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Jose Bofill Cayol. Self-taught painter from Santiago de Cuba, contemporary of Tejada, looks to the end of his days his hometown of Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. Founder and first Director of the museum library. Leading promoter of the arts and a zealous guardian of the Cuban cultural heritage.
He was born on November 27, 1862 at San Juan Nepomuceno not. 53, Mariano Corona in Santiago de Cuba, the son of Joseph Bosfill Buch, a British citizen and Victoria Cayol, of French nationality.
From an early age he showed a talent for painting in an art form whose first and only teacher was Antonio Vallejo. After graduating in Accounting he worked for several years in the Gas Company, while teaching private lessons in drawing. At 24 years promoted the idea of founding the Club Nautico de Santiago de Cuba. The institution became a center of conspiracies to the influence of the second war of independence against Spanish colonialism, which began in 1895.
During the war of 1895 served as a liaison between insurgent groups being discovered and sent into exile. Thus began a difficult but crucial time in his life, went straight to Haiti, where he drew pen cards bearing the images of Martí and Maceo, who were acquired by immigrants. He then traveled to Costa Rica and finally to New York, where he worked under the orders of Estrada Palma, in this American city he taught painting, drawing and designed buildings and monuments, including the first tomb of José Martí and the medallion of the pantheon erected to Fred Capdevila, advocates medical students shot by the Spanish. At this stage he emphasizes in his creative work, the portraits of the leading figures of independence, which were drawn or sold by the delegations of the Cuban Revolutionary Party to swell their economic backgrounds.
In May 1898 he returned to Santiago de Cuba and in conjunction with the famous patriot and writer Emilio Bacardi Moreau, then Mayor of the city, founded the museum and local library and was appointed as director of the institution. For over four decades he defended the cultural treasures contained the museum library, fighting for years for the enrichment of both institutions, making an effort in incalculable Museum Committees for the structuring of a protective network of partners in order to swell funds and maintain existing ones, and the organization of the institution and the activities of cultural activities.
His devotion to all representative of the cultural heritage led him to play on one side of a typical street Santiago Museum, preserving its appearance for posterity and the knowledge of future generations, constituting the Alley Bofill's first museum environment in Cuba. Besides been a self-taught painter, was a museologist. In addition to his paintings and his work as museologist, Bofill ventured into the art of modeling, as an example of this is still preserved in bronze bas-relief of Frederic Capdevila in the Cementerio Santa Ifigenia sculpture that has double merit of being modeled by the skilful artist Jose Bofill and fused here, under his direction, known artisan workshops Emilio Aragón.
Along with other prominent figures of the intellectual Santiago he made many important cultural events in the city, this remarkable artist also directed the construction of simple and beautiful mausoleum of national hero Jose Marti Ionic style temple, severe and modest, where for the penultimate time rested his remains, and the mausoleum of the martyrs of the Virginius.
Bofill chaired the Arts section of the city and Ateneo as well as promoted many cultural activities with prominent personalities of the intelligentsia Santiago. From 1912 he was a member of the National Academy of Arts and Letters being hailed as a corresponding member in the province of Oriente, and attended as a delegate to the National Congress of Art in 1930, was a member of Honor Society and Socio Correspondent Marti Museum and Library Cardenas. Bibliographic Cultural Association of Cuba gave him the medal "Enrique José Varona" in 1942, proposed by the prominent painter Antonio Rodriguez Morey and noted writer Jose Antonio Ramos. He was awarded the Gold Medal of Cuban Marine Society, and later was awarded the grade of admiral of the Order of Merit Nautico. After his retirement, he was appointed Honorary Director Emilio Bacardi Museum and Elvira Cape Library.
He died on October 20, 1946. His vast work of the present generation deserves greater recognition for his contribution to the arts and protecting the cultural heritage of Santiago de Cuba.
Some of his work is featured in the Flores Carbonell Collection