the 1960s Kesnel Franklin, a sometime student of
Savain, painted one of the murals that
adorn what was then the François Duvalier International Airport. Papa Doc's name has
since been removed, and 'PAP' is now
Port-au-Prince Toussaint Louverture
International Airport, named for the greatest hero of the Haitian
Revolution — but the last I knew the
murals were still there.
Sadly, I never found another
work by Franklin in any Port–au–Prince gallery. (Sadder still, I never
met the model.) In recent years, however, I have discovered pieces by Franklin in
The former dates the artist's death at 1978; the latter's biographical sketch reports that Franklin 'died a violent death in
Haiti during the mid–70s.'
166. Noah's Ark_
167. Rocking Chair
vodou priest (or oungan), Gérard began painting in the early 1960s. He had previously made his living as a pastry
chef, at least part of the time at the fabled Olofsson Hotel,H
originally the home of a president of Haïti, later an American military
hospital, and finally the most fashionable of seedy hostels.
HThe Olofsson was originally a private mansion built
for Vilbrun Guillaume Sam, who served as president
for three months just before the 1915 American invasion.
In the 1940s the Olofsson became a hotel, in which guise it appears prominently in Graham Greene's anti–Duvalier novel The Comedians. Al Seitz, the hotel's longtime owner, named various suites and rooms for the celebrities who'd slept in them. I've stayed in those christened for Anne Bancroft and Mick Jagger — Bancroft's, in the
is nicer —
and also in a detached cottaqe that is the hotel's most spacious
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