by Michael Connors
At a time when hope is in the air that travel to Cuba may soon be possible again, this lavishly illustrated volume offers a different view of the island’s culture. If you feel you have seen exhibitions and books of formerly beautiful, gently deteriorating Cuban architecture, Michael Connors’ book will be a quiet revelation.
The Splendor of Cuba presents the secret and extraordinarily well preserved opulence of colonial Spanish Creole aristocracy, with its Mudejar craftsmanship, classically inspired grand mansions and baroque palacios, coffee plantations, and the sugarcane plantations known as ingenios.
Exceptional preservation work has kept these villas in their magnificent original state, and the photographs, shot exclusively for this book, show examples in each area of the island—from the interiors and exteriors in Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Santa Clara, Cienfuegos, and Pinar del Río to close-up details of courtyards, balconies, galleries, balustrades, grilles, and louvered doors in Trinidad, Matanzas, and Holguín. Also included is Finca Vigía (“Lookout Farm”), the former residence of Ernest Hemingway.
For anyone with an interest in Cuba, this book will be a true discovery, and a volume to be treasured.
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