Gateways to the Caribbean: Mapping the Florida-Cuba Connection
On view through January 28, “Gateways to the Caribbean” charts five centuries of connections and interaction between Florida and Cuba through rare and original maps, lithographs and other documents.
The earliest map in the exhibition was first published in 1511 by Peter Martyr, a Spaniard who had traveled with Christopher Columbus. In addition to Cuba, his map features a crudely-rendered “isla de beimini,” the native Indian name for what is now Florida.
In total, the more than 50 maps that make up “Gateways to the Caribbean” highlight the Spanish and British occupations of Cuba and Florida in the 15th and 18th centuries, the development of rail and steam ship lines that fostered trade and travel in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and tourist maps of Cuba printed both in the 1930s and as recently as 2016.
Also included in the exhibit are a collection of color lithographs depicting the British attack on Havana in 1762, in which they seized control of the island and wrested Florida away from Spain; a print by Cuban artist Ibrahim Miranda, created at the University of South Florida’s Graphics Studio in 2012; and several tourists and travel maps, on loan to the History Center from History Miami in South Florida.