Darlene M. and Jorge M. Pérez Art Collection helps FIU’s Cuban Research Institute strengthen ties with community

Longtime FIU supporters Jorge M. Pérez, CEO at the Related Group, and his wife, FIU alumna and nurse practitioner Darlene M. Boytell-Pérez, have donated a Cuban art collection to FIU’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and the Frost Art Museum.  The collection features stunning rural and city landscapes, haunting portraits, and vivid graphical depictions of Cuba.

The donation which includes 24 nineteenth- and twentieth-century Cuban paintings and is valued at more than $315,000, will serve as an interdisciplinary teaching and educational resource for the museum and SIPA, and will help advance the Cuban Research Institute’s (CRI) mission to continue to develop into a preeminent academic center for the study of Cuba.

“We are so excited to be able to contribute to the Frost Art Museum and the CRI and to share with students, faculty and the South Florida community the importance of art throughout Cuban history,” said Jorge M. Pérez.

Additionally, the donation includes a gift of $250,000 to support collection-related curatorial work, complementary programming such as workshops, exhibitions and public events, and scholarships.

The Darlene M. and Jorge M. Pérez Art Collection at FIU features works by many of the best-known masters of Cuban art such as Eduardo Abela, Víctor Manuel, Augusto Menocal, Carlos Enríquez, René Portocarrero, and José Bedia, providing an excellent window into the historical trajectory of pictorial representations of Cuba’s national identity.

“The CRI is grateful and enthusiastic about the collection,” stated CRI director Jorge Duany. “It allows us the opportunity to strengthen the university’s ties to the South Florida community and broaden our engagement with other local institutions, including Miami-Dade County public schools through on-campus programs.”

Offering students and scholars the opportunity to delve into the tapestry of Cuban culture from an interdisciplinary perspective, including art, history, and sociology, the Darlene M. and Jorge M. Pérez Art Collection at FIU serves as a basis to understand the significant contributions of Cuban artists to their society, with a focus on race, gender, religion, politics and diaspora. Furthermore, it will enhance FIU’s reputation as an international destination for the study and teaching of Cuban art and culture.

The exhibition, Eternal Cuba: The Darlene M. and Jorge M. Pérez Collection at FIU, is set to open at the Frost Art Museum on October 16, 2013.

For more information about the exhibit and FIU’s Cuban Research Institute, please visit http://cri.fiu.edu/research/perez-art-collection/.