Mother and Son

Roland Dorcély, Haitian, 1930 - 2017


before 1957

Tempera on composition board

Overall: 48 3/8 × 32 3/16 in. (122.9 × 81.7 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Gift of Diana J. and Professor Emeritus H. Wentworth Eldredge, Class of 1931



Place Made: Haiti, Caribbean, Central America


20th century

Object Name


Research Area



On view


Signed, lower right: R. Dorc (signature appears to have been cut off); on reverse, in black crayon: #101 MOTHER AND SON


Energetic brushstrokes and deep colors give the painting a sense of vitality. In Haiti, Vodou practitioners often wear white, symbolizing purity, at ceremonies. Haitian Vodou is a blend of West African vodun spirituality and Roman Catholicism, and fittingly, the mother’s act of cleansing her feet in a basin might allude to the Christian ritual of feet washing. There is a rich, evocative history of painting in Haiti, of which Roland Dorcély is a mainstay.

From the 2023 exhibition Homecoming: Domesticity and Kinship in Global African Art, curated by Alexandra Thomas, Curatorial Research Associate

Course History

ANTH 50, AAAS 88, LACS 50, Haiti at the Crossroads, Chelsey Kivland, Spring 2013

ANTH 50.4, AAAS 88.5, LACS 50.2, Race, Power, and Development in Global Haiti, Chelsey Kivland, Fall 2013

ANTH 7, Haiti and Its Visitors, Chelsey Kivland, Winter 2019

SART 31/SART 72, Painting II/III, Colleen Randall, Spring 2022

First Year Student Enrichment Program – Cultures, Identities and Belongings, Colleen Lannon, Summer 2023

First Year Student Enrichment Program - Cultures, Identities and Belongings, Mokhtar Bouba, Summer 2023

Philosophy 1.11, Art: True, Beautiful, Nasty, John Kulvicki, Summer 2023

Writing 2.05, Why Write, Anyway?, Erkki Mackey, Fall 2023

Writing 5.24, Photographic Representations, Amanda Wetsel, Fall 2023

Writing 5.25, Photographic Representations, Amanda Wetsel, Fall 2023

Exhibition History

Homecoming: Domesticity and Kinship in Global African Art, Harteveldt Family Gallery, Owen Robertson Cheatham Gallery, and Northeast Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire, July 22, 2023–May 25, 2024.

Publication History

Dean, Stephanie. "The Mother's Voice", A Video Tape Presentation for partial requirement of MALS Degree, Dartmouth College

Brian P. Kennedy and Emily Shubert Burke, Modern and Contemporary Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art, Hanover: Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2009 p.27, no.5.


Diana Joan Younger Eldredge (1919-1999) and H. Wentworth Eldredge (1909-1991), Norwich, Vermont; given to present collection, 1984.

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