A Moveable Nation: Cuban Art and Cultural Identity in the Pérez Art Collection at FIU

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Venue:Frost Art Museum, FIU Modesto A. Maidique Campus, 10975 SW 17th St., Miami

Image: landaluze.jpg
Víctor Patricio Landaluze, Untitled, c. 1875

The Cuban Research Institute (CRI) will hold an academic conference on Cuban and Cuban-American art on June 9, 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. In particular, we 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.

K-12 teachers from the Miami Dade 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. 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 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).

The conference program will be chronologically divided into four main parts:

  1. The origins of Cuban art in the 19th century
  2. The consolidation of Cuban art during the first half of the 20th century
  3. The development of Cuban art after 1959
  4. Cuban art in the diaspora

Lecturers will be asked to explore the following topics in their presentations:

  1. The construction of Cuban national identity or cubanía
  2. Spanish and other European influences on Cuban art and architecture
  3. The contribution of the African legacy to Cuban art
  4. Gender and the visual representation of women
  5. The links among academic, avant-garde, and popular arts
  6. The impact of the Cuban Revolution on the Island's artistic landscape and new proposals in the visual arts
  7. The emergence of a Cuban diasporic identity through the visual arts and architecture
  8. The history and current status of Cuban artistic communities throughout the world (Havana, Miami, New York, Madrid, Paris, and San Juan)
  9. Cultural encounters and cross-fertilization between artistic communities in Cuba and its diaspora
  10. The relationship between Cuban-American and other Latino artists in the United States

Thirteen distinguished scholars will be invited to present papers at the conference and contribute a chapter to its resulting book publication. The revised and edited papers 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.