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, haitianna.com) and my friend Axelle Liautaud (haitian-art-crafts.com), 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