Rigaud Benoit

1911-1986

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Rigaud Benoit, born in January, 1911, in Port-au-Prince, was a taxi driver and is said to have been a musician and shoemaker before becoming a painter.  He was considered the second major "discovery" of the Centre d'Art, shyly bringing his hand painted terra cotta pots to the attention of Dewitt Peters in 1944. 

 

His contribution to the Episcopal Cathedral of Sainte Trinite in Port-au-Prince was the "Birth of Christ" mural in the apse.  Reportedly allergic to turpentine, Benoit's production of paintings was limited to only two or three pieces most of the years he worked with oils.  Benoit married Hector Hyppolite's daughter Hermithe, fathered two children with her and had a long and successful career until his death on October 30, 1986. 

   

His work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Musee d'Art Haitien du College Saint Pierre in Port-au-Prince, the Figge Art Museum in Iowa, the Milwaukee Museum of Art, and the Waterloo Museum of Art in Iowa.

 

Danticat, Edwige, and Jonathan Demme.

Island on Fire.  New York:  Kaliko Press, 1995