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Haiti earthquake: A cultural agony in a nation where art is life

January 24, 2010 | 10:23 am

Art At Port-au-Prince's main art museum, it looked as if a cruel giant had taken bites out of the walls and ceiling of the cavernous exhibition hall.

Large wooden panels where paintings once hung had toppled. A bronze bust of DeWitt Peters, a California water colorist widely credited with bringing international attention to Haitian art in the 1940s, lay on the ground.

Joseph Gaspard, a member of the board of directors of the College Saint Pierre museum, was inspecting the site Saturday for the first time since the Jan. 12 earthquake, crunching broken glass as he walked through the debris. He struggled not to cry.

"Haitian art is what makes the international eye see us," he said. "Every Haitian is an artist. Art, it is us, it's what we are. Even our children are artists."

Continue reading "A cultural agony in a nation where art is life."

-- Tracy Wilkinson  in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Photo: Artist Maritou Chenet looks over what is left of the Centre d'Art museum in Port-au-Prince. The building was destroyed in the quake, and some artworks were crushed or exposed to the elements. Credit: Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times

More photos: Haiti art museum damage