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Clementine Hunter


Clementine  Hunter

Clementine Hunter was born on Hidden Hill Plantation (now called Little Eva Plantation) near Natchitoches, Louisiana, in December of 1886. When she was a young girl, her father moved the family away from the harsh environment at Hidden Hill (the plantation that was supposedly the basis for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin) to the more hospitable Melrose Plantation. Clementine lived at Melrose for most of the rest of life, moving just right down the road a few years before she died on January 1, 1988, at the age of 101. Melrose was a cotton plantation founded in the 1790’s by the freed Congo woman, Marie Therese and her son Augustin Metoyer. The plantation and its family were a focal point of the African and Creole cultures along the Cane River. During Clementine’s days there, it had become a small artist colony, where Louisiana writers and artists like Alberta Kinsey, Caroline Dorman, and Harnett Kane spent time with others such as William Faulkner and John Steinbeck.

As the story goes, New Orleans artist Alberta Kinsey left some paints and brushes behind on one of her visits to Melrose in about 1940. Clementine, who had at this time turned from work in the cotton fields to work in the kitchen as the cook at Melrose, found the paints and brushes and asked permission to paint a picture of her own. She presented Melrose resident Francois Mignon with a painting of a Cane River baptism on a window shade, and her life changed forever.

Clementine Hunter is Louisiana’s most famous female artist, and she is one of the most important folk artists of all time. Her work can be seen in the Smithsonian Institute, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Museum of American Folk Art in New York, the High Museum of Atlanta, the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, the New York Historical Association, the Oprah Winfrey Collection in Chicago and many other museums and private collections across the country.

Additional Information:
Born: 1886
Died: 1988

Associated News
A look back at the 2016 Outsider Art Fair
January 29, 2016
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Melrose Plantation's African House has been restored
July 13, 2015
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Restored African House Murals Return to Natchitoches
March 28, 2015
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Thank You to All of Our Visitors at the 2015 Outsider Art Fair!
February 11, 2015
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Gilley's Gallery at the 2015 Outsider Art Fair
January 1, 2015
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Restoration of Clementine Hunter's African House Murals at Melrose Plantation
December 31, 2014
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Gilley's Gallery in New York Times Article "Looking for Clementine Hunter's Louisiana".
June 16, 2013
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Rober Wilson Discusses His Latest Opera About the Life of Clementine Hunter
January 22, 2013
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Participants in the Watermill Center Summer Program recreate African House
December 28, 2011
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Associated Videos
Revisiting Clementine Hunter’s Murals at African House
May 27, 2015
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New York Times "In The Footsteps of Clementine Hunter"
June 14, 2013
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Associated Exhibitions
January 19 - January 22, 2017
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Outsider Art Fair 2016
A preview of what we're bringing to this year's Outsider Art Fair in New York
January 21 - January 24, 2016
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Outsider Art Fair 2015
A preview of what we're bringing to the Outsider Art Fair NYC
January 29 - February 1, 2015
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8750 Florida Blvd.
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