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City: New York, NY
Country: USAAddress: 767 Third Avenue. Fourth Floor, New York, NY, 10017
Website: www.cintasfoundation.org Uploaded artworks: 1 Uploaded artist: 1
Oscar Benjamin Cintas, (b. Sagua la Grande, Cuba, 1887; d. New York City, N.Y. 1957) was a prominent sugar and railroad magnate who served as Cubaâ€™s ambassador to the United States from 1932 until 1934.
He was educated in London, and became director of the Cuban Railroad Companyâ€™s sugar mills in Punta Alegre, Jatibonico and Jobabo. He was president of Railroad Equipment of Brazil and Argentina, director of the American Car and Foundry and the American Locomotive Sales Corporation, and had business interests in Europe.
As a patron of the arts and with the advice of the legendary Alfred H. Barr Jr., Mr. Cintas assembled a collection of Old Masters and modern paintings that was once considered among the best in Latin America. In 1940, he lent one of the pieces from the collection, Rembrandtâ€™s Portrait of a Rabbi on a Wide Cap, to the Masterpieces of Art exhibition at the New York Worldâ€™s Fair.
Mr. Cintas also collected manuscripts, and his acquisitions included the sole first edition of Cervantesâ€™ Don Quijote, and the fifth and final manuscript of Abraham Lincolnâ€™s "Gettysburg Address", once owned by the family of Col. Alexander Bliss, and known as the Bliss copy. Mr. Cintasâ€™ purchase of the manuscript, for $54,000, in 1949, set a record at the time for the sale of a document at a public auction. The manuscript, the only one to which Lincoln added his signature, is exhibited in the Lincoln Room of the White House.
Before his death in 1957, Mr. Cintas entrusted the administration of his estate, including his art collection, to The Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A., with Ethan Alyea serving as legal counsel. With the help and encouragement of David Rockefeller, Mr. Alyea named a blue ribbon board of trustees to carry out Mr. Cintasâ€™ wishes for a foundation. Early members of the board included Theodore Rousseau, curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Porter A. McCray, director of the International Program at New Yorkâ€™s Museum of Modern Art, and A. Hyatt Mayor, curator of prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The foundationâ€™s original name, the Cuban Art Foundation, was changed in 1962 to honor its founder.
The legacy of Oscar B. Cintas has fostered the development of Cuban artists outside of Cuba for the last 41 years, promoting the professional development of these artists and the continuity of Cuban traditions in art. The foresight of Oscar Cintas has resulted in more than 300 fellowships and grants to creative writers, architects, composers, visual artists and filmmakers, many of whom have later achieved national and international renown. The roster of Cintas fellows is a testament to the talent and creativity of the Cubans and their direct descendants who have lived outside the island since 1959. The Cintas Foundation is the oldest entity in the United States dedicated to the support of artists of the Cuban diaspora.
In addition to the fellowships, the Cintas foundation oversees two major art collections in the United States and sponsors exhibitions curated from these collections. The Cintas Fellows collection is composed of works donated by the fellows in appreciation of the Cintas fellowship. It has grown to be the largest body of Cuban art outside of Cuba and continues to grow regularly.
The CINTAS Foundation awards fellowships annually to creative artists of Cuban lineage who are currently residing outside of Cuba.
The Cintas Foundation was established with funds from the estate of the late Oscar B. Cintas, a former Cuban ambassador to the United States and a prominent industrialist and patron of the arts. Cintas Fellowships acknowledge demonstrated creative accomplishments and encourage the development of creative artists in architecture, literature, music composition, and the visual arts. Past recipients include Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Oscar Hijuelos, playwright Maria Irene Fornes, painter Carlos Alfonzo, photographer Andres Serrano, architect Andres Martin Duany, sculptor Maria Elena Gonzales, and composer Orlando Garcia.
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