New Exhibit: Carribean Crossroads in NYC

June 27, 2012 | by by jill sieracki | Pursuits

Beginning June 12, an unprecedented number of Caribbean artworks, artifacts, and cultural emblems will be displayed at El Museo del Barrio as part of “Caribbean: Crossroads of the World,” a groundbreaking exhibit spanning more than two centuries. Included at El Museo del Barrio is this work by Rigaud Benoit that was, until now, held in a private collection. “It was a who’s who of the pantheon of Haitian artists,” says Rocío Aranda-Alvarado, curator at El Museo del Barrio, of the private collection, amassed by a doctor and his wife who had visited Haiti in the late 1960s and became so enamored with the style that they began collecting works at auction. “One painting was more fabulous than the next, and the mermaid sea goddess was one of our favorites. The way she’s painted is so honest.”

In addition to El Museo, the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Queens Museum of Art will each be displaying a portion of the more than 400 works representing approximately 25 different countries, including Trinidad, Tobago, and Curaçao as well as the Caribbean coasts of Colombia and Mexico. “What distinguishes our project is that we’re looking at historic works as well as contemporary works,” says Aranda-Alvarado. “All of the other Caribbean exhibitions that have been organized in the past 25 years have been contemporary Caribbean art. We’re beginning with the 1790s with the Haitian revolution and going forward throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.” “Caribbean: Crossroads of the World” is on display June 12 through January 6, 2013; 1230 Fifth Ave., 212-831-7272

ABOVE: Rigaud Benoit, Sea Goddess/Sirene, 1962

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