Museo de Artes Decorativas in Havana, Cuba. “A beautiful house built in the 1920's with an amazing collection of furniture and decorative items. Old photographs on display on the upper floor show dinners and parties which Countess de Revilla de Camargo, one of the wealthiest women in Cuba, held at her palatial residence with guests including Edward Prince of Windsor and Wallis Duchess of Windsor among many other aristocrats, movie stars, politicians and intellectuals from Cuba and across the world, ending with a metal detector searching for the vault filled with silver which had been hidden away when the Countess left for America after the revolution, leaving her house and her treasures behind, now the Museum of Decorative Arts in Havana. Designed in Paris by architects P. Virad and M. Destuque in a mix of Neoclassical and French Renaissance styles and built between 1924-27 with interior design by Jansen of Paris and “one of the most attractive staircases to be found in Cuban residential architecture”, the house is now a museum full of an international collection of beautiful decorative items and furniture including stunning Chinese folding screens, Lalique glass from France and, from Britain, Paul Storr silver, Wedgewood and furniture by Chippendale and (attributed to) Robert Adam. A must-see is the Countess’s pink marble art deco bathroom.
The gardens were as important as the house, in effect outdoor rooms for parties and dinners, landscaped with sculptures and water-features.
As with many museums in Cuba, it is best if you understand a little Spanish. The guides are very knowledgeable and provide a great deal of information about the history of the building, the furnishings and decorative objects on display. There is a leaflet in English which helps a little, but you will not gain a full appreciation of the collection.
In addition to the admission charge, there is an additional cost for a photography permit.” (Source: Ian C London @tripadvisor
On assignment 11/2015
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