Museum of Fine Arts in Havana Cuba

Art In Havana: An Explosion Of Color And Expression From A Local (2024)!

Art Galleries are all over Havana, which is super famous for its art scene, not to mention the street art that you can see everywhere if you have a curious eye! 

After traveling to Havana and Cuba regularly for five years, I still love to walk the streets and soak up the ambiance, especially in Old Havana. The typical colorful pieces of art in Havana are peering at you from little galleries and shops all around the city. 

Often, walls and structures in the city are covered in small and large surprises of artsy details, ornaments, a mix of modern murals, and architectural gems from the colonial era!

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Cuban Art Is Everywhere In Cuba!

The huge foyer at the Museo de Bellas Arte in Havana with massive white elegant columns leading to the wide white stairs to the second floor. The stairway is framed by white marble decorated fences, and the details of the walls and arched doorways on the opposite walls are light yellow and exquisite.
Museo de Bellas Arte Havana

Admiring art in Cuba is easy; it is everywhere and is not just confined to galleries. With a keen eye, you will see fine details throughout the city in plazas, buildings, and architecture.

Hundreds of walls are decorated with murals, statues in every park, ornaments on facades, and in many ways, the classic colonial buildings are a piece of art in themselves.

Havana Art Galleries List Overview

Elegant but run down colonial buildings along the Prado Avenue in Havana in light blue, light yellow and pink painted colors with elaborate details on the windows, doors and balconies.
Colonial buildings along the Prado in Havana

Wandering around the city, you can find a wide range of Cuban art galleries.

From really touristy venues that you find 13 by the dozen to high-end art galleries, you can find everything from cheap memorabilia to seriously high-quality pieces of amazing art.

Below is a listing of some art galleries in Havana that you might find useful and interesting.

Unfortunately, many galleries or artists are still not online in Cuba. Very few have their own web page, but some are on Facebook with their information.

Havana Art Tour By Classic Car

Havana is often called the capital of Cuban art, and for good reason. You can discover how art became central to the city by tracing this tradition back to the founding of the San Alejandro National School of Fine Arts in 1818.

A Havana art tour by classic car will introduce you to the diverse world of contemporary Cuban art, its many forms, and the artists who create it. You’ll even get to meet some of these talented people in person!

Driving through modern Havana, you will see the footprints of organizations like Casa de las Americas and the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba.

Plus, you’ll take in the outside of buildings such as the National School of Art (ENA) and today’s San Alejandro School of Fine Arts.

Walking through Havana’s historic center, you will visit key sites like the Taller Experimental de la Gráfica, the Carmen Montilla Gallery, and more.

The Artist Dieguez In Old Havana

Cuban art shop in his studio slash showroom in Old Havana
Cuban artist in Havana

At the end of Calle (street) Cuarteles 4b, between Cuba and Aguiar, is a small one-room studio that Luis Angel Gonzales is sharing with an artist colleague. I met him randomly walking around the city, taking photos one day.

His artist’s name is Dieguez, which is his mother’s maiden name, and using that name is how he feels he can bring her into his artwork. 

Luis Angel is an inspiring person, talking super enthusiastically about how he wants to express what is happening in the world and the way he sees it. Drop by when you are in Havana.

It is a small street and a small door, but you can just ask your way!

Art And Politics In Cuba

The guilded bronze statue inside the Capitolio building in Havana
Bronze statue in the Capitolio

As with sport, art and politics are not very far apart in Cuba. For decades, both have been entangled in the revolutionary mindset.

Pieces of art are either pro-revolution or contra, hardly neutral. As are sports.

Street art in Havana, a dancer painted on the wall with the text: "To us never quitting to dance".
Street art in Havana

Yet, there are so many beautiful pieces in more or less well-known galleries around the island. 

Although still subject to regulations even on the art scene, Havana, in particular, is home to some international happenings like the Havana Art Biennial!

Tourist shop in Havana with lots of artwork, including typical colorful Cuban paintings
Shop in Havana

Gallery Forma In Obispo Street Old Havana

A large red painting of a woman in Gallery Forma in Obispo Street in Havana, in an eclectic rough style. A table with bright red decorative vases.
Gallery Forma in Obispo Street

Towards the end of Obispo Street, you find Forma Galeria, presenting a different form of Cuban art.

A mix of a gallery, arts and craft center, and tourist shop.

Displayed are a variety of applied arts, colorful paintings and sculptures as well as pots and pans, and bags and accessories. 

Buying Art In Cuba

Colorful art piece in Hotel Nacional in the Vedado, Havana
Art piece in Hotel Nacional in the Vedado Havana

Normally, the art scene is buzzing, and hopefully, the list above gave you an impression and maybe inspiration for your Havana art travel. 

During the pandemic, a lot of art galleries, shops, and museums had to shut down. Hopefully, most of them are back up, and you can contact the galleries or artists directly to find out if they are currently open.

The problem is not finding beautiful or interesting pieces of art in Havana. More so, you have to figure out how to transport it home if you fall in love with a piece and buy it on this island! 

Chances are, it will not fit in your pre-booked hand luggage.

Visit the Havana Arts and Culture Travel Guide Online here!

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