and amazing silver work.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.