Haiti: Art Histories

Hector Hippolyte, "A House in a Village," (1947)

Haiti’s art is a primitive Negro folk art overflowing with decorative exuberance and childlike observation of Haitian scenes.

“Haitian Painting: American helps island natives develop a primitive folk art,” Life Magazine (September 1, 1947)

One must travel in the hinterland of Haiti, through its mountains, to observe the way of living of the poorest peasants a vocation for art and a taste for beautiful surroundings. Stand before a poor hut and observe the good taste with which the house is decorated with shells, flowers, and natural colors on the door, and the wooden structure which takes one back to the best of Africa.

Pierre Monosiet, “Art in Haiti,” Black World/Negro Digest (February 1975)

The Primitive Movement was accompanied by great controversy. Many other Haitian artists, the intelligentsia, and the elite alike resented the seal of authenticity attached to Naïve Art. Why would only unschooled artists be recognized as authentic Haitian artists?

“A History of Haitian Art,” Pinceladas (December 2003)

To continue to refer to these artists and their works as “primitive” in this day and age without any context, as did the Los Angeles Times journalist Tracy Wilkinson, is, well, just plain lazy.

Aimée Reed, “National Treasure: Haitian Art History and its Hidden Revolutionary Past,” Daily Serving (March 8, 2010)

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One Comment

  1. Posted June 2, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    “@public_archive: "Why would only unschooled artists be recognized as authentic Haitian artists?" http://t.co/mgmT4zs #haiti” @keepitcleva

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