From Rubble to Revival
This photo from Child in Hand, May2: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Child-in-Hand/181923065198109?hc_location=timeline
Written by Nancy Beth Jackson Photographed by Maggie Steber
This is a fascinating “MUST READ” with twelve gorgeous photographs!
From his expansive terrace high above Port-au-Prince, Georges S. Nader’s home boasted panoramic views of the harbor and the bustling Bord-de-Mer business district, where this son of struggling Lebanese immigrants had worked his way up from stock boy to general manager of La Belle Créole, Haiti’s first and most luxurious department store. Founded by Palestinians who arrived in the late 19th century, La Belle Créole symbolized the commercial prowess of Arab–Haitians, who had not always been welcome in the country.
In the 1960’s, Nader walked away from his mercantile success to take a chance on a very different kind of merchandise: Haitian art, already a popular souvenir for the tourists who arrived on cruise ships three times a week. He opened one small shop downtown, and then another, and he rewarded taxi drivers for bringing clients to his door. By 1992, when he built his three-story mansion on the hill—it also housed his Galerie Nader and the Nader Musée d’Art—he had become one of the nation’s best-known dealers and collectors. “On top of the town, top in the arts” read the sign outside the 35-room structure in the hilly neighborhood of Croix des Prez. His personal collection of 12,000 Haitian works of art, including pieces by naïf masters Hippolyte, Obin and Benoit, was considered the largest in the nation and perhaps anywhere.