Waterloo Center for the Arts

Over 1,800 Pieces of Authentic Haitian Art

Beautiful Artworks from the Heart of Haiti

The Center maintains the largest public collection of Haitian art in the world featuring a vast array of colorful paintings, powerful metal sculpture and glittering beaded and sequined banners. The collection, which was initially founded in 1977 with gifts from Dr. & Mrs. F. Harold Reuling, has grown to become a veritable “who’s who” of Haitian art: from Hector Hyppolite, Philome Obin and Georges Liautaud to Edouard Duval-Carrie and the artists of the Grand Rue.

The Origin of Haitian Art

Haitian art as a distinctive category has existed for roughly sixty years. Credit for its discovery goes to DeWitt Peters, an American artist who went to Haiti in the early 1940's. Peters established Le Centre d'Art, an art school in Port-au-Prince. Peters realized that he had come across artists who needed no training but rather access to money and materials. Consequently, Le Centre d'Art took on many roles, serving as an art school in the traditional sense, a gathering place for self-taught artists, and also as a commercial gallery. Using his connections in New York City and in Europe, Peters was able to draw attention to Haitian art outside of the small island nation.

The Waterloo Center for the Arts' Haitian Collection was established in 1977 with generous gifts from Dr. and Mrs. F.Harold Reuling.