The Daily Heller: Cuba’s Most Stylish Illustrator

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Born in Cárdenas, Cuba, Conrado Walter Massaguer (1889–1965) spent much of his youth in Mexico and the United States. Returning to Havana in 1908, he formed an advertising agency and eventually moved into magazine publishing. He and his brother Oscar founded two of Cuba’s most influential magazines: Social (1916–1933, 1935–1937), which catered to elites, and Carteles (1919–1960), aimed at a more popular audience.

In the late 1920s, Massaguer exhibited his caricatures in Paris and toured Europe, and then spent most of the 1930s as a political exile in New York, where he contributed artwork to American magazines. He returned to his homeland later that decade and solidified his reputation as a celebrated caricaturist of world leaders and other public figures.

Earlier this year, The Wolfsonian–Florida International University presented an exhibition, Cuban Caricature and Culture: The Art of Massaguer, made possible by Vicki Gold Levi and her donation of Massaguer's works. See more of his output and learn about his significance as a graphic designer/artist here.