The Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami Libraries will be the beneficiary of a virtual charity auction called “Books and Artworks."

Cuban Heritage Collection to benefit from upcoming auction

By Barbara Gutierrez

Cuban Heritage Collection to benefit from upcoming auction

By Barbara Gutierrez
The prestigious Pan American Art Projects Gallery will donate 25 percent of a virtual, live event to the University Libraries’ parcel.

The Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami Libraries will be the beneficiary of a virtual charity auction called “Books and Artworks,” held by the Pan American Art Projects (PAAP) gallery. The auction will take place Dec. 1–13, and 25 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the collection.

“Through strategic partnerships with important local institutions and cultural venues like Pan American Art Projects, the Cuban Heritage Collection hopes to grow its collections of materials that represent the rich, visual arts production of Cuba and its diaspora, from the modernism of the early 20th century to the present,” said Elizabeth Cerejido, director and Esperanza Bravo de Varona Chair of the Cuban Heritage Collection. 

Martin Tsang, Cuban Heritage Collection librarian and curator of Latin American Collections, said that “collaborating with PAAP on this auction is an exciting first for the CHC and deepens our engagement with local institutions to forge meaningful relationships with the community of art enthusiasts and philanthropists in South Florida who collect Cuban, Caribbean, and Latin American art.”

PAAP is a local gallery that collects Cuban art, books, and documents and has established a history of collaborating with charitable organizations. It recently raised funds through a similar auction for Caritas Cuba, in an event titled “100 Years of Cuban Art.” 

The auction benefiting the CHC will start running online on the Invaluable.com platform on Dec. 1, where the public can view more than 200 books and art pieces. Bids will become final at the end of the live auction period. The virtual live auction will be held on Dec. 13 at 4 p.m.

Among the lots that will be auctioned off are ceramics by well-known Cuban artist Amelia Peláez, as well as works on paper by Antonia Eiriz, Cundo Bermúdez, and many other Cuban masters. The books on offer include “Cien años de arte en Pinar del Rio,” Ediciones Ponton Caribe; “Lam en la pintura,” Galeria Latinoamericana; Casa de Las Americas published during the Cuarta Biennal of Havana in 1991; and a wide collection of magazines including Bohemia and Carteles from as early as 1932.

Janda Wetherington, director and vice president of PAAP, said her gallery has been collecting art and books for the past 20 years. 

“Hand in hand with our aim in collecting art from these regions of the Americas and the Caribbean was our interest in gathering as much written material as possible pertaining to arts and culture in general,” said Wetherington.

”As a result, we have acquired an important and extensive collection of rare and out-of-print books and catalogs. So, we naturally thought of UM and the Cuban Heritage Collection as an appropriate benefactor for an auction dedicated to these archives,” she added.

In addition to the live auction, friends and donors to the CHC were able to purchase hand-selected items to donate directly to the collection prior to the live auction via a designated website.

Some of the 20 items that interested the CHC were an early monograph on the Afro-Chinese artist Wifredo Lam written by Fernando Ortiz that includes an original sketch and signature of Lam’s; early and previously unseen publications on the leading illustrator, publisher, and caricaturist Conrado Massaguer; a scrapbook of clippings of artist Amelia Peláez; and an exquisite artist book by Ricardo Brey.

Members of the PAAP gallery are available to help anyone who wishes to bid on an item during the live auction. Full details on the auction can be found at https://panamericanart.com/.