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Winslow Anderson Collection of Haitian Art

Winslow Anderson Collection of Haitian Art

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Winslow Anderson first visited Haiti in 1951, and would return to the Island at least once a year for the next 40 years. Anderson was a ceramist and a painter, and from 1947-1953 he was the first designer at Blenko Glass Company, Milton, West Virginia, hired to design modern utilitarian vessels for factory production. Anderson had been trained as a potter at New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred (now Alfred University) and studied form, composition and color with the renowned abstract expressionist Hans Hofmann, whose principles were largely non-objective and cerebral. Anderson felt that Hofmann’s teachings “appeal to a painter in the same way a Bach fugue appeals to a musician.”

We know from comments he wrote about his collection that when he first viewed Haitian paintings he “saw for the first time, fun and joy in paintings just as the musician would have fun in playing The Blue Danubeor the Beer Barrel Polka as compared to a complicated fugue … During these years, I purchased many (Haitian) paintings – all chosen with my heart and not my head. Each one inspired me to ‘get to the easel’ and start to paint.”

In thinking of these formative years in Anderson’s career (he was 30 years old when he began working for Blenko) one can’t help wonder if the Haitian paintings not only inspired his own easel paintings, but also influenced his color choices at Blenko. 

This catalogue provides 36 color images plus 10 pages of color thumbnails showing all of the 150 plus pieces in the show. There is a statement by Winslow Anderson and an introduction by Jenine Culligan who did a wonderful job with the catalog as she did curating the exhibit itself.