Tulla Booth Gallery: Cuba, 1959

Burt Glinn’s “Castro Speaks in Santa Clara, January 5, 1959."
Burt Glinn’s “Castro Speaks in Santa Clara, January 5, 1959."
Burt Glinn’s “Castro Speaks in Santa Clara, January 5, 1959.”

The Tulla Booth Gallery in Sag Harbor will present “Cuba 1959: Photographs by Burt Glinn,” showcasing photography of the Cuban Revolution as it unfolded.

“At 11pm. on December 31, 1958, I decided to fly to Cuba,” said Mr. Glinn. “At daybreak, I was sharing the streets of Havana with hundreds of delirious Cubans. Within four days, I had found Fidel, and by January 10 this project was completed.”

On New Year’s Eve 1958, young Magnum photographer was celebrating at a black tie party in New York. All the talk that evening was of corrupt Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista, rumored to be ready to flee for his life from Havana and said to have already backed his army trucks up to the treasury. Mr. Glinn borrowed $400 from Magnum president Cornell Capa, grabbed his camera gear, raced to La Guardia just in time to make the last flight to Miami. He arrived just after dawn in Havana.

In Mr. Glinn’s words, “We neither slept nor ate regularly nor bathed on the nine-day trip to Havana. But those were great days. I did learn then that a good cigar can be life sustaining. But I also remember the wild hopes and the ominous portents that filled those few brief days. I only wished in all these years since then that Fidel had done the Cuban people better and that we had been smarter.”

The Tulla Booth Gallery, 66 Main Street in Sag Harbor, is open 12:30 to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. The exhibit will be on view through September 30. For more information, call (917) 697-8459 or visit tullaboothgallery.com.