La Perla de las Antillas
An Exhibition from the Library's Collections featuring items with a focus from the late 1800s to the early 1900s
Special Collections & Archives and the Permanent Art Collection present La Perla de las Antillas, an exhibition intended to share a time of Cuba for those who have never known it, have forgotten, and for those who will never forget. The exhibition will feature rare books, lithograph prints, ephemera, photography, poetry, and more celebrating Cuba's history, poetry, and architecture of the 1800s and early 1900s.
Pearl of the Antilles was dubbed so after the romantic title given to Antonio Carlo Napoleone Gallenga's journey to Cuba in 1873, seeing as it was the largest island of the West Indies upon his arrival. Used as a base to continue Spanish colonization and travel to neighboring lands, settlers prospered from her rich soil plantations of tobacco, coffee and sugar. The Cuban people would soon earn their independence from Spain in the Spanish American War of the late 1800s, a fight bridging together a relationship between the United States and Cuba which would later sever at the dawn of the Cuban Revolution of 1959. Prior to the embargo and the island being held in time, it was a destination for many—hypnotized by the fascination and magic of Cuba which could awaken the imagination of travelers, scholars, writers and artists from all over the world.
Poets from the island that are included in this exhibit showcase the illustrative power of language and poetry. Jose Marti, Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda, Jose Maria Heredia, and Dulce Maria Loynaz are showcased in this exhibition as examples of poets that have received international recognition and success as masters of their craft. Provided in Spanish and English, the sections of poetry have been chosen for a variety of reasons including their popularity within the culture, their elegance of execution, and their connection to the island's natural majesty.