Looking Forward.

Item Description

John S. Pughe. Chromolithograph. Puck. November 1, 1899.

This image, published in 1899 in the satirical American magazine Puck, displays an American view of Cuban society collapsing without American aid, industry and intervention. In the cartoon, an allegorical figure of Cuba begs a well-dressed Uncle Sam for help in preventing further social and political disasters such as the ones which plagued Cuba before and after the Spanish-American War. This work represents a clearly American perspective on the issues affecting Cuba at the time as well as a sense of American power, prosperity, and ability to influence and change events and cultures around the world for the better.
This cartoon, which differs vastly in size, medium and material from the other cartoons of this artist, was not intended to draw a laugh from the audience, but rather to show a sense of American pride while providing a brightly colored decorative work for the wall of a home.
In this spirit the work is not focused on historical accuracy. For instance, the allegorical figure of Cuba is wearing a costume typical of Mayan, rather than Cuban, culture which suggests that the artist recycled hispanic stereotypes.