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The Cover
October 2, 2002

St Francis and the Christ Child

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2002;288(13):1561. doi:10.1001/jama.288.13.1561

Haitian art is unique for its fusion of French and African cultures. Unrefined yet bursting with color and originality, it captures the island's joie de vivre. It was this quality, demonstrated by the exotic works of untrained and unschooled Haitian painters, that caught the eye of American watercolorist DeWitt Peters.

During World War II, Peters, a conscientious objector, moved to Haiti to teach English as an alternative to serving in the military. He was immediately taken by the raw yet vibrant paintings that would be labeled "natural" or "naïve" art. To provide the artists with training and exhibition space, he founded the Centre d'Art in Haiti's capital city of Port-au-Prince in 1944 with assistance of the Haitian government.

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