Haitian Art Hopkins

Reading (and Viewing)

The lists that follow are neither comprehensive nor representative. The items are simply what I have in my own library.

Many of the books and articles deal with Haitian art exclusively; most include reproductions of paintings.

Viewing

Jac Avila and Vanyoska Gee, Krik? Krak! (Tales of a Nightmare). VHS, 78 minutes. Chicago: Facets Video, 1997.
A relentless exploration of the poverty, misery, and horrors of Haitian life and history, the award–winning film from which this video was taken is a pastiche of scenes from newsreels and documentaries … of commercial movies … of specially shot views of urban and rural life … of interviews with noted Haitians and common people … and even of Haitian protests in New York. Included are snippets of film from the 1915–34 U S occupation; of Papa and Baby Doc; and of 'boat people' preparing to flee, explaining why, showing what's likely to — and too often does — happen to them on the open seas and if and when they reach Florida. The filmmakers make an unsuccessful effort to integrate this mishmash by returning frequently to Haitian beliefs in magic, or vodou. The VHS is copyrighted 1997; the film's credits show a date seven years earlier (MCMXC). The Krik? Krak! of the title is unrelated to Edwige Danticat's short story collection (see below).

Maya Deren, Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haïti. VHS, 52 minutes. New York: Mystic Fire Video, 1998.
Black–and–white film shot by Deren in 1947–51 and edited into a visual synopsis of her book of the same title (see below). Included are fascinating scenes of vodou ceremonies, including rara.

Jean–Marie Drot (director), Haïti: A Painted History. VHS, 56 minutes. Chicago: Home Vision Arts, 1997.
A rendering of Haïtian history from 1492 to 1992 by Drot (see below), with key events illustrated in paintings that formed an exhibit that toured Europe and and the United States in the 1990s.

Mark Mamalakis, The Art of Haiti (The self-taught Painters). VHS, 26 minutes. Chicago: Facets Video New Visions, 1983.
On–camera interviews with Rigaud Benoit and Philomé Obin are highlights in this short feature; it focuses on the work of Benoit, Wilson Bigaud, Hector Hyppolite, Obin, and André Pierre, with briefer views of the work of Castera Bazile and Gérard Valcin. The narration stresses the rôle of vodou in Haitian art — an influence nowhere evident in the work of Obin.

National Labor Committee, Mickey Mouse Goes to Haiti. VHS, 30 minutes. New York: Crowing Rooster Arts, 1996.
Subtitled 'Walt Disney and the Science of Exploitation,' this tape castigates American and multi–national corporations that exploit Haitians' desperate need for jobs — companies like Disney, which pays a worker 'only 7 cents for [producing items that] sell in WalMart [as well as J C Penny and Sears] for $11.97.' By 2001 that rate had improved, but only to 28–30 cents for the Haitian worker. Paul Farmer (see below) narrates the tape. The tape was a gift from the director of Harvard University's Labor Studies program, a Farmer friend and supporter.

Reading

Elizabeth Abbott, Tropical Obsession: A Universal Tragedy in Four Acts. Port–au–Prince: Deschamps, 1986.

—— (as Elizabeth Abbott Namphy), Haïti: The Duvaliers and Their Legacy. New York: McGraw Hill, 1988.
A no–holds–barred condemnation of Papa and Baby Doc. That the two dictators were vile there can be no doubt. But if it can be said of Mussolini that he made the trains run on time, it should also be said of the Duvaliers that they kept the lid on crime — especially violent crime — except, alas, for crime by government agents, notably themselves and their tontons macoutes.

Gérald Alexis, Peintres haïtiens. Paris: Cercle d'Art, 2000 (English Version).
Scores of brilliant full–color illustrations accompany the text in this superb volume. (Published in France, the 300–plus page, 'table–sized' work was printed in Italy.) Quibbles are possible. Alexis slights naïfs — except for Hector Hyppolite — and gives excessive attention to the sophisticates favored by Haïti's elite: references to and illustrations of works by the modernist Bernard Séjourné outnumber those given to Philomé Obin and Rigaud Benoit combined — and many of the most celebrated naïfs are ignored all together. In the 'English version,' at least, there are numerous errors, ranging from birth and death dates to the use of a masculine pronoun in references to the fine Saint-Soleil artist Louisiane St–Fleurant. Still, this is a must–have book for any lover of Haitian art. My copy was obtained from the Medalia Gallery — www.medalia.net.

Michèle Alfred et al., L'Esoterisme Magique de Stivenson Magliore. Port–au–Prince: Henri Deschamps, 1996.
A slim but oversized volume with essays on the short life and great art of Louisiane St–Fleurant's elder son, Stivenson Magliore. The paperback features 20 large color reproductions. (The haunting black–and–white photograph of the artist that follows the title page was taken by Bill Bollendort of the Macondo Gallery — www.artshaitian.com; it also appears, cropped, on this website.)

Anonymous, Auction Catalog. New York: Streetworkers, 16 Nov 73

    For a note on this auction, see Montas Antoine.

——, Auction Catalogs. New York: Sotheby Park Bernet: 25 Jan 75, 9 Sept 76, 12 Apr 77, 9 Jul 81.

——, Haïti: Art Naïf, Art Vaudou [exhibition catalog]. Paris, 1988.

——, Haitian Art Newsletter. Silver Spring, MD: April, June, October, December 1978; June 1979.

——, 'Haïti: l'ile de la coleur.' Vogue (Paris), February 1980.
Louisiane St–Fleurant's Erzulie Dantor appears in this elaborate feature. The image is cropped so as to eliminate her signature, thus making the image comply with the text's observation that Saint–Soleil artists 'rarely sign their works.' Saying the artists don't sign their paintings is a romantic conceit; forcing the image to accord with the narrative is an excessive bit of Gallic rationalism.

——, 'Haitian Painting Brings Record Price at Auction.' American Collector, July 1977.
The work cited was by Salnave Philippe–Auguste. It sold for $4,000. That wasn't a 'record price' even then; it's not a whole lot different from what one would pay, in constant dollars, for a fair to good Philippe–Auguste today.

——, Haïti: Premiere Republic Noire du Nouveau Monde. Brussels: Delroisse, 1971.
I suspect this work was commissioned – or at least inspired – by Papa Doc. He is featured prominently and extolled in it. My copy was a gift from Néhemy Jean, who also wrote a nice note in it.

——, Les Monuments du Roi Christophe. Port–au–Prince: l'Institut de Sauvegarde du Patrimonie National, 1980.
A guide for visitors to these magnificent ruins, the greatest of which is the Citadelle.

——, 19 schilders uit haïti. Amsterdam: Stedelijk Museum, 1949.
A collector's item, one of the first publications on Haitian art issued outside that country, this 20–page catalogue features 54 black–and–white photographs of works by some of the greats of Haitian painting. (Larry Kent, a major collector, was kind enough to give me this 'catalogus.')

——, Peintures Haïtiennes. Boulogne: Delroisse, 1978.

Pierre Apraxine, Haitian Painting: The Naïve Tradition [exhibition catalog]. New York: American Federation of the Arts, 1973.
Philomé Obin's Vision de l'Artiste appears in this book.

Charles Arthur & Michael Dash (eds), Libète: A Haiti Anthology. London: Latin America Bureau, 1999.

Madison Smartt Bell, All Souls Rising. New York: Pantheon Books, 1999.

——, Master of the Crossroads. New York: PantheonBooks, 2000.

——, The Stone that the Builder Refused. New York: Pantheon Books, 2004.
George Bernard Shaw says somewhere that one can better learn about the past from historical novels than from history texts. That's not generally true, I think; but [1] All Souls Rising, Bell's recreation of events in the first two years of the 1791–1803 revolution — with both historical and fictional characters — is the kind of work Shaw must had in mind. [2] Master of the Crossroads, the next work in his trilogy, carries Bell's account to 1801. [3] The Stone that the Builder Refused, the weakest of the three books, begins with Tousaint l'Overture in the dismal prison to which Buonaparte had sent him; scenes of Toussaint's cruel and humiliating treatment appear at various points in the novel. The main narrative takes the story, with many accounts of battles, to the arrest of Toussaint in 1802. A brief epilogue tells of the ex–slaves' victory, Haïti's independence, and its immediate aftermath. All three books are imaginatively conceived, extensively researched, and well written. I recommend them.

Oto Bihalji–Merin, Masters of Naïve Art. New York: McGraw–Hill, 1970.
A classic work that features informed commentary — with fine illustrations — about naïf works from several countries, among them Haïti.

Andre Bourguigon, Haïti: La Perle des Antilles. Geneva: Editions Minerva, 1985.

Robert Brictson, Voodoo: Spirits in Haitian Art. San Diego: San Diego Museum of Man, 2001.
A learnéd account of vodun and its influence on and appearance in Haïtian art by a longtime collector and sometime resident in Jacmel.

Carl A Brasseaux & Glenn R Conrad (eds), The Road to Louisiana: The Saint–Domingue Refugees 1792–1809. Lafayette: University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1992.
An introduction and four lengthy essays on the flight of whites and mulatres, and the removal of slaves from the French colony during and after the Haitian Revolution — and their contribution to the culture of Louisiana and the Mississippi Valley. Some of the blancs were displaced three times: as Huguenots, from France by Catholic repression; as Frenchmen, from Québec after the British conquest; and finally, as blancs, from Haïti. My own maternal ancestors followed this sad trail.

Roger Norman Buckley (ed), The Haitian Journal of Lieutenant Howard, York Hussars, 1796–98. Knoxville: U of Tennessee, 1985.

 

Jean–Robert Cadet, Restavec: From Haitian Slave–Child to Middle–Class American. Austin: U of Texas, 1998.
The subtitle reveals the storyline of this first heartrending then uplifting autobiography. The widespread use and abuse of restaveks — children farmed out as domestic servants and laborers — is a human rights crime that parallels the ongoing incidence of slavery in Mauretania, the Sudan, other parts of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and elsewhere. It ought to be just as rigorously investigated by international authorities. (In its 5 March 2001 edition, Time magazine ran a lengthy article, 'Of Haitian Bondage,' a revealing piece that includes a historical perspective as well as accounts of the harrowing experiences of restaveks both in Haïti and among immigrant families in the U S.)

Eleanor Ingalls Christensen, The Art of Haiti. Philadelphia: Art Alliance Press, 1975.
Excellent reproductions in an art book that covers the work of just a handful of artists.

Donald J Cosentino (ed), Sacred Arts of Haitian Vodou. Los Angeles: UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, 1995.
An enormous, 450–page book exploring vodou in depth. Issued in conjunction with an exhibit of vodou–related art, the oversized book includes hundreds of illustrations — paintings, flags, sculpture, sequined bottles, and scenes of Haitian life and vodou practice. Prominent among the featured artists are Hector Hyppolite, André Pierre, and Gérard Valcin.

Edwige Danticat, Breath, Eyes, Memory. New York: Vintage Books, 1994.

——, Krik? Krak! New York: Vintage Books, 1996.

——, The Farming of Bones. New York: Soho Press, 1998.
Fascinating tales of Haitian life by a young woman brought to the United States as a child, but who remains fully Haitian in her heart.

—— & Jonathan Demme, Island on Fire.  New York: Kaliko Press, 1997. 
Based on an exhibit of film director Demme's Haitian art collection, this is a lavishly illustrated work. Danticat's introduction alone is worth the book's cost.

Wade Davis, The Serpent and the Rainbow. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1985.
Don't judge the book by the silly film made of it. This is a straightforward and fascinating account of a Harvard scholar's quest for the truth behind zombiism. It demystifies the zombi. Rather than a dead person resurrected and enslaved, the zombi is one fed a potion that includes the debilitating poison of the puffer fish; he or she is then in a trance of varying depth and length, and may be able to follow simple to fairly complex orders. Though some have disputed Davis's claim, his research and reasoning persuade me that he found the truth about zombiism. (The most exquisite of all sushi is prepared from the puffer fish, known in Japan as fugu. Chefs must be specially trained and licensed to carve out the poison; even so fugu kills a small number of people each year.)

Michael Deibert, Notes from the Last Testament: The Struggle for Haiti. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2005.

    A journalist's narrative and analysis of the corruption, rivalries, and upheavals that led to the second exiling of President (and ex–Catholic priest) Jean–Bertrand Aristide in 2004. The work quickly summarizes Haitian history from Columbus to the overthrow of Baby Doc, the events leading up to Aristide's first presidency and its aftermath (to 2000). It then examines Aristide's second presidency — frequently getting bogged down in detail — until his increasingly corrupt and dictatorial regime led to Aristide's being deposed again. The book could have used a good editor, not only to condense its length, but also to correct its frequently garbled syntax. Still, for those interested in the last dozen years of Haitian history, Notes from the Last Testament will tell them just about everything they need or will want to know.

Jonathan Demme and José Zelaya, Direct from the Eye: The Jonathan Demme Collection of Self-Taught Art (auction catalogue). Philadelphia, Material Culture, 2014.

  A total of 1,050 items from film director Demme's collection were in a two-day auction. Perhaps a fifth of them were works by Haitians. Others were by artists from Africa, Brazil, Jamaica, the United States, and elsewhere. Also offered were hundreds of antique bottles.

Maya Deren, Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti. New York: McPherson, 1953 [1970 reprint].
 See the video, above.

Leslie Desmangles, The Faces of the Gods: Vodou and Roman Catholicism in Haiti. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina, 1992.
Educated, upper–class (mostly mulatre) Haitians are often at pains to denigrate the importance of vodou in Haïti — though many if not most of them give it some measure of credence. (I have seen small vodou shrines in the homes of prosperous and educated mulatre families in Port–au–Prince, Jacmel, and Cap–Haitien.) Desmangles's account argues for the primacy of Catholicism but demonstrates the hold of vodou.

Carol Devillers, 'Haiti's Voodoo Pilgrimages.' National Geographic, March 1985.
A beautifully photographed essay documenting devotions at major sites, including the Bassin Bleu waterfall.

Bernard Dietrich & Al Burt, Papa Doc and the Tonton Macoutes. Port–au–Prince: Henri Deschamps, 1986.

——, Papa Doc: Haiti and Its Dictator. Maplewood, NJ: Waterfront Press, 1991.
The authors' 1991 work expands on their 1986 effort. It includes information not available in the immediate downfall of the dictatorship as well as observations about the macoutes' continuing exactions.

Jean–Marie Drot, Chez le peintures de la Fête et dau Vaudou en Haïti. Geneva: Skira, 1974.
One of the best — and best printed — surveys of Haitian art.

Katharine Dunham, Island Possessed. Chicago: U of Chicago, 1969 [1994 reprint].
A classic account of Haitian morals, manners, and religion — by an American who lived in and loved the country.

Paul Farmer, The Uses of Haiti. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 1994.
A severe indictment of the exploitation of Haïtians by the international community and multi–national corporations. The author is — or was — an assistant professor in the Harvard Medical School who 'conducts his research and medical practice in rural Haiti, where he specializes in community–based efforts to improve the health of the poor.' (See also Mickey Mouse Goes to Haiti in 'Viewing,' above.)

Patrick Leigh Fermor, The Traveller's Tree. London: Penguin Books, 1950 [1984 reprint].
Only a small part of this book deals with Haïti; but it's a fascinating glimpse of the scene a few years before Papa Doc's accession.

Carolyn Fick, The Making of Haiti: The Saint Domingue Revolution from Below. Knoxville: U of Tennessee, 1990.

Lucien Finkelstein & Mariza Campos da Paz, Rio de Janeiro naïf. Rio de Janeiro: Edições MIAN, Museu Internacional de Arte Naïf, 2000.
Lavishly illustrated, this book covers the history of self-taught painting in Brazil and features the work of ten artists whose works are featured in the museum's permanent collection. While no Haitian artists appear in the book, the museum itself has a few minor works from Haïti on exhibit. (As a frequent visitor to Brazil between 1998 and 2004, I collected about a dozen paintings, mostly naïfs, from that country. They do not appear on this site.)

John Allen Franciscus, Haiti: Voodoo Kingdom to Modern Riviera. San Juan, PR: Franciscus Family Foundation, 1980.
In addition to scores of small color and black–and–white shots of Haitian works that Franciscus owns/ed, as well as biographies of leading artists and lists of lesser known painters (ranked by the estimated cost of their works), the book has a good history of the colonial/slave period and a little about everything else in Port–au–Prince a generation ago — hotels, restaurants, and more. The author's brother is, or was, an American television actor.

Herbert Gold, The Best Nightmare on Earth. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991.
An account of a gifted writer's visits and stays in Haïti, the book sympathizes with the Haitian people and properly demonizes the Duvaliers.

Michèle Grandjean, Artistes en Haïti. Marseille: Art et Coeur Assn, 1997.

Elaine D. Gustafson (ed), Island Delights: The Spirit and Passion of Haitian Art. Tampa: Museum of Art, 2000.
This booklet accompanied a January–March 2000 exhibit of Haitian art. Only 10 of 28 pages focus on the art. The fine painter Gérard Valcin is repeatedly identified as 'Gérard Calcin.'

Robert & Nancy Heinl, Written in Blood: The History of the Haitian People. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1978.
The Heinl's son, Michael, has updated his parents' book. I haven't seen the new edition. The original is the most comprehensive English–language history of the island nation. It is long on military, political, and economic history, short on social and cultural matters. The writing suggests its authors never completed an English composition class — the text uses the verb 'to sniff' excessively (I sniff) — but the chronology and much of the analysis is useful. (Colonel Heinl was a member of a U S Marine Corps advisory group in Haïti in the 1950s; he knew Papa Doc well and came to despise the despot.) I have not read the update by the Heinl's son.

Melville Herskovits, Life in a Haitian Valley. Garden City, NY: Anchor Books/Doubleday, 1937 (1971 reprint).
A classic. From what I have seen and read, pathetically little has changed in rural Haïti the past seven decades.

L G Hoffman, Haitian Art: The Legend and Legacy of the Naïve Tradition. Davenport, Iowa: Beaux Arts Fund, 1985.
A succinct history of Haiti prefaces an account — peppered with personal stories — of the genesis and development of naïf art in the island nation. It is tied to the promotional efforts of Le Centre d'Art and the Davenport Art Gallery, home of the first permanent collection outside of Haiti. Artists' biographies, lists of exhibitions, and nearly 100 illustrations — about a third of them in color — fill out this oversized, 252–page book.

C L R James, The Black Jacobins. New York: Vintage Books, 1963 (reprinted 1989).
An interpretation of the Haitian Revolution by a scholar who stretches to make the 1791–1803 struggle fit a Marxist paradigm. Even the crusade against slavery — in Great Britain and the U S north — is represented solely as a reflection of class and economic warfare: no credit is given to Wilberforce, Lincoln, or other abolitionists for humanitarian principles. Still, the author's political orientation is understandable. (Late in his long life the great W E B Dubois shared it.) Oppression and cruelty led many New World blacks to embrace any enemy of their enemy. As a personnel clerk in the U S Army, in the early 1950s, I once processed the records of a soldier named Hitler Stalin J——. Among the many more sophisticated reflections of that alienation are, of course, given and assumed names like Malcolm X.

Gyneth Johnson. How the Donkeys Came to Haïti and Other Tales. New York: Devin–Adair, 1949.
Tales that will entertain children, amuse adults, and cast light on the myths that shape the Haitian psyche.

Gregory Katz, 'Struggle in Paradise.' Art & Antiques, May 1994.

Larry Kent, Wilson Bigaud: Life on the Edge. Folk Art Messenger, Richmond VA: Fall/Winter 2015.

   A brief, sympathetic account, nicely illustrated, of the life and work of this giant of Haïtian painting.

Katie Klarreich, Madame Dread: A Tale of Love, Vodou, and Civil Strife in Haiti. New York: Nation Books, 2005.

    A young American woman goes to Haïti on a commercial quest, falls in love with the country and with a Haitian man, gets into vodou and, along the way, develops into an accomplished journalist reporting on the horrors that have beset the country since the fall of Jean–Claude Duvalier in 1986. Her story is fascinating and will evoke memories in anyone who's spent much time in Haïti.

Fred Lambrou, Haitian Art News. Singer Island, FL: April, Summer, September, Winter 1995; Summer, Winter 1996.

One of several short-lived newsletters promoting Haitian art.

 

Eugenio Fernandez Mendez, Le Primitivisme Haïtien. Barcelona: Georges Nader, 1972.
A beautifully illustrated survey, however much dated.

Michele Montas, Haïti. Tokyo: Editions du pacifique, 1975.

   About a decade after this survey of Haitian life and art was published, Ms Montas became the second wife of Jean Dominique, a crusading broadcast journalist. Though the couple were forced or chose to flee the country more than once, when it operated their radio station Haïti–Inter, was a strong and popular voice for the nascent pro–democracy movement. At first vigorous supporters of Jean–Bertrand Aristide, Dominique and Montas were quickly disillusioned as the ex–priest became president and began enriching himself and his followers and encouraging thuggery. Their radio station was destroyed more than once and ultimately Dominique was murdered — whether by pro– or anti–Aristide thugs is unknown, as are so many murders and other crimes in post–Duvalier Haïti.

Marie–José Nadal–Gardère & Gérald Bloncourt, La Peinture Haïtienne/Haitian Arts. Paris: Editions Nathan, 1986.
Weighted heavily in favor of sophisticate — and mulatre — artists, this book is a good survey of the works of a few contemporary artists. Mme Nadal–Gardère is herself a painter and the owner of a leading Petionville gallery; M Bloncourt is a poet and painter.

Georges Nader, Contemporary Haïtian Art. Barcelona, 1971.
Nader is a long-time Port-au-Prince gallery owner who has also had galleries in Petionville, New York City, Coral Gables, and Santo Domingo. His galleries in Haïti as well as a priceless personal collection were destroyed in the 2010 earthquake, a tragedy for the world of Haitian art as well as for the Nader family.

Elizabeth Abbott Namphy: see Elizabeth Abbot.

David Nicholls, From Dessalines to Duvalier: Race, Colour and National Independence in Haiti. New Brunswick: Rutgers Univ Press, 1996.
This is a revised edition of a work, published originally in 1979, that explores the noir–mulatre tensions that underlie so much of Haitian history. An extensive preface discusses the country's history in the decade since Baby Doc's 1986 downfall.

William Orem, Zombi, You My Love. Woodside, CA: La Questa Press, 1999.
Cute short stories by an American who knows and loves the country.

Lyonel Paquin, The Haitians: Class and Color Politics. New York: Multi–Type, 1983.
Haïti's 'dirty secret' is not so secret: to be at the top of the socio–economic pyramid one almost certainly needs to be light–skinned. Despite Papa Doc and despite Jean–Bertrand Aristide, the less than 10 percent of Haitians who are mulatres dominate the country and its huge noir majority.

Madeleine Pailliere, Saint–Brice en six tableau et un dessin. Port–au–Prince: Henri Deschamps, c1978.
A series of essays on Robert Saint–Brice, on Haitian naïfs generally, and on their connection to vodou, accompany the illustrations in this small book.

Eva Pataki, Haitian Painting: Art and Kitsch. Chicago: Adams Press, 1985.
Pataki's survey shows its origins: it is the outgrowth of a master's degree thesis. It's useful in that it includes a list of some 1,200 artists and about 200 (black–and–white) photographs of paintings.

James Ridgway (ed), The Haiti Files: Decoding the Crisis. Washington: Essential Books, 1994.

Jacques Roche (ed), Lucner Lazard: Une Rétrospective. Port–au–Prince: Musée d'Art Haïtien du Collège Saint–Pierre, 2000.

    A useful view of this fine artist's work with a few photographs of his paintings.

Selden Rodman, The Miracle of Hatian Art. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1974.

Associate of DeWitt Peters at the dawn of the movement — in the 1940s — Rodman was long the premier champion of Haitian art. His books are must–haves for any collector. He died, aged 93, in November 2002.

——, Renaissance in Haiti: Popular Painters in the Black Republic. New York: Pellegrini & Cudahy, 1948.

The first book-length treatment of the Haitian art, with a detailed account of the establishment of the Centre d'Arte. Rodman discusses at length the discovery of several artist, notably Hector Hyppolite, Philomé Obin, Castera Bazile, J-E Gourgue, and Wilson Bigaud. The book includes many black-and-white photographs and a few color plates.

——, Haitian Art: The Third Generation. Meridian, CN: Doubleday, 1974.

——, Haïti: The Black Republic (4th ed). Greennwich, CN: Devin–Adair, 1978.

In this work's first edition Rodman lauded François (Papa Doc) Duvalier for establishing order and for empowering Haïti's noirs (as against the country's long dominant mulatre class); he also slammed the Kennedy Administration for ostracizing the Duvalier regime and suggested that reports of its extensive and sadistic human rights abuses were either fabricated or overdrawn. Soon after the fall of Jean-Claude (Baby Doc), Rodman wrote an article for National Review, the right-wing American journal, condemning both of the Duvaliers and all their works. A generous interpretation is that Rodman's praise of Papa and Baby was part of the price he felt he had to pay for owning property and living part of the year in Haïti during the Duvalier era.

——, Where Art Is Joy. New York: Ruggles de Latour, 1988.

   A slim volume promoting the work of several Haitian artists, the text repeats assessments made in The Miracle of Haitian Art (above) with appreciations of a handful of newer artists.

—— & Carole Cleaver, Spirits of the Night: the Vaudun Gods of Haiti. Dallas: Spring Publications, 1992.

Martin Ros. Night of Fire: The Black Napoleon and the Battle for Haiti. New York: Sarpedon, 1994.
Another, brief account of the Haitian Revolution, nicely done.

Candice Russell, Masterpieces of Haitian Art: Seven Decades of Unique Visual Heritage. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd, 2013.
Lavishly illustrated and well-written ¾ the Haitian art publication of the decade ¾ Russell's book covers paintings; vodou flags; metal, papier-maché, and wood sculptures; and 'mixed-media constructions.' About two-thirds of the book is given to paintings; and while it includes a few works by the greatest artists, works that might justly be called 'masterpieces,' most of the paintings are by minor artists and are far from masterpieces. Still the book is a 'must' for the library of any serious Haitian art collector.

John Scofield, 'Haiti – West Africa in the West Indies.' National Geographic, February 1961.
A Geographic travelogue, this issue includes a fascinating glimpse of the painting of the famous Episcopal Cathedral murals whilst some of them were still being painted.

Bob Shacochis, The Immaculate Invasion. New York: Viking, 1999.
A marvelous account of the 1994 U S effort to restore President Bertrand Aristide — of its prelude, its realities, its success — and its ultimate futility.

'Madame Shishi,' Les Naïfs Haïtiennes. Victoria, Australia: Mitchum, 1982.

Ute Stebich, Haïtian Art: The Naïve Tradition. New York: Brooklyn Museum of Art, 1978.

——, Kunst aus Haiti. New–Ulm, Germany: International Primary Art, 1980.

——, A Haitian Celebration: Art and Culture. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 1992.
For Haitian art lovers, all of Stebich's books are indispensable — among the best works ever published on the country's painters. The two issued in the U S derive from exhibits held by the sponsoring museums; the later two are lavishly illustrated; all feature incisive commentary by Stebich (Kunst is in German only).

Amy Wilentz, The Rainy Season: Haiti since Duvalier. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989.
By a New Yorker writer, an account of the first violent years after Baby Doc's overthrow. Wilent is uncritically adulatory of Father Bertrand Aristide; but she perceived early on that the charismatic Roman Catholic priest was likely to become Haiti's leader. She may be forgiven for not foreseeing that he would also become money–grubbing and dictatorial — or that he was not competent to run the country. Her account of the first post–Duvalier years is nevertheless engrossing; and her enthusiasm for Aristide may help outsiders appreciate the little priest's appeal to his countrymen.

Lawrence Witchel, 'Haitian self-taughts: From Art Form to Souvenirs.' New York Times, 8 Sept 74.
A critical article that praises the 'early masters' but suggests nearly all artists working in Haïti in the mid–1970s were producers of kitsch — of 'souvenirs.' Witchel's opinion says more about what the writer visited and saw than about the state of Haitian art at the time.

Peter Wynn, Americas. New York: Pantheon Books, 1992.
The best overall survey I'd yet seen of the history and current condition of the Americas. It includes an interesting chapter on the existing and prospective effects of Latin American immigration into the United States. Haïti and the Caribbean are fairly well covered; but the book omits any mention of Canada — as if our northern neighbor is not even part of the Americas.

John W Vandercook, Black Majesty: The Life of Christophe, King of Haiti. New York: Harper & Bros., 1928.
Meant for children — and especially African–American children — this is a sympathetic account of the life of one of Haiti's most interesting and controversial heroes.

 

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