Prefete Duffaut

1923-2010

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Prefete Duffaut, born in 1923 in Jacmel, inherited his father’s trade of shipbuilding.  He is the half brother of painter Pauleus Vital, with whom he was raised by their shared mother.  Fond of drawing since childhood, it is said that Duffaut, while working on the Island of La Gonave, had a vision of the Virgin Mary, who asked him to decorate the walls of the local Catholic church, Notre Dame de Lourdes, with her image, which he did.

 

Upon his return to Jacmel, William Krauss, an American journalist living there, saw some of his drawings and encouraged him to make some paintings on masonite and send them to DeWitt Peters.  Duffaut was invited to join the Centre d’Art in 1948.  “The Streets of Jacmel” and “The Temptation of Christ” were his contributions to the Episcopal Cathedral of Sainte Trinite in Port-au-Prince.

 

Winner of the First Prize at the 1966 Festival des Artes Negres in Dakar, Senegal, Duffaut’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Musee d'Art Haitien du College Saint Pierre in Port-au-Prince, Milwaukee Museum of Art, the Waterloo Museum of Art in Iowa, and the New Orleans Museum of Art.

 

Danticat, Edwige, and Jonathan Demme.  Island on Fire.  New York:  Kaliko Press, 1995