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Revolution of Forms: Cuba's Forgotten Art Schools Paperback – December 1, 1998

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Loomis poignantly charts the fledgling Revolution's attempt at a fresh definition of Cubanidad and its suffocation by Soviety centralization...Rigorously researched, elegantly written, and sensitively illustrated, the book is imbued, through the beauty and strangeness of its story, with the flavour of a magic realist novel. Juliet Barclay, The Architectural Review

About the Author

John A. Loomis is an associate professor of architecture at the City College of New York. He has written for Design Book Review, Progressive Architecture, Places, and Oculus.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton Architectural Press; 1 edition (December 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568981570
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568981574
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.7 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,136,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By George Schnurle on January 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you are willing to tackle a superbly written book on the architecture of these buildings, you will find that the real art in this book is Loomis' telling of the intensely human story of the people who created them. Through the many details of Loomis' excellent research, the reader becomes part of the early days of post-revolutionary Cuba; first feeling the inspiration of the creation of these uniquely beautiful buildings and then the despair at their inevitable fall from grace. Not incidentally, the book also is an excellent reference on bureaucratic destruction (more powerful than a wrecking ball...)
If John had only given a little more information on how the Catalan arch can be constructed without scaffolding, the book would have been perfect.
I'm now considering reading "Ay, Cuba! : A Socio-Erotic Journey" (by Andrei Codrescu) as a chaser, but contrast of styles could cause permanent neural fracturing...
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Format: Paperback
I think that John A. Loomis was very through in his research of Cuba's forgotten Art Schools. He put a lot of time and work into making this book as informative and educational as possible. The comparisons of the art schools in the 60's to how they are today is remarkable. He shows how over time the once beautiful and rapidly developing Cuba has been forgotten and now is quickly deteriorating and losing it's beauty. I think that John A. Loomis wrote this book with a lot of knowledge and understanding of Cuba and it's art schools.
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Format: Paperback
La tarde del 3 enero de 1961, Fidel y el Che jugaron una partida de golf en el exclusivo Country Club de La Habana. El hecho hubiera sido irrelevante si no es porque, conmovidos por el esplendoroso paisaje y el bien cuidado campo y euforicos por la campana de alfabetizacion que habian iniciado dos dias antes, a los dirigentes se les ocurrio la idea de que en ese mismo lugar se deberia construir unas escuelas internacionales de artes, calificadas luego por Fidel como "La mas hermosa academia de artes de todo el mundo" (Noticias de Hoy, 4 mayo 1963). El propio Fidel escogio al arquitecto Ricardo Porro y fue Selma Diaz quien le llevo la encomienda. La historia la recoge John A. Loomis en su polemico libro "Revolution of Forms: Cuba's Forgotten Art Schools".
Treinta y ocho anos despues de esa partida, las Escuelas de Artes de Porro, Gottardi y Garatti siguen siendo objeto de grandes polemicas. Loomis, en su apologia las reivindica como la obra emblematica de la revolucion cubana. Arquitectura Cuba dedica su numero 377 a Ricardo Porro y sus escuelas de Artes Plasticas y de Danza Moderna y el numero siguiente (378) a Roberto Gottardi y su Escuela de Arte Dramatico.
La polemica sigue abierta.
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By A Customer on November 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is the best source out there on these schools. It covers the politics of the time in Cuba, the design process, and all of the schools. I only wish it had more detailed information on the catalan vault system. There are great photos and floorplans, but no sections or construction drawings.
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Format: Paperback
I used to live in Havana and went there recently three years ago. There, I took some tours of the art schools and it was rather sad the condition of the buildings.

This is the only book that has documents on these very special places.

Sincerely,

Alfonso Lopez Cousiño
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