Monthly Archives: July 2005

Jonathan Demme Collection of Haitian Art

It’s official! The Jonathan Demme Collection of Haitian Art, devotedly collected for the past 20 years by the U.S. filmmaker who made “Philadelphia” and “The Silence of the Lambs,” is coming to the Bass Museum of Art on Miami Beach (south Florida) in May, 2006 for a summer-long run. As the one and only stop for this unique show, this is the opportunity for lovers of Haitian art in the U.S., Canada, Europe and beyond to start thinking about a visit to the museum. The co-curators are myself (Candice Russell, and my friend Axelle Liautaud (, an artist, fellow Haitian art dealer, and native of Haiti. We are currently working on a full-color catalog, which will be sold in the Bass Museum gift shop during the exhibition run. Demme’s collection includes a bounty of choice paintings by such masters as Hector Hyppolite, Rigaud Benoit, Andre Pierre, Alexandre Gregoire, Etienne Chavannes, as well as sculptures in iron by Georges Liautaud. A credit to one man’s collecting acumen, the show is also a glimpse of the Haitian visual culture so widely praised and prized over the last 60 years.

by Candice Russell

-the end-

Death of a Great Artist

It is with great sadness that we learned within the past month that the wonderful Saint Soleil school artist Louisiane Saint Fleurant passed away. She was known for her expressive canvases of women and children, houses and flowers — inevitably cheerful works in a distinctive hand. A primitivist, Saint Fleurant was also a fantastic colorist. One of my favorite paintings by her features a female figure encased multiple times in circles of light, her version of an angel. She was also famous for equally emotive ceramic figures usually wearing florally decorated berets. Her death means that the value and collectibility of her art will increase, not only because of its limited supply and growing rarity.
Saint Fleurant was the mother of the late Stivenson Magloire, once called the hope of the new generation of Haitian artists, and the painter Ramphis Magloire, who managed her career in later years. For the original core group of Saint Soleil painters, there now remain only three — Levoy Exil, Denis Smith and Dieuseul Paul, since Prospere Pierre Louis died a while ago.
–Candice Russell