CONVERSATIONS: The St. George Collection

On January 30, Dr. Lillian Guerra presented “Witness to Revolution: Cuba & the Photography of Andrew St. George.” This collection is a gift of Andrew Szentgyorgyi and his family, the Andrew St. George Collection represents the experiences and vast work of one of the most prolific and historically important photojournalists of the Twentieth Century. Comprising over 8,000 photographic prints, negatives, slides, contact sheets as well as manuscripts and documents, the collection documents Andrew’s early contributions to the liberation of Hungary from Nazi control and democratic struggles against dictatorship in Cuba as well as the Caribbean and Latin America more broadly from the mid-1950s through the early 1970s.

Cuban highlights of the archive include thousands of never-before-seen images of Fidel Castro’s ten-day trip to New York in September 1960 to speak at the United Nations; an array of unique portraits of anti-Castro rebel groups as they organized raids on Cuba such as Manuel Ray’s Movimiento Revolucionario del Pueblo; and diverse shots of rural and urban Cuba before the consolidation of Communist rule. The collection also offers an intimate look at key events in Latin America’s Cold War history such as the assassination of the Dominican Republic’s long-time dictator Rafael Trujillo; the execution of Ernesto “Che” Guevara in 1967 by Bolivian special forces; the rise of Peasant Leagues that demanded land reform in Brazil shortly before the CIA backed a coup that inaugurated military rule from 1964 to 1986; and scenes of François Duvalier’s Haiti and Nicaragua under the Somozas’ rightwing dynasty.

The Program