Massaguer, Conrado (1889–1965) By Fraunhar, Alison
Conrado W. Massaguer is remembered as the dominant force in graphic arts and popular periodicals in Cuba from the 1910s through the 1950s. During his long career, Massaguer created and published a number of magazines, including the highly influential Social and the widely popular Carteles. Citing Charles Dana Gibson and James Montgomery Flagg as influences, Massaguer developed a distinctive visual style in illustration and caricature, creating an instantly identifiable modernist look in his magazine covers and ads whose impact spread across Latin America. His sense of style extended to layout and content, modernizing and updating the Belle Epoque aesthetic previously dominant in Cuba. He was a founding member of the influential association of artists, writers, and theorists, the Grupo Minorista, whose Saturday lunches drew leading national and international artists and intellectuals. In addition to his activities in Cuba, Massaguer was famous internationally as an illustrator and caricaturist, publishing caricatures and illustration in Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, and other American publications along with French and German magazines. He was active against the repressive Machadato, the regime of the dictator Gerardo Machado.