Since the first edition of Cuba Then was published in 2014, there have been several seismic shifts: President Obama moved to normalize relations, a US embassy was opened, Fidel Castro died, and the current administration announced plans to freeze relations again. This intensified interest in Cuba has seen record numbers of Americans traveling there. It is only fitting to release a revised and expanded edition of Cuba Then to satisfy the demand for this growing interest in the country’s history and visual culture.
With fifty newly selected vintage photographs and pieces of ephemera from the collection of Ramiro Fernandez, the most extensive archive of Cuban photography outside of the island nation, Cuba Then is a tribute to the lost eras of style, glamor, ebullience, intrigue, and upheaval. The more than 300 images here span the entire spectrum of photographic history, including rare daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, cartes-de-visite, and stereograms.
A rich spectrum of personalities spanning more than a century appear: aristocratic race-car drivers, movie stars and showgirls, gangsters, spies, and everyday folk. Much of Fernandez’s collection is little seen and never published, including unique prints of Castro riding on a public bus and of Heinz Luning, the Nazi spy who inspired Graham Greene’s Our Man in Havana. Featuring a foreword by poet Richard Blanco, Cuba Then is a welcome new edition of this seductive photographic survey of the small island that continues to fascinate the world.
Cuba Then: Revised and Expanded
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Monacelli Press (2018)