Historical Museum of Southern Florida. From Sep 25th, 2008 through Jan 25th, 2009 Plotted on a pattern of five crosses, with two avenues creating the main cross, the Cristóbal Colón Cemetery in the Vedado district of Havana, Cuba is considered one of the finest examples of funerary architecture in the world. Miami architect Raúl L. Rodríguez, AIA has been documenting its quiet grandeur since 1990. Through January 25th, 2009, visitors to the Historical Museum of Southern Florida will have the opportunity to see images of the historic cemetery in the exhibition, Necrópolis Cristóbal Colón: Photographs by Raul L. Rodriguez, AIA.
On display will be more than thirty of Rodríguez’s large color prints of some of the cemetery’s avenues, mausoleums, vaults, and chapels designed by prominent Spanish and Cuban architects such as Julio Martínez Zapata and José F. Mata. The 137-year-old cemetery offers a wealth of architectural diversity, including Romanesque-Byzantine, Neo-Gothic, Neo-Classical, Art Deco and Modern.
Necrópolis Cristóbal Colón is a final resting place for national and historical figures, tobacco and sugar magnates, labor unionists and members of immigrant and professional associations. "One of the many interesting features of the exhibition will be the computer interactive which will allow visitors to search by last names and find photographs of more than 300 Cuban family tombs," says HMSF Chief Curator Dr. Joanne Hyppolite.
Raúl L. Rodríguez, AIA is a principal of Rodríguez and Quiroga Architects Chartered. Born in Havana, Cuba in 1948, Raúl and his family came to Miami as exiles in 1959. In 1980, Raúl, and his wife Ninón took their first of a series of family trips to Havana, which, in later years included their only son, Ruly. Raúl can recall many visits to Necrópolis Cristóbal Colón as a child to visit his grandmother’s grave. Inspired by how the cemetery’s unique architecture captures and reflects Cuban society, he began photographing the cemetery during a series of visits in the 1990s. The photographs displayed in this exhibition were taken during those trips and chronicled in David Rieff’s The Exile: Cuba in the Heart of Miami.
Historical Museum of Southern Florida
101 West Flagler Street
Miami, Florida 33130