Galerie Monnin is more than just a name. It's a story of passion, creativity, and collaboration that spans three generations. For over six decades, it has been a beacon of Haitian artistry, showcasing the extraordinary works of Haiti's uniquely expressive creators. Its humble beginnings start with Freda and Roger Monnin, Swiss immigrants who soon after moving to the country in 1947 established rapports with a group of artists who would later be coined the masters of naïve Haitian art. Recognizing the potential of this collaboration, Freda opened their home to the public while Roger established the flagship gallery in downtown Port-au-Prince.
In 1968 Freda and Roger's son, Michel, and his first wife, Lena, joined his parents at the gallery. With the support of Lena and later his second wife, Toni, Michel founded the Atelier Monnin as a studio and gallery that provided a space for Haitian artists to exhibit their work and collaborate with one another. The impact of the Atelier Monnin movement on Haitian art cannot be overstated, as it fostered a new generation of artists and helped to establish Haitian art as a powerful force in the global art scene.
The Monnin women continued to play an integral role in its success, working tirelessly to promote the studio's vision and the artists' work. In the early 2000s, Michel and Lena’s daughter, renowned contemporary artist Pascale Monnin, returned to Haiti, pushing the gallery deeper into the Contemporary Haitian art scene. The gallery's innovative spirit continues today under the leadership of Michel and Toni's daughter, Gaël Monnin. Now the owner and executive director, Gaël carries on the tradition of preserving the essence of Haitian culture while fostering its growth and evolution. In 2020 Gaël expanded gallery operations to Miami, FL. She maintains the original gallery in Haiti.