An Hispano Landscape: 1900–45

After the Spanish-Cuban-American War, Spaniards and Latin Americans came to New York in ever-greater numbers, increasingly making their presence felt in the wider city. Their communities and organizations served as portals, through which home country cultural influences flowed, and as crucibles, wherein innovative cultural forms were created in fruitful interplay with metropolitan institutions and peoples. 
 
The colonia hispana—to use a contemporary term that embraced all the city's Spanish-speaking communities—also mobilized around social and political issues. During the Spanish Civil War (1936-9), New York hispanos rallied to both sides of the conflict. In doing so they left behind older antagonisms, rooted in Latin American struggles against the Spanish empire, that had divided them along national lines. The result was a more cohesive Spanish-speaking community, one better prepared to meet the challenges of the postwar era.

Joaquín Torres-García (Uruguay, 1874–1949), New York Docks, 1920. Oil and gouache on cardboard. Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of Collection Société Anonyme. A native of Uruguay, Joaquín Torres-García spent many years abroad. In New York from 1920-22, captivated by the city’s “thousands of new forms in motion,” Torres-García painted the tall buildings and modes of transportation that linked “Business Town” to the rest of the world. His style of modernist expression would later exert great influence in Latin America. 
Joaquín Torres-García (Uruguay, 1874–1949), New York Docks, 1920. Oil and gouache on cardboard. Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of Collection Société Anonyme.
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