Rare snapshots of the Cuban Revolution

Dominic Winter will auction a group of seven Cuba photographs taken and signed by Alberto Korda - Fidel Castro's personal photographer - at a sale in Gloucestershire, UK, this Thursday (March 4).

The photographs were all acquired privately from the photographer Keith Cardwell who, in turn, obtained them from Korda himself before his death in 2001.

Keith Cardwell knew Korda very well and set up a Korda exhibition in Savannah, USA, in 1999. He also helped mount the Cuba Si! exhibition of Cuban photographers in 2000, at the Royal National Theatre in London.

The sale includes a number of exceptional images, among them Che Guevara and Fidel Castro playing golf in military uniform, and Castro with Ernest Hemingway.

They will sell along a lesser-known photograph of Che fishing - signed and numbered example of only 50 produced - and another historic IMAGE_of Fidel Castro and Camilo Cienfuegos riding into Havana with guns on January 8, 1959.

Che goes fishing: Alberto Korda's images show another side to the Cuban

The latter IMAGE_effectively launched Korda's photojournalistic career. Cienfuegos died in a, some say suspicious, plane crash later that same year. While his legacy as a revolutionary is more obscure than Guevara, his photographs are rarer and very collectible as a result.

All the photographs are signed by Korda and have estimates of 500 and more. They were all acquired from Korda himself ten years ago, who printed and signed most of them personally.

Korda became Fidel Castro's personal photographer for 10 years, accompanying Castro on trips and in meetings with foreign personalities. During this time he also took pictures of demonstrations, sugar cane harvests and factory scenes.

Other less-known and often amusing Fidel Castro images by Korda include shots of Castro staring warily at a tiger in a New York zoo, playing golf and fishing with Che Guevara, skiing and hunting in Russia, and meeting Ernest Hemingway.

Korda afterwards concentrated on underwater photography throughout the 1970s, before a Japanese exhibition of his work in 1978 stimulated international interest in his work.

He suffered a fatal heart attack in Paris in 2001 while presenting an exhibition of his work, and is today buried in the Colon Cemetery, Havana.

The Photography part of Dominic Winter's two-day Books, Maps, Prints & Photographs auction will take place during the sales' second day on Thursday, March 4.


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