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Clementine Hunter

Clementine Hunter (1887-1988) painted every day from the 1930s until several days before her death at age 101. She produced between five and ten thousand paintings, ranging from her well-known, colorful canvases to glass snuff bottles and discarded roofing shingles, including her most ambitious work, the African House Murals. She spent the first half of her life working in the fields of Louisiana’s Melrose Plantation, but it was when she moved to the plantation’s Big House and became a cook and domestic servant that her creativity blossomed. Her memory paintings of cotton planting and harvesting, washdays, weddings, births, baptisms, funerals, spirituality, Saturday night revelry, and flowers recall her experiences of everyday plantation life along the Cane River. More than a personal record of Hunter’s life, her art also reflects the social, material, and cultural aspects of twentieth-century plantation life in Louisiana’s African American community.