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Haitian art

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Title: Haitian art  
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Subject: Haiti, Tourism in Haiti, 2010 Haiti earthquake, Music of Haiti, LGBT history in Haiti
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Haitian art

Haitian art is a complex tradition, reflecting African roots with strong Indigenous American and European aesthetic and religious influences. It is an important representation of Haitian culture and history.

Many artists cluster in ‘schools’ of painting, such as the Cap-Haïtien school, which features depictions of daily life in the city, the Jacmel School, which reflects the steep mountains and bays of that coastal town, or the Saint-Soleil School, which is characterized by abstracted human forms and is heavily influenced by Vodou symbolism.


Painting by Prosper Pierre-Louis, 1990

Saint Soleil school

Founding members:

A second generation member is Magda Magloire, the daughter of Louisiane Saint Fleurant.

Artibonite artists

The painters of the Artibonite region in central Haiti, where Hôpital Albert Schweitzer is located, have developed their own style, which is quite recognizable.

The style began with Saincilus Ismaël (1940–2000), who was influenced by Byzantine art he had seen in books. Ismaël began to paint in 1956 after visiting the Centre d'Art in Port-au-Prince. His paintings are marked by exquisite detail. Every article of clothing, house, or tree is painted with a different intricate geometric pattern.

Délouis Jean-Louis grew up in Petite Rivière under the influence of Ismaël. Although he worked under Ismaël for 15 years, he never had formal painting lessons. He began painting to make money, but gradually began to paint carefully executed scenes from his imagination.

Alix Dorléus also learned to paint with Ismaël and Mrs. Mellon. He paints all day long and will paint anywhere he feels the spirit to motivate him. His best paintings are detailed depictions, like activity maps, of daily life in the Artibonite Valley.

Gerda Louizor. He has exhibited in Europe and the U.S..

Outside of Haiti

Notable artists of Haitian descent and members of the diaspora include Jean-Michel Basquiat , Hersza Barjon and Ernst Registre.

The market painting

The market painting is a Haitian archetype, originating with Laurent Casimir. It typically depicts a Haitian market and is done in the trademark colors of Casimir red, yellow and orange. The motive is often dense with people. These paintings were mass-produced by Laurent Casimir and his apprentices in the mid-70's, all signed by Casimir.[1] This archetype is later taken up by contemporary Haitian artist like Jean-Louis, many of which studied under Laurent Casimir.

Haitian sculpture

Haitian sculpture is made of natural materials, traditional art mediums, and recycled materials.

"Haitian Steel Drum Sculpture" The village of Noailles in Croix-des-Bouquets is home to over a dozen artisan workshops producing countless pieces for over two decades. The work is created out of recycled oil drums. In August 2011, the Clinton Global Initiative along with Greif Inc., donated 40 tons of scrap metal to the artists in Croix-des-Bouquets. After the earthquake in 2010, artists had a difficult time finding material to work from. According to Deputy Jean Tholbert Alexis, 8,000 people in the area are directly or indirectly benefit from the villages' artisans.[2]

Haitian flag-making

The tradition of making flags to decorate Vodou places of worship is well established. Flags most often commemorate specific spirits or saints, but the 2010 earthquake has become a common subject. The use of sequins in these flags became prevalent in the 1940s, and many of today's flags cover the entire flag in colored sequins and beads. These flags are traded as art by dealers around the world.

2010 Haiti earthquake

On January 12, 2010 a UNESCO assigned special envoy Bernard Hadjadj to evaluate damage to artwork.[5]


  1. ^ "Galerie Macondo". Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Clinton Foundation makes first loan to Haiti craft business under new program to boost economy". Associated Press. Retrieved 18 August 2011. 
  3. ^ "USGS Magnitude 7.0 – HAITI REGION". Retrieved 13 January 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Tracy Wilkinson (24 January 2010). "A cultural agony in a nation where art is life".  
  5. ^ Pooja Bhatia (25 January 2010). "Art Trove Is Among Nation's Losses".  


Haitian Art Society Haitian Art

External links

Museum Collections

  • Milwaukee Art Museum
  • Waterloo Center for the Arts

Galleries in Haiti

  • Galerie Marassa - Pétionville
  • Galerie Monnin - Pétionville
  • Galerie d'Art Nader - Pétionville

Galleries in the United States

  • Boca Raton, Florida
  • MedaliaArt - New York
  • Indigo Arts Gallery - Pennsylvania
  • Galerie Lakaye - California
  • Galerie Macondo - Pennsylvania
  • Studio Wah - Maryland
  • Nader Haitian Art Gallery- New York


  • Films on Haitian artists and Haitian art by Arnold Antonin - USA


  • Noted Haitian collector/writer
  • Haiti Metal Art
  • Haiti Gallery
  • Tropic Decor
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