The book Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, 100 años, from Corina Matamoros, was presented by Gladys Collazo, president of the National Council of Cultural Heritage, at the Fine Arts National Museum, (MNBA, as per its initials in Spanish) Cuban Arts Building theatre.
The text is the museological history of the most complete patrimonial collection, including events, personalities and cultural strategies that have characterized its first century of existence.
Gladys Collazo said the text is an excellent publication and due bibliography not only for the history of the emergence and development of the Fine Arts National Museum, but for the history of Visual Arts in the country and the emergence and evolution of Cuban Museology.
She explained the book is structured in eight chapters in Spanish and English, conceived for the reader to go through the birth, the foundation and the building of the institution to get then into the formation of the collections, the Patronage and the National Institute of Culture.
The author covers the periods between 1910 and 2013 intercalating with relevant testimonies of personalities from Cuban arts and culture like Alicia Alonso, Eusebio Leal, Leo Brouwer, Graziella Pogolotti, Alfredo Sosabravo, Ever Fonseca, Miguel Barnet, Frank Fernández, Adigio Benítez, María Elena Jubrías, Osneldo García, all of which express what the existence of the MNBA has meant for their lives, for the country and for the world.
The President of the National Council of Cultural Heritage also highlighted that Nacional de Bellas Artes, 100 años contains unique evidences of the documental patrimony the Museum possesses, among them, documents, photos, posters, and covers of uncountable arts exhibits catalogues, that make possible to remind the time elapsed and the thesaurus value.
The author started her words thanking the work of a numerous group of persons that collaborated in the book, particularly the specialist Boris Morejón, and then she made a presentation with the use of images basing on the reading of a text in which she explained that a book is written from a museological perspective so it is a museological history.
She then mentioned the themes each chapter deals with: the 1910 project of the National Museum; the foundation and building of the collection; the 1955-57 period during which the museum thesaurus is increased with pieces of private collectors; the definition as Fine Arts Museum and the multiplication in similar ones; the functions of the museum unified with the direction of Patrimony; the wide museological turn in late 80s; the new museology during the reconstruction in late 90s; the re-encounter with the public after five years of reconstruction and in the end, a chapter dedicated to the compendium of the restoration history in the institution.
She highlighted that “museums are spaces of temporary confrontation of wisdoms essential for the development of culture” and added “the actual preservation of patrimony has to be the capacity we unfold to present the human memory with all the creative wealth treasured and to make it useful for humankind is the only thing that will turned it into Patrimony”.
Translation: Liana Fleitas (Cubarte)