Valderrama's style started to change to include landscapes, portraits and group portraits of everyday people, particularly his family members. His creativity developed with avant-garde influences and the impressionism that led to the vanguard era. He was again selected to be the Director of the Academias Nacional de Bellas Artes de San Alejandro, La Habana, Cuba from 1939 to 1942, from 1949 to 1950, from 1950 to 1953 and from 1953 to 1959. In 1953 he was selected to design the One Peso coin for Cuba, honoring the Centennial of Jose Marti.
His artworks are in Cuba's Presidential Palace, which is now called the Museum of the Revolution, the ceiling of the Hall of the Ambassadors and in many Murals in many towns in Cuba. Among his best known portraits are that of José Martí, created in 1938, for the Embassy of Cuba in Mexico and permanently exhibited in the National Palace in Mexico. Others are the portrait of the world chess champion Jose Raul Capablanca (1940 ) and of U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt ( 1945 ), who posed for the artist on more than one occasion. A sample of his work can be seen in the Matanzas Provincial Historical Archive, which houses some of his portraits. Other of his works are treasured in the collections of the National Museum of Fine Arts, the Museum of the Revolution, The City Museum in Havana and The Matanzas, Cuba Provincial Museum. He died in Havana on April 14, 1964 .