Xavier Cortada, The Incorporators: 1896, 96” x 78”, acrylic on canvas, 2005
“The Incorporators: 1896” depicts city founders Julia Tuttle and Henry Flagler surrounded by the incorporators and images of Miami’s birth: Flagler’s railroad and its workers, the orange blossoms Julia Tuttle sent Flagler to persuade him to bring the railroad to frost-proof South Florida, and the old pool hall where 368 men –many of them from the black community – voted to create the City of Miami on July 28th, 1896. The setting is Biscayne Bay with mangrove roots serving as a metaphor for the community they built and settled. In the background, an ephemeral skyline begins to emerge from the clouds. Their work is the precursor to building our magic city.