of Southern Florida
Cuba is often identified with its flora and fauna. Natives and tourists alike remember Cubas romantic landscapes, brightly colored flowers and birds, and delicious fruits.
Cuba's plants and animals have been illustrated throughout the country's history. The Amerindians were the first to depict the species they encountered. Following the Spanish Conquest, Europeans began to prepare illustrations of Cuban plants and animals, which were usually published in books.
Some Cuban species were illustrated from specimens collected inside Cuba.
Others were drawn or painted after specimens collected elsewhere in the
New World, as many plants and animals present in Cuba also thrive in other
lands. Plants and animals also appeared in Cuban landscapes and still
lifes, and have been incorporated into tourist souvenirs and other ornamental
objects to market the island as a tropical paradise.
This online exhibit is based upon an exhibition shown at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, September 6, 2002 - January 19, 2003. The exhibition, the first of its kind, consisted of approximately 500 examples of printed illustrations from the private collection of independent scholar Emilio Cueto, who served as guest curator.
Flora and Fauna
Museum of Southern Florida