Visual Arts

3-D images capture historic Cuban moments

New look:  Ricardo Mutuberría, left, and Dr. Plinio Hurtado put together the ‘Republic of Cuba, birth of a nation’ exhibit of historic 3-D images, on display in Coral Gables.
New look: Ricardo Mutuberría, left, and Dr. Plinio Hurtado put together the ‘Republic of Cuba, birth of a nation’ exhibit of historic 3-D images, on display in Coral Gables. el Nuevo Herald

A Cuban doctor, who lives and works in Australia and practices 3-D photography as a hobby, found several stereographic images of Cuba shot during the mid-19th century in the Library of Congress. He’s now exhibiting a selection of those images in a Coral Gables gallery in commemoration of the 113th anniversary of the independence of Cuba.

The exhibit, “Republic of Cuba, birth of a nation,” was organized by Dr. Plinio R. Hurtado and agricultural engineer Ricardo Mutuberria. It will be on display through June 15 in the Cata & Joya Fine Arts Gallery, 815 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables.

Hurtado explained that the exhibit is an arrangement of 3-D photographs that allow the viewer to see how life was in Cuba from 1859 to 1902. The photographs capture crucial moments in Cuba’s history, including scenes of the so-called Hispanic-Cuban-North American war, its eventual independence and the birth of the republic on May 20, 1902.

“I didn’t know that there were graphic archives of that epoch and those moments in existence,” said Hurtado, who has 200 images.

Hurtado still gets excited talking about how he found the images. He was investigating some notes about 3-D cameras in the Library of Congress in Washington when he came across a photograph of Havana in 1859. He rushed to call Mutuberria in Buenos Aires. Mutuberria is Hurtado’s childhood friend and an amateur historian.

From that moment, about three years ago, both Cuban-born professionals joined forces to make the exhibit of these historical images possible.

For Hurtado, viewing the 3-D images gives an insider’s perspective to “the history of Cuba in a way that hasn’t been experienced ever before.”

If you go

What: “Republic of Cuba, birth of a nation”

Where: Cata & Joya Fine Arts, 815 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Coral Gables.

When: Through June 15.

Cost: Free.

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