A Moveable Nation: Cuban Art & Cultural Identity in the Perez Art Collection at FIU

Event information
Venue:FIU Frost Art Museum
Event information
Venue:FIU Frost Art Museum


Víctor Patricio Landaluze, Untitled, c. 1875

The Cuban Research Institute (CRI) will hold an academic conference on Cuban and Cuban-American art on June 23, 2017, at the Frost Art Museum on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus of Florida International University (FIU) in Miami. The conference will provide participants the opportunity to assess the significance of Cuban and Cuban-American art for the construction of national and diasporic identities. Participants will take advantage of the Darlene M. and Jorge M. Pérez Art Collection at FIU, which documents the historical trajectory of Cuban art since the late 1800s, beginning with Víctor Patricio Landaluze's work reproduced above. Lecturers will be encouraged to include examples of Cuban art from the Pérez Art Collection at FIU.

The conference will be dedicated to FIU Professor Emeritus of Art History, Dr. Juan A. Martínez, in recognition of his lasting contributions to teaching, researching, and exhibiting Cuban and Cuban-American art. In particular, Dr. Martínez's seminal work, Cuban Art and National Identity: The Vanguardia Painters, 1927–1950 (1994), has served as an inspiration for many art critics and others interested in modern Cuban culture.

K-12 teachers from the Miami-Dade County Public Schools will be invited to attend the conference and participate in a hands-on workshop the following day to discuss the classroom applications of the material presented during the conference. Coordinated by Miriam Machado, the workshop is cosponsored by FIU's Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center and Miami-Dade County Public Schools, with support from LACC's U.S. Department of Education Title VI Grant.

The publication of the conference presentations, including illustrations from the Pérez Art Collection at FIU, will increase public access to the valuable resources on Cuban art and culture available at FIU. This conference and book project will delve into the some of the defining moments of Cuba's artistic evolution from a multidisciplinary perspective, including art history, architecture, history, literary criticism, and cultural studies. Situating Cuban art within a wider context of complex references, internal and external influences, and socio-historical connections, scholars will examine the enduring links between Cuban art and cultural identity. By studying the main periods in the development of Cuban art, as reflected in the Pérez Art Collection at FIU, conference participants will identify both the constant and changing elements and symbols in the portrayal of cubanía or cubanidad (Cubanhood).

Distinguished scholars will be invited to present papers at the conference and contribute a chapter to its resulting book publication. The following speakers have already confirmed their participation:

  • Anelys Alvarez, The Related Group
  • Dr. Lynnette M.F. Bosch, State University of New York, Geneseo
  • Dr. Iliana Cepero-Amador, New School, New York
  • Ramón Cernuda, Cernuda Arte
  • Emilio Cueto, independent scholar and collector
  • Dr. Carol Damian, Florida International University
  • Dr. Victor Deupi, University of Miami
  • Dr. Alison Fraunhar, St. Xavier University, Chicago
  • Dr. Andrea O'Reilly Herrera, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
  • Dr. Bárbaro Martínez-Ruiz, University of Capetown, South Africa
  • Ricardo Pau-Llosa, Miami Dade College
  • Dr. E. Carmen Ramos, Smithsonian Institution

The revised and edited papers presented at the conference will serve as the basis for an edited volume to be submitted for publication to a university press. CRI Director Dr. Jorge Duany will be in charge of compiling, reviewing, and editing the volume, as well as writing an introductory chapter.