We visit Church and Melrose Plantation

Trip Start Apr 18, 2007
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139
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Trip End Oct 16, 2007


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Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Sunday, September 2, 2007

Garry woke us at 8.30am and we set off for their Church where a one hour Sunday school in which we discussed Adam and early chapters of Genesis was followed by a Church service. Everyone was very friendly towards us and we were introduced to more people than we could ever remember.

Afterwards we had a sandwich sub before returning to the house to meet up with Miss Helen who was coming with us to the Melrose plantation. This was a plantation owned by a Creole family from a Spanish land grant set up in 1830s - it subsequently become famous in early 1900s for Cammie Henry  who with her husband owned many plantations and this one was used to house cultural artists and writers who lived free as long as they were producing work. One of the famous painters was Clementine Hunter who lived until 1988 at the ripe age of 101.

Here's the Wiki:


Clementine Hunter (1886/1887 - January 1, 1988) was born around 1886 at Hidden Hill plantation. Clementine's first husband, Charlie Dupree, died in 1914 and she married Emmanuel Hunter in 1924. The two worked at Melrose Plantation in Northwest Louisiana for many years. Melrose Plantation, under the guidance of Cammie Henry, became a Mecca for the arts and numerous artists and writers routinely visited. Noted New Orleans artist Alberta Kinsey left some discarded tubes of paints after a visit in 1939 and Clementine used these discarded paints to "mark a picture," thus beginning her career. Hunter gained support from numerous people associated with Melrose Plantation including François Mignon and James Register. She was the first African American artist to have a solo exhibit at the Delgado Museum (now the New Orleans Museum of Art) and achieved a significant amount of success during her lifetime, including an invitation to the White House by President Jimmy Carter, and an honorary doctorate bestowed by Northwestern State University. Hunter died on Jan 1, 1988.

Hunter's Art

Hunter has become one of the most well known self-taught artists, often referred to as the Black Grandma Moses. She is generally credited as being a social historian capturing portrayals of various scenes of a dying plantation life, including picking cotton, gathering pecans, washing clothes, baptisms and funeral scenes. Hunter was noted for painting on any materials, particularly discarded items such as window shades, cardboard boxes, jugs, bottles, and gourds. Her paintings rarely run larger than 18 by 24 inches and her work has generally been considered uneven, with her work from the 1940s to 1960 considered to be the best.


By the time we got back we were all tired except Huck - so we all took a nap until 7.30pm when Huck's truck arriving back with Popeyes' fried chicken got us back into their massive lounge/kitchen for supper which was then followed by a great evening playing Mexico Train Dominos and we turned in around midnight.
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