The Bronx Museum of the Arts, a leading museum of contemporary art with a three-decade history of cultural exchange with Cuba, has begun an initiative to replicate Anna Hyatt Huntington’s monumental sculpture, José Martí, in New York’s Central Park, to present as a gift to the people of Cuba in 2016. Hyatt Huntington’s sculpture, completed in 1958, celebrates the significance of Martí as a man of arts and letters, committed to the cause of Cuban independence. Through the Friends of José Martí Sculpture Project it is our objective to raise $2.5 million to fabricate this bronze replica, organize its installation and dedication in Havana, and conduct a series of
accompanying public and educational programs in the United States and Cuba to introduce new generations to the importance of Martí and a life inseparably devoted to the arts and social justice.
The original José Martí sculpture was a gift from Cuba to the City of New York. On its website, the New York City Department of Parks recounts that, “sculptor Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington (1876–1973) created this largerthan-life bronze equestrian statue depicting Cuban patriot and author José Martí (1853– 1895) … Her last major work, Hyatt Huntington executed this piece at age 82 and presented the statue as a gift to the Cuban government for presentation to the people of New York City. The Cuban government donated the monument’s dark granite pedestal. The work, placed with monuments to Latin American heroes Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martín, sits symbolically at the Artists’ Gate at the head of the Avenue of the Americas.”
Anna Hyatt Huntington intended this monument to serve as a bond of friendship between the U.S. and Cuban peoples. Creating a replica at this time to present to the City of Havana is a fitting complement to the monument’s unique history. The Friends of José Martí Sculpture Project’s gift of the sculpture to the Office of Historian of the City of Havana will appropriately complete the original symbolic gesture and serve to strengthen the bridge between our two countries. Just as with the original in New York City, the replica will be permanently set in a prominent, public location – in the historic section of Old Havana, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1982 – where it will be seen by thousands upon thousands of Cubans and other visitors. The Office of the Historian of the City of Havana, the entity authorized under Cuban law to receive this gift, has enthusiastically stated it will accept it with gratitude and permanently place it on the Paseo de Prado, also known as Paseo de Marti o Prado.