This is where they hide all they good stuff: the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes’ Coleccion de Arte Cubano. The museum proceeds chronologically from the pre-Colonial to contemporary post-Revolution Cuban art. Here they have a horde of works by the under-appreciated Fidelio Ponce de Leon and some of Wilfredo Lam‘s most famous paintings, including La Silla, as well as extensive drawings of his. After reading up on these painters a few months ago, it was a joy to see them.
Fidelio Ponce de Leon is an artist who is difficult to research, and there I was in the museum without even a pen to jot down the titles of his works! Unfortunately the museum is extensively staffed with gaurds who shout their Draconian policy of “No Foto,” even when you are photographing the caption next to the painting. It is a shame because there were many interesting artists who were new to me. To top it off, now that I have returned to the land of the internet, I find that the museum does not have a website. I guess I’ll have to wait a little longer on that one.
Another place that holds some good stuff, if you’ll allow me to toot my own horn, is Escape Into Life online arts journal, which posted an essay of mine last night. You might remember that I wrote a bit about Gauguin before on this blog, about the time I was writing about Ponce de Leon and Lam. If you want to continue the stroll down Memory Lane, check out Paul Gauguin and Savageness on Escape Into Life.