Cuban Elegance

Cuban Elegance


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Cuban Elegance by Michael Connors

At a time when more and more travelers are discovering Cuba, which has been locked away from the outside world for more than 40 years, this lavishly illustrated, absorbing volume offers a completely different view of the island from the one seen by most visitors. This book presents not the picturesque Cuba of Castro's era with its derelict buildings and peeling paint, but the opulent world of the Spanish Creole aristocracy of the colonial period, which has continued to influence Cuban taste and cultural life on a more modest scale even to this day.Emphasizing the palatial homes and elegant furnishings of the island's enormously rich sugar, cotton, and tobacco barons, Cuban Elegance relates the social, cultural, architectural, and interior design history of Cuba, and of the Caribbean region in general. With an engaging text and gorgeous photographs taken especially for this sumptuous volume, Cuban Elegance offers a fresh, surprising perspective on an intriguing country. Author Bio: Michael Connors, author of Abrams' Caribbean Elegance, is a noted authority on the art and life of the Caribbean. He teaches at New York University and publishes widely in the field. He lives in New York City, St. Croix, and Deer Isle, Maine. Bruce Buck is a New York City-based photographer of architecture whose work has appeared in Architectural Digest, House and Garden, and other style magazines.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780810943377
Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date: 04/01/2004
Pages: 176
Sales rank: 1,231,733
Product dimensions: 10.00(w) x 10.37(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

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Cuban Elegance 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was so smitten with a glimpse I was given into that hidden world of Cuban elegance that I decided to make it a Christmas gift to my favorite friends who would also appreciate the literary entrance into that world. The problem is that I live in Mexico and have been waiting for the book to be published in Spanish for my Spanish-speaking friends. It seems to only make sense that it would be published in Spanish. Is that going to happen? An affirmative reply would be nice for me and a good idea for the publisher.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Cuban Elegance is an astonishing work. That Michael Connors and Bruce Buck were able to navigate the bureaucracies to get to Cuba and to the subjects of the book; astonishing that with an admitted paucity of research material they were able to craft a book that reveals the wealth of historic artifacts in Cuba.

Connors' concise, comprehensive and well-researched narrative along with Bruce Buck's beautiful images bring to light the stylistic and historical influences of three centuries of Cuba's heritage.

Kudos to both gentleman for what must have been an arduous task. The fruits of their labors is a book that should be an elegant addition to a great many libraries.

Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the first comprehensive review of Cuban furniture from the sixteenth through the nineteenth century. Connors and Buck, the author and photographer, spent months touring Cuba and doing detective work to gain access to relics of past eras. Connors stays clear of the contentious times of Cuba, avoiding this battleground of American politics over the past 50 years. He gained the cooperation of American and Cuban authorities, no mean feat, and produces a veritable feast. He also used archives and collections of Cuban artifacts from other Caribbean countries to gain this masterful view which he presents in a prose that is descriptive but not ornate. The color and style of Cuban furniture needs only an honest narrative for its story to be told. Connors cites Hispanic-Moorish, African and French influences on the many pieces of furniture sited in rooms lit through mamparas (tinted glass swinging doors) and mediopuntos (fanlights, semicircular windows made of complex forms of stained and plain glass set above doors and windows) of old Cuban haciendas. This is a beautiful book designed to bring a touch of our hemisphere's elegant beauty into everyone's living room and even our lives. It does to ours and to anyone who owns it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Cuban Elegance is one of those rare books that combines gorgeous photography with authoritative scholarship about the architecture, furniture and decorative arts it features. Too often, books that are big on style are fluff to read, and books that are written by academics are heavy going and not fun to look at. As someone who writes in this field and has shelves full of books that miss that mark, I appreciate when people get it right. Connors and Buck nailed it on this one -- the images throughout the book are as beautiful as the one on the cover, and the text is informative, readable and engaging. And, they have made it possible for people to have a glimpse of an incredible world that so few get to see -- 500 years of Cuban history and culture as expressed in buildings and their furnishings. Five stars. As people in the antiques business say, this one's a keeper.