Founded by Brazilian banker, politician and philanthropist Walter Moreira Salles in 1990 and currently run by the Moreira Salles family, the Instituto Moreira Salles is a non-profit organization in Rio de Janeiro that promotes the development of cultural projects primarily focused in five main disciplines: photography, literature, libraries, visual arts and Brazilian music.

The Institute also runs a website, on which users can find segments of its photographic, literary, and musical database. Instituto Moreira Salles operates cultural centers throughout the South American nation of Brazil, in cities like Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Poços de Caldas and Belo Horizonte. Instituto Moreira Salles also operates four galleries in important cities throughout Brazil, including São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba and Porto Alegre.

Also known as the IMS, Instituto Moreira Salles is unique and distinct from other private cultural institutions in Brazil, throughout South America and in the rest of the world. Instituto Moreira Salles is unique in the way it focuses its intervention efforts on initiatives that the institute already offers. Another reason  Instituto Moreira Salles is differentiated from other similar cultural institutions is in the manner by which it identifies and executes both short and long term projects, steering clear of events it considers “short-sighted”. Additionally, the Moreira Salles Institute develops and provides regular and consistent projects that aim to educate and inform the general public.