National Museum of Fine Arts (Cuban Art)
Although the National Museum of Fine Arts (the MNBA – ‘Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes‘ – in its Spanish incarnation) is a single institution, in practice the Cuban and international collections are divided into two separate buildings (see second building below). Of the two, the Cuban collection is undoubtedly the most valuable. Paintings, sculptures, engravings and installations by some of the best Cuban artists in history can be seen here. Organized chronologically, the exhibition starts with works from the 16th century, evolving through different periods of formation of Cuban identity – it was not until the dawn of the 20th century that more authentic and distinctive styles started to be appreciated. From the boom of modern art in the 1930s, to the works inspired by the changes that followed the 1959 revolution, to pieces from the 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union, this collection offers a fascinating portrait of Cuban history and culture.