Born in Havana, Herrera studied painting and art history at Marymount College in Paris, where she lived from 1929 to the mid-1930s. Nine years later, she married Jesse Loewenthal, who a literature professor in New York City, where she has lived since the mid-1950s.
The Cintas Foundation Prize is the latest in a string of recent successes. In September, the IKON gallery in Birmingham, England, presented a restrospective of her work, which open at the Phalzgallerie Museum, Germany, in January. The Tate Modern in London and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC have recently acquired works by Herrera.
The Cintas Foundation Prize aims to encourage Cuban artists living outside of Cuba. It was named after the Cuban industrialist and prominent art collector Oscar B. Cintas, who donated many of works in his collection to the people of Cuba in 1958.