Juan Martínez was born September 2, 1951 in Jaruco, Cuba, a rural town east of Havana. He died on October 11, 2020 in Miami, Fl.

Dr. Martínez helped create the foundation for scholarly work about Cuban art. In 1994, Martínez published Cuban Art & National Identity: The Vanguardia Painters 1927-1950, the first book to examine the art of the Vanguardia painters. He also authored Carlos Enríquez: The Painter of Cuban Ballads and María Brito, the latter of which won first place in the Best Arts Book category at the 11th Annual International Latino Book Awards in 2010.

He was a renowned scholar who brought Cuban art to the forefront of scholarship. His journey researching Cuban art history and his dedication to education transformed a generation of artists and scholars.


Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
Ph.D. in Art History, Modern Art. 1991.
Dissertation title:Cuban Art and National Identity, The Vanguardia Painters: 1920s-1940s.

Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
M.A. in Art History, Medieval Art. 1977.
Thesis title: A Study of the Sculpture on the Portal of the Basilica of Santa Maria of Ripoll.

University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
B.A. in Liberal Arts. 1974. Major: Art History. Minor: Philosophy.

Miami-Dade Community College, Miami, FL
A.A. in Liberal Arts. 1972.

Teaching Experience

Florida International University, M & M Campus, Art and Art History Department, Miami, Fl. 33199. Professor Emeritus 2013- present. Chair 2006-2011; Professor 2005-2013; Associate Professor 1996; Assistant Professor 1990. Teaching responsibilities: Modern Art, Art and Politics, History of Cuban Art, Latin American Modern Art, Methodology, and Special Topics in 20th Century Art.

Miami-Dade Community College, Wolfson Campus, Arts Department, Miami, Fl. 33132. Associate Professor 1984-89; Assistant Professor 1981-84; Instructor 1978-81. Teaching responsibilities: Art History Survey I and II, Modern Art, and Interdisciplinary Humanities.

Book, Chapters, Articles, and Catalogue Essays

“On Walker Evans Havana Citizen, 1933,” Art on Cuba 20(December 18- May 2019): 48-50.

“Juan A. Martinez and Demi- A Conversation,” Demi, New York: Skira, 2018

“Modern Cuban Art: An Introduction.” Cuban Art in the 20th Century Tallahassee, Museum of Fine Arts, FSU, February, 2016

“Demi’s Sun and Moon Children.” Demi: In The Eyes of a Child Miami, MIA Central Terminal Gallery, October 2015

“The Miami Generation: 1983-2013.” The Miami Generation Revisited The Museum of Art, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, July-September 2014

“Representing lo cubano: Cuban Painting, 1900-1950.” Cuban Art and Identity: 1900-1950 Vero Beach Museum of Art, Florida. October 2013-February 2014.

Carlos Enríquez 1900-1957: The Painter of Cuban Ballads. Miami, Editorial Cernuda Arte. 2010.

Maria Brito. A Ver: Rethinking Art History monograph series. Los Angeles, UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press, 2010. (Peer Reviewed)

“Wifredo Lam in North American Collections: A Look at The Eternal Presence, 1944.”
Wifredo Lam. Miami: Miami Art Museum, 2008: 32-39.

“Social and Political Commentary in Cuban Modernist Painting of the 1930s,”
Social Realism in the Western Hemisphere: A Critical Examination of Art Between the Wars. Alejandro Anreus, Diane Linden, and Jonathan Weinberg, eds. Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2006 (Peer Reviewed)

“Guido Llinás the Printmaker: An Interview/Essay” Guido Llinás: Forgotten Cuban Master. Bethlehem: Lehigh University Art Galleries, 2003: 17-20.
“Los Paisajes Míticos de un Pintor Cubano: La Jungla de Wifredo Lam.” José Manuel Noceda ed. Wifredo Lam: La cosecha de un brujo La Habana: Editorial Letras Cubanas, 2002: 425-37 (Reprint and translation of 1986 article in Caribbean Review)

“Cuban Vanguardia Painting in the 1930s.” José Veigas, Cristina Vives, et al. Eds. Memoria: Cuban Art in the Twentieth Century. Los Angeles: California International Arts Foundation, 2002: 52-55.
“Modernismo, Criollismo e identidad: el romancero guajiro de Carlos Enríquez (1934-43)” Estudios 19 (Caracas, enero-julio, 2002):209-226. (Peer Reviewed)

“Carlos Enríquez y sus declaraciones artísticas sobre el romancero guajiro,” Revista de la Biblioteca Nacional José Martí, 3-4(La Habana, julio-diciembre, 2000): 24-29.

“Lo Blanco-Criollo as lo Cubano: The Symbolization of a Cuban National Identity in Modernist Painting of the 1940s.” Damian J. Fernandez and Madeline Cámara eds. Cuba, the Elusive Nation. Interpretations of National Identity. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2000: 277-291. (Peer Reviewed)

“Cuban Painting in the Republican Period,1902-1959.” Cuba-A History in Art. Daytona Beach: The Museum of Arts and Sciences, 1997.

“The Invisible Modernism: Early Twentieth Century Latin American Vanguard Art.” Art Nexus. 24 (Bogotá, April-June 1997) (Peer Reviewed)
“The Group Los Once and Cuban art in the 1950s.” Guido Llinás and Los Once After Cuba. Miami: The Art Museum at Florida International University, 1997

“Una introdución a la pintura cubana moderna, 1927-1950.” Cuba: Siglo XX, Modernidad y Sincretismo. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, 1996. (Peer Reviewed)

"Antonia Eiriz in Retrospect." Antonia Eiriz.Fort Lauderdale: Museum of Art, 1995.

Some Observations on Arturo Rodríguez's Life and Paintings." Crossings. Fort Lauderdale: Museum of Art, 1994.

Cuban Art and National Identity: The Vanguardia Painters, 1927-50. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1994. (Peer Reviewed)   
"Cuban Vanguard Painting in the 1930s." Latin American Art. 2 (Arizona: Spring 1993): 36-39. (Peer Reviewed)
"A Preliminary Study of Agustín Fernández' Formative Phase," Agustín Fernández: A Retrospective. Miami: The Art Museum at Florida International University, 1992.

"Afrocubans and National Identity, Modern Cuban Painting: 1920s-1940s." Athanor XI. (Tallahassee: Florida State University, FL 1992): 70-75 (Peer Reviewed)

"Modernism, Tradition, and Nationalism: Carlos Enríquez' 'El Rapto de las Mulatas'." Caribbean Studies. 1-2 (San Juan PR: Summer 1989): 101-111 (Peer Reviewed)

"The Mythical Landscapes of a Cuban Painter: Wifredo Lam's 'La Jungla'." Caribbean Review. 2 (Miami: Florida International University, 1986): 32-36 (Peer Reviewed)

Exhibitions and Book Reviews
Andrea O’Reilly Herrera. Cuban Artists Across the Diaspora, Latino Studies (submitted)

Alejandro Anreus. Orozco in Gringoland. Art Journal vol.62 no.1, Spring 2003

Lynette M.F. Bosch. Ernesto Barreda, 1946-1996. Art Nexus No. 23, January-March, 1997

Edward Lucie-Smith. Latin American Art and Marta Traba. Art of Latin America 1900-1980 Hispanic-American Historical Review, Vol. 76, No. 2, May 1996

Luis Camnitzer. New Art of Cuba. Art Nexus No. 14, October-December 1994

The Studio Museum in Harlem. Wifredo Lam and his Contemporaries 1938-1952. Art Nexus. No. 57, January-March 1994

Catalogue and Encyclopedia Entries

Christie’s Important Latin American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture (Part I and II) New York, NY. November 15 and 16, 2005 (Entry: Wifredo Lam)

Christie’s Important Latin American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture (Part I and II) New York, NY. May 25 and 26, 2005 (Entry: Wifredo Lam)

Encyclopedia of Cuba (2 vols.) Luis Martínez Fernández, D.H. Figueredo, & Louis Pérez Jr. Eds. Westport, CT: The Oryx Press, 2003. (Entries: Carlos Enríquez, Wifredo Lam, Víctor Manuel, Amelia Pélaez, and Fidelio Ponce)

Christie’s Important Latin American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture (Part I and II) New York, NY. May 28 & 29, 1997 (Entries: Mario Carreño, Mirta Cerra, and Rene Portocarrero)

Christie’s Important Latin American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture (Part I) New York, NY. May 15, 1996. (Entries: Mario Carreño and Fidelio Ponce)

Christie's Important Latin American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture (Part I & II) New York, NY. November 21, 1995. (Entries: Mario Carreño, Carlos Enríquez, Víctor Manuel, and René Portocarrero).

Christie's Important Latin American Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture (Part I) New York, NY. May 16, 1995. (Entries: Mario Carreño and Mariano Rodríguez).

Selected Papers Presented in Professional Conferences and Invited Lectures
Wifredo Lam, entre el Caribe y Europa Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico, October 30th, 2008
Cuban Art in Miami since 2000 Cuban Art Today Symposium, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, April 10, 2008.

The Artistic Vanguard in Cuba, 1920s-1940s Cuba: Art and History from 1868 to Today, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montreal, Canada, April 2, 2008

Beyond Picasso and Afro-Cuban Culture: Wifredo Lam’s The Eternal Presence, 1944 Wifredo Lam in North America, Miami Art Museum, Florida, February 10, 2008

Maria Brito’s Symbolic Interiors and the Cuban-American Experience Siglo XXI, Latino Research into the 21st Century, University of Texas at Austin, TX. January 27-30, 2005 (Peer Reviewed)

Primitivism from Within, Aspects of the Life and Work of Wifredo Lam and Carlos Enríquez. Conference on Caribbean Visual Culture. Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, New York University, New York, April 24-25, 2003 (Peer Reviewed)

La representación de una cultura blanco-criolla en la pintura moderna cubana de la década del 1940 Centenario del Natalicio de Wifredo Lam (a conference on the occasion of Lam’s centennial birthday)) Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, La Habana, Cuba. December 10, 2002 (Peer Reviewed)

Afrocubanismo, Criollismo, Barroquismo y Lo Cubano en la pintura del período republicano. Latin American Studies Association, XXIII International Congress, Washington D.C., September 7, 2001 (Peer Reviewed)

Cuban Colonial and Republican Art: Thematic Continuities. Cuban Collection, Museum of Arts and Sciences, Daytona Beach, Florida, May 1, 2001

Contemporary Cuban Art, A Synthesis of the National and the International.Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Clarion, Pennsylvania, March 15, 2001        

From Modern to Contemporary: Cuban and Cuban American Art from the Lowe’s Permanent Collection. Lowe Art Museum, Coral Gables, Florida, February 1, 2001

From the Good Neighbor Policy to the Trade with the Enemy Act: Cuban Art Exhibitions in the United States, 1939-1995 Austin Museum of Art, Austin, Texas, September 24, 1999

Imagining the Nation: Cuban Painting in the Republican Period, 1902-1958 Institute of Latin American Sudies, University College London, London, UK. November 27, 1998

La Pintura Moderna en Cuba, la Escuela de París y la Expresión de lo Cubano. Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. April 16, 1996

The Invisible Modernism: Early 20th Century Latin American Vanguard Art. Southeastern College Art Conference, Washington D.C., October 13, 1995 (Peer Reviewed)
The African Presence in Cuban Art, 1920-1995. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL. March 17, 1995

Memory and National Identity in Cuban Art. Norton Gallery of Art, West Palm Beach, FL. October 23, 1994

The African Presence in Contemporary Cuban Art, 1945-1993. Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI. April 22, 1994

Afrocubanismo and its History. Panelist, Brandeis University, Boston, April 20, 1994

Examining the African Presence in Cuban Art and Society. Panelist. Nexus Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GA. February 25, 1994

The Art and Experiences of the First Generation of Cuban-American Artists. Panelist. The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY. November 8, 1993

Latin American Art and Its Impact on Contemporary Art. Panelist. The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY. January 23, 1993

Fidelio Ponce and his Times. The Cuban Museum of Art and Culture, Miami, FL. November 20, 1992

The Representation of the Peasant as a Metaphor for the Nation: Cuban Painting 1930s. Latin American Studies Association, XV International Congress, Los Angeles, CA. September 25, 1992. (Peer Reviewed)

The Art and Experiences of the First-Generation of Cuban-American Artists in Miami. College Art Association, 80th Annual Conference, Chicago, IL. February 12-15, 1992.

The Art of Juan González: 1975-1990. Center for the Fine Arts, Miami, FL. February 6, 1992.

The Afro-Cuban Presence in Cuban Art, 1850-1950. International Congress of Americanists, New Orleans, LA. July 7-11, 1991. (Peer Reviewed)

Other Conference Related Activities

Wifredo Lam in North America: A Symposium. Moderator. Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL. May 17, 2008

Women in Cuban Art: The Artist and the Image. Chair/Discussant. 6th CRI Conference on Cuban and Cuban-American Studies. Florida International University, Miami, FL. February 6-7, 2006
Latin American Art: The Critical Discourse from Within. Co-chair with Dr. Alejandro Anreus. 28th Annual Conference of the Association of British Art Historians, Liverpool, UK. April 5-7, 2002
Points of Contact Between Cuban and American Art. Chair, 4th CRI Conference on Cuban and Cuban-American Studies, Florida International University, Miami, FL. March 6-9, 2002   
Cuban Art: Encounters, Divergences, Transculturation, and Crossovers, Chair. College Art Association 87th Annual Conference, Los Angeles, CA. February 10-13, 1999

Contemporary Cuban Art: from Modernism to Post-Modernism, Chair. 1st CRI Conference on Cuban and Cuban-American Studies. Florida International University, Miami, FL. October 10, 1997

Cuban Art and Identity: 1900-1950 Vero Beach Museum of Art, Florida, October 17, 2013- February 2, 2014.

From Modern to Contemporary, A Selection of Cuban and Cuban-    American Art from the Lowe’s Collection Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, November 15, 2000

Origins of Modern Cuban Painting Frances Wolfson Art Gallery, Miami-Dade Community College, Miami, Florida, October 12, 1982

Film Appearances

Alice Neel 2007, documentary by Andrew Neel. Interview   
Current Research

Writing a monograph on the Cuban modern painter Fidelio Ponce de León (1895-1949)


Cintas Foundation Life Achievement Award, 2018
FIU Top Scholar Award, 2013
12th Annual International Latino Book Award. First Place, Triple Crown
Award Winner for monograph: Maria Brito, 2010

MacArthur Foundation Grant, 2001

Ford Foundation Travel Grant, 1996

Ford Foundation Travel Grant, 1995

Teaching Incentive Program Award, FIU 1995

Faculty Development Grant, FIU, 1995

Ford Foundation Travel Grant, 1993

Mellon Research Grant, 1992.

Samuel H. Kress Foundation Traveling Fellowship, 1990.

Florida State University Fellowship, 1986.

Florida Endowment for the Humanities, 1982

Membership in Professional Organizations

College Art Association of America.

Latin American Studies Association