Originated from three Greek vocabs, - kalos, eidos, skopien –, The word kaleidoscope can be freely translated into “The vision of pretty images”. 

In 1817, one year after its conception, the Scottish physician David Brewster, called patent the actual version of the kaleidoscope. Because of the relevance of the publication of his book, Treatise on Optics, in 1831, where he also describes the scientific data of the invention, he was awarded the title of Sir Knight of the British Empire. 

Between the second half of the 19th Century and the beginning of the following one, it was very common to find kaleidoscopes on the homes of those who had them imported from Europe, for entertaining of both children and adults. From then on, our people acquired the craft, making this very attractive device spread cross-country, which soon became a favourite among everyone. 

The literature is full of references to the kaleidoscope: Cecilia Meireles, a Brazilian book writer, writes about the “kaleidoscope’s magical area”. … “Where the kaleidoscopes invented fabulous geometrical worlds”; the writer André Gide proclaims: “another toy for which I was mad about: this instrument of wonders called kaleidoscope” and says in a pitiful tone: “I believe that the children of today do not know kaleidoscopes”. By the way of a present that he received in the occasion of his 75th birthday, the Head of the Archdioceses of Olinda and Recife at the time – D. Helder Câmara (known internationally for his political and social accomplishments), states: “The kaleidoscope that You offered me, besides the beauty that You have created, improvises scenes whose beauty, here on Earth, we cannot devise… It brings about flagrant sightings of the Worlds of Worlds which take place at high above.” 

Giovanni Bosco, was born in Recife in 1948. In the beginning of the 60’s, he was initiated in the world of kaleidoscopes with the Jesuit Priest Alberto Silva, Physics Professor at the Catholic University of Pernambuco. Since then, together with other activities, kept working with the craft, having, during this period, put together and sold more than a thousand kaleidoscopes. 

Among other items of his vast résumé, there are expositions in many cities in Brazil, two informal exhibitions abroad (Arequipa in Peru, in 1984, and Ein Hod in Israel, in 1988), courses, workshops, seminars and lectures, accomplishing, invariably, great success. 

In 1984, the Secretaria de Cultura in Rio de Janeiro awarded him the title of Master, when he promoted two exhibitions in that city, sponsored by FUNARTE (National Institute for Folklore and National Hotel). From 1999 on, the craftsman dedicates his time exclusively to his craft. Three large-sized kaleidoscopes can be found in the Folklore National Institute in Rio de Janeiro (1984); In the Brazilian Northeastern Man Museum (1988); And the third one, produced in 1999, is part of the collection of the artist which can be seen at his Workshop. 

In the city of Paulista PE, more specifically in the beach of Pau Amarelo, where he lives, Master Giovanni Bosco runs his already famous Kaleidoscope Workshop, where he not only builds, sells and restores damaged kaleidoscopes brought by customers, but also welcomes with great pleasure all that are interested in unfolding the secrets of the art, or even just delight, together with the craftsman, in the variety of this device of art, movement, color and enchantment. 

Paulista-PE., Spring 2003.

Phone/information: +55 (81) 988510550 or +55 (81) 34353286