Referring to a pre-Castro Cuba, the Smithsonian Museum's website states, "Havana was then what Las Vegas has become." Frequented by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, and Ernest Hemingway, Cuba was indeed a self-indulgent escape from the monotony of everyday life. And at a mere $50 roundtrip ticket, soon regular Joes were able to get a taste of the tropical paradise.
Celebrate the freedom to consume without declaring allegiance to the hammer and sickle through the "La Habana Moderna" exhibit at FIU's Frost Museum.
The exhibit explores and celebrates how international cultural,
commercial, and political connections shaped the development of Havana
from 1902 (the year of independence) until 1959 (the year things went to
Before Castro, Cuba was the playground for the rich and famous.
La Habana Moderna contains works from well-known graphic designers and artists such as Conrado Massageur and Mario Carreño, as well as architects Leonard B. Schultze and S. Fullerton Weaver of New York's Grand Central Station fame. Though, according to Jon Mogul, co-curator of the exhibit: "Mostly what we are showing are not pieces by famous individuals, but rather items that reveal something about Havana, its cultural life, and its built environment." Architectural drawings, photographs, posters, magazines, and advertisements will be on display.
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Mogul's fellow curator, Marilys Nepomechie, says, "Havana grew rapidly during the first half of the 20th century, and witnessed efforts designers, intellectuals, and many others to define an identity for their city that was at once contemporary and Cuban. Their endeavors produced a rich visual and material culture that advanced competing and sometimes conflicting notions of modernity."
The Frost Museum will be having an opening reception on Wednesday for La Habana Moderna and three other exhibits. La Habana Moderna will be on display until January 2, 2011 and admission is free. Visit thefrost.fiu.edu or call 305.348.2890.