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Dominican Art History: A Timeline of Events

English Version · Version en Español
Merengue, 1938, detail, by Jaime Colson
Dominican Art History, a timeline of events and the people that helped shape the history of art in the Dominican Republic.

The Pre-Colonial Period: Aboriginal and Taino art To paraphrase, we do not know how art in the Dominican Republic actually began. Long before the Columbus invasion, the Taino people (and before them the aboriginal inhabitants) of the Greater Antilles were creating art, deliberate or not, in the form of pottery, stone and wood carvings, jewelry and cave drawings.

Like many indigenous people, the artistic skills of the Taino is best observed in the clay pottery and sculptures carved from wood or stone that still survive today. These artifacts were created for daily use or ceremonial purposes to honor the dead or the various gods that were observed at the time.

Cave Art Throughout the southern region we find several cave systems adorned with petroglyphs (rock engravings) and pictographs (pai…
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Rosa Idalia Garcia, artist from Santiago de los Caballeros

Abstract artist, Rosa Idalia García was born 1944, in the city of Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic. A student of the School of Fine Arts in her hometown, Garcia also received art lessons from Yoryi Morel (Santiago, 1906-1976) and Federico Izquierdo (Moncion, 1904-2004).

"Ojo de buey" completed in 1968

"Helecho" completed in 1969
Throughout her career, now spanning five decades, this artist has enjoyed the admiration of art lovers and critics; She was awarded in the IV and V Eduardo Leon Jimenes Art Contest in the Painting category with the works Ojo de Buey and Helecho, respectively. Her works are part of the collections of the Museum of Modern Art of Santo Domingo, the Chamber of Deputies of the Dominican Republic and the Centro Cultural Eduardo León Jimenes in Santiago.

Garcia is also recognized for her role in advancing the arts in the Dominican Republic; she's held leadership roles at various cultural institutions, such as the Center of Cult…

Jose Morillo's Naïve Art

Naïve Art, by Jose MorilloLive music, dancing, farmers working, palm trees, Dominicans enjoying life, these are the scenes often found in Jose Morillo's paintings.

Jose Morillo was born in Santo Domingo, in 1975. He briefly studied art under Miguel Gómez (Santo Domingo, 1953), but is mostly a self-taught artist. His work is a favorite among Dominican art collectors (considered the most prominent naïve artist of his era), and has won several national and international awards. Since 1997, Morillo has participated in solo and collective exhibitions in Dominican Republic and abroad–including New York, Boston and Miami.

León Bosch: Portraits from the Tropic

La niña de los limoncillos, completed in 1969

The Last Supper, completed in 1972

Shoeshine boy, completed in 1985

Portrait of John, completed in 1985

Portait of a Dominican teenager, completed in 1987

Portrait of Ramonita, completed in 1987

Maxima, completed in 1989

The peasant girl, completed in 1992

Portrait of my Father, completed in 1996

Portrait of Ramonita, completed in 1997
Portraits from the Tropic, by León BoschThis selection of portrait paintings by Dominican artist Leon Bosch, spanning almost three decades (1969-1997), is a view through the artist's eyes at the people and scenes that have surrounded him throughout his career.
León Bosch, born 1936 in Santo Domingo, is best recognized as the son of former Dominican president and author, Juan Bosch. But to art lovers and artist alike, he is Leon Bosch the artist, admired for his skills in portraiture, landscapes and still life paintings.

Bosch, began his life as an artist in his early teenage years, but would soo…

Drawings by Jose Levy, 2017-2018

Family Sunday, completed in 2018

Andullero (Tobacco roller), completed in 2018

Goat eating hog plums, completed in 2018

Goico as a faun masturbating, completed in 2018

Anti-Insomnia Method, completed in 2017

Reading the constitution in a latrine, completed in 2017

The Man-Eater vs a dog, completed in 2017

Guinea hen, completed in 2017

Delivery, completed in 2017

Mama, completed in 2017
"José Levy addresses popular imaginary, rituals, mythologies and gestures of daily Dominican chaos with a level of expressive skill, freshness, dark humor, corrosive irony, metaphorical precision and inevitable grace that reaffirm the vitality of his rotund and distinctive creative emergence..." (Amable López Meléndez) José Levy was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in 1978, where he lives and works.

Persio Minier: Artist from Mao, Valverde, Established in The Bronx

Inmigrantes (series), completed in 2018

Inmigrantes (series), completed in 2018

Inmigrantes (series), completed in 2018

Inmigrantes (series), completed in 2017

Inmigrantes (series), completed in 2017

Inmigrantes (series), completed in 2017
Inmigrantes, a series of abstract paintings by Persio Minier, completed between 2017-2018
If you were born and raised in the Dominican Republic, there is a good chance that you recognize the sandal tracks on Persio Minier's "Inmigrantes" series of abstract paintings, in which he retells that familiar immigration story line of the American dream.

In the works Minier uses red to represent the struggle, white for success, and sandal prints to represent the persons.
Persio Minier was born in Mao, Valverde, Dominican Republic. From a young age he showed interest in art and began to draw. He later moves to Santiago where he studies art under Jacinto Dominguez, a great influence to Minier.

Today, Minier lives and works in the Bedford a…

7 Sculptures by Gaspar Mario Cruz

Baquiní
Mahogany, 46 x 37 x 34 inches, completed in 2006

Taina
Mahogany, 55 x 14 x 10 inches, completed in 1980

Cacica (Chieftain)
Mahogany, 22 x 12 x 6 inches, completed in 1980

The Family
Mahogany, 24 x 11 x 13 inches, completed in 1950-60

The Lovers
Mahogany, 26 x 9 x 8 inches, completed in 1950-60

The Lovers
Bronze, 20 x 4 x 3 inches, completed in 1950-60

The Lovers
Wood, 42 x 10 x 11 inches, completed in 1948
Sculptures by Gaspar Mario Cruz
His themes and subjects are the people and stories of the Dominican Republic. His preferred medium was Mahogany wood, with that rich brown color that matched his skin. Gaspar Mario Cruz (1929-2006) was born in San Francisco de Macoris, where he remembers molding his first clay figure when he was only eight years old.
His sculptures, mostly wood carvings, associate the material of nature with legends and popular beliefs about gods, powers and ability to survive, achieving a great metaphor for nature and life.
–Jeanette Miller: Gaspar Mario Cruz 'T…