Organized into two series: I. Humberto Dionisio papers; II. Zaida Ortega Dominquez papers; within each series arranged into subseries by record type and chronological thereunder.
Access Note / Rights:
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Papers of Cuban-born Miami artist Humberto Dionisio mainly document his family and events in Cuba, primarily through letters and family memorabilia received from his mother, Zaida Ortega Dominquez. Papers relating specifically to his work as an artist are represented to a lesser degree.
Letters received are in Spanish and are predominantly from Dionisio's mother, Zaida Ortega Dominguez. A number of them are from his grandmother Nelia Dominguez Saavedra, and his cousin, dancer Zoraida Rodriguez, written from the time he left Cuba in 1980 until his death seven years later. The letters frequently mention social and political events in Cuba. The envelopes are often decorated with colorful pictures of Cuban writers and political heroes as well as fauna and flora of the island. Several include clippings from Cuban newspapers regarding art exhibitions and films. Letters from his cousin include clippings and programs of the 'Ballet de Camaguey' in which she was one of the principal dancers. Also included are letters from his mother addressed to other family members in Miami. Three letters from Zaida Ortega Dominguez to Dionisio, dated 1987, were received unopened.
Other material relating to Dionisio and his work consist of photographs of him, his family, and friends, an original watercolor, financial records, newspaper clippings, the guest list from his 1990 retrospective exhibition held at the InterAmerican Art Gallery, an essay by Giulio Blanc, and an eulogy by Carlos Alfonzo. Also, a file kept by Michael Ford, friend of Dionisio, which includes color reproductions of artwork and other miscellaneous material.
Papers of Dionisio's mother, 1919-1980s (1.2 ft.) which were in his care, include photographs of her, her family, friends, and school graduations; self-portraits, sketches and drawings, ca. 1930s by her, her birth certificate as well as her first husband's; death certificate of her son, Ricardo Padron Ortega; notes; greeting cards, and miscellany.
Humberto Dionisio papers, 1919-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Painter; b. 1950, in Cuba; d. 1987, Miami, Fla. Arrived in Miami, Florida via the Mariel boat lift in 1980. Dionisio completed his studies as a Graphic Designer in Cuba at the Consejo Nacional de Cultura in 1975 and achieved success in Miami as a painter in the mid to late eighties.
Portions of the papers are in Spanish.
Donated 1996 by Jim Kitchens, a friend of Dionisio.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001