Darlene M. and Jorge M. Pérez Art Collection at FIU

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Vincent and Carol Damian and Darlene M. and Jorge M. Pérez

In 2013, longtime FIU supporters Jorge M. Pérez, CEO at the Related Group, and his wife, FIU alumna and nurse practitioner Darlene M. Boytell-Pérez, donated a Cuban art collection to FIU's Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and the Frost Art Museum. The collection features stunning rural and city landscapes, haunting portraits, and vivid graphical depictions of Cuba.

The donation, which included 24 nineteenth- and twentieth-century Cuban paintings and is valued at more than $315,000, will serve as an interdisciplinary teaching and educational resource for the museum and SIPA, and will help advance the Cuban Research Institute's (CRI) mission as a preeminent academic center for the study of Cuba. Additionally, the donation included a gift of $250,000 to support collection-related curatorial work, complementary programming such as workshops, exhibitions and public events, and scholarships.

The Darlene M. and Jorge M. Pérez Art Collection at FIU features works by many of the best-known masters of Cuban art, including Víctor Patricio Landaluze, Leopoldo Romañach, Eduardo Abela, Víctor Manuel, Augusto Menocal, Carlos Enríquez, René Portocarrero, Mario Carreño, and José Bedia.

The collection provides an excellent window into the historical trajectory of pictorial representations of Cuba's national identity. It will help scholars and students delve into the tapestry of Cuban culture from an interdisciplinary perspective, including art, history, and sociology. In addition, the collection serves as a basis to understand the significant contributions of Cuban artists to their society, with a focus on race, gender, religion, politics, and diaspora. Furthermore, it will enhance FIU's reputation as an international destination for the study and teaching of Cuban art and culture.

Finally, the collection will strengthen the University's ties to the South Florida community and broaden engagement with other institutions, including Miami-Dade County public schools. Several on-campus programs for K-12 students as well as teaching training workshops and summer institutes have been based on the Darlene M. and Jorge M. Pérez Art Collection at FIU. One of these institutes led to the publication of the volume Picturing Cuba: Art, Culture, and Identity on the Island and in the Diaspora, edited by Jorge Duany.

The exhibition, Eternal Cuba: The Darlene M. and Jorge M. Pérez Art Collection at FIU, was held at the Frost Art Museum from October 16 to December 8, 2013.

For more information on the collection, click here. Below are some examples of the works in the collection.

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Víctor Patricio Landaluze, Fruit Vendors, 1870

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Leopoldo Romañach, Peasant House, 1920

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Manuel Mesa, Procesión en La Habana, 1930

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René Portocarrero, Mujer, 1950

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Carlos Enríquez, Comedor del Hurón Azul, 1953

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José Bedia, No queda lugar para el zorro, 1997