Cuba’s National Art Schools: Reassessing Utopia

Born out of the political utopian aspirations of the Cuban Revolution, the dramatic brick and terra-cotta National Art Schools, founded in 1961, represent a fleeting moment in the history of Latin American modernism. Only two of the five schools that were originally designed were completed. Following years of neglect, a decision was made in 1999 to restore and complete the schools. WMF included them on the World Monuments Watch in 2000, 2002, and 2016. In 2015, Cuban architect and architectural historian Eduardo Luis Rodríguez discussed the complexities of recent restoration and rebuilding efforts, and reflected on the schools’ future in light of Cuba’s evolving circumstances.