Introducing A Very Wolfsonian Excursion to Havana

Last evening I had the great pleasure of attending a Wolfsonian Director’s Circle exclusive “Prelude to a Night in Havana.” It was an evening of Cuban art appreciation, live music and dance, topped off with tapas, rum tasting, and hand-rolled cigars hosted by the Cubaocho Museum and Performing Arts Center in Little Havana.



The night’s festivities were designed to celebrate an upcoming 5-day tour of Old Havana, April 5-9, 2017, to be conducted by Rosa Lowinger, conservator, author of Tropicana Nights, and co-curator of The Wolfsonian exhibition, Promising Paradise: Cuban Allure, American Seduction. Last evening’s tour party kick off was co-hosted by Wolfsonian board members Louise Levin and Jill Otto, with the generous support of Cubaocho founders Yeney and Roberto Ramos.


It would have been difficult to find a better venue than Cubaocho for the celebrations and a preview of Old Havana’s offerings. Guests had the privilege of perusing the great Cuban art hanging on the walls, ceilings—(and framed tables!)—while sipping free mojitos, downing tapas, listening to live music, and watching even livelier dance performances!


While The Wolfsonian is renowned for its collection of European art, architecture, and design, the museum has always been interested in the art and culture of the Americas as well. Just one year after opening to the public in November, 1995, The Wolfsonian published a Cuba theme issue of the Journal of Decorative and Propaganda Arts.  This 291 page tome celebrated Havana’s modern architecture and public works, and highlighted the work of modern magazine illustrators like Conrado W. Massaguer (art director of Social), and internationally-celebrated artists like Enríque Riverón and Amelia Peláez.



               Brochure by and photograph of Conrado W. Massaguer


Habana Hilton with mural by Amelia Peláez

The Wolfsonian-FIU, Vicki Gold Levi Promised Gifts

Following the publication with Steve Heller of Cuba Style: Graphics from the Golden Age of Design in 2002, Cuban ephemera hunter extraordinaire Vicki Gold Levi gifted more than 500 rare periodicals, advertisements, and other items related to the U.S.-Cuba tourist trade to our museum library.




The WolfsonianFIU, Vicki Gold Levi Collection

Vicki has since made a promised gift of another 1,300 Cuba-themed promotional materials and vintage photographs—items that Rosa Lowinger and I tapped in jointly curating the exhibition Promising Paradisewhich opened last May and closed in late August, 2016.








Mary Tyler Moore (19362017)



The WolfsonianFIU, Vicki Gold Levi Promised Gifts

Those interested in learning more about the up-and-coming five-day tour of Havana are encouraged to contact Andrew Nelson at:




~ by "The Chief" on January 27, 2017.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: