Very Good. Item #7255
La Habana / Havana, Cuba: Maria Luisa Gómez Mena, 1944. First Edition. Octavo; 207pp. Twenty full-page color plates bound in; nearly 80 full- and partial-page B&W reproductions; 14 B&W photographic or painted portraits of the artists covered. Text in parallel Spanish and English throughout, including a separate title page for each language.
Card wraps with yapp edges. Front cover in rust and yellow; ñáñigo emblem on back in yellow. Sewn gatherings very solid; wraps solid and spine joints robust; cover edges show the erosion of careful use; spine and back politely soiled; one dribble of water seems to have landed on the center of the front cover but the textblock is unaffected, and altogether unmarred and unmarked.
This important and definitive conspectus of pre-Castro painting in Cuba covers Victor Manuel, Abela, Gattorno, Amelia Peláez, Ponce, Carlos Enríquez, Carreño, Lam, Portocarrero, Felipe Orlando, Mariano, Cundo Bermúdez, Jorge Arche, Martínez Pedro, Serra, Badué, Ravenet, Diago, Escobedo, placing them within larger Afro-Cuban, Latin-American, and Euro-American traditions.
Of special interest: serving as vignettes throughout the volume and on its back cover are line-drawing reproductions of symbols copied from the entryways to the cuarto fambá chambers for ñáñigo ceremonies of the Afro-Cuban men’s secret society, Abakuá.
José Gómez-Sicre (1916-1991) was the leading 20th-century introducer and authority on Cuban painting for American museum collections.