NYU Steinhardt News

Announcing The Splendor of Cuba, a New Book from Steinhardt Alumnus Michael Connors

THE SPLENDOR OF CUBA

450 Years of Architecture and Interiors

By Michael Connors

Rizzoli New York / ISBN:978-0-8478-3567-6 / Release date: October 2011

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.

About the Author: Michael Connors, an expert in Caribbean antiques and architecture, has over thirty years of experience in writing, consultation, and teaching in fine and decorative arts.  He received his Ph.D. in Decorative Arts from New York University where he taught for fifteen years. Dr. Connors is a contributor to numerous publications, including Art & Antiques, Antiques and Fine Art, and The Magazine Antiques and he has written many books including Caribbean Houses: History, Style, and Architecture and British West Indies Style, also published by Rizzoli.