Louisiana Art History

with an emphasis on representational art



This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "Louisiana Art History." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to the articles and essays.

Following the links to Resource Library articles and essays are a listing of museums in the state which have provided materials to Resource Library for this or any other topic.

Listed after Resource Library articles, essays and museums are links to online resources outside the TFAO website. Following these resources is information about offline resources including DVDs, paper-printed books, journals and articles. Our goal is to present complete knowledge relating to this section of Topics in American Art.


Resource Library essays listed by author name in alphabetical order, followed by articles:

Women Artists in Louisiana, 1825-1965: A Place of Their Own by Judith Bonner

Ah-Louisiana, The Land of the Acadians: Wildfowl Carvers


We recommend that researchers search within Resource Library for additional material. Please see TFAO's page How to research topics not listed for more information.


Museums and other non-profit sources of Resource Library articles and essays:

Louisiana Arts and Science Center

New Orleans Museum of Art

Ogden Museum of Southern Art

R. W. Norton Art Gallery

University Center Art Gallery / Louisiana State University

Zigler Museum


(above: New Orleans Museum of Art, April, 2014. Photo by John Hazeltine © 2014)


Other online information:

Artists' Association of New Orleans from Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Accessed August, 2015.

Artists from Louisiana in Wikipedia. Accessed August, 2015.

Artist Views of New Orleans from The Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Accessed August, 2015.

"The Arts and Crafts Club of New Orleans, 1922-1951" by Judith Bonner, from Spring 2007 issue of Louisiana Cultural Vistas, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Accessed August, 2015.

From New Orleans to Mexico and Back: Modernist Paintings by Olive Leonhardt is a 2017 exhibit at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art which says: "The artist's  granddaughter has noted that there are numerous similarities between the places Leonhardt visited in Mexico and the French Quarter of New Orleans in that they were tourist destinations, were friendly to the arts, boasted colonial architecture, and celebrated the many festivals of Catholic culture. Her initial trepidation at being able to capture the spirit of Mexican culture as powerfully as she was able to portray the essence of the Southeastern United States eventually dissolved." Also see Wikipedia entry. Accessed 5/17

Historical Louisiana Artists, Newcomb Pottery and Arts & Crafts, Newcomb College Art School and Shearwater Pottery, Ocean Springs, Mississippi from Jean Bragg Gallery of Southern Art. Accessed August, 2015.

Inventing Acadia: Painting and Place in Louisiana is a 2019 exhibit at the New Orleans Museum of Art which says: "The first major exhibition on Louisiana landscape painting in more than 40 years, Inventing Acadia explores the rise of landscape painting in Louisiana during the 19th century, revealing its role in creating -- and exporting -- a new vision for American landscape art that was vastly different than that to be found in the rest of the United States." Accessed 8/20

Kathryn Keller: The View From Within is a 2017 exhibit at the Alexandria Museum of Art which says: "Through her interiors, landscapes, and portraits, Keller shows her love of the Southern world in all its forms from her homes at Inglewood in Central Louisiana and New Orleans and her travels." Also see artist's website. Accessed 4/17

Lee Friedlander in Louisiana is a 2018 exhibit at the New Orleans Museum of Art which says: "... Lee Friedlander in Louisiana explores the ways in which Louisiana, and New Orleans in particular, have had a profound impact on the career of this important artist, while also highlighting Friedlander's significance as a documentarian of the local music community. Comprised of vintage prints and never before seen images, the photographs of jazz musicians, monuments, and street life demonstrate how Louisiana has been central to the development of one of the country's most influential photographers." Also see biography in Wikipedia. Accessed 5/18

Louisiana (sampling of artists and works connected to state) from askArt. Accessed August, 2015.

Louisiana: A Guide to the State, By Federal Writers' Project, Writers' Program, Published by US History Publishers, 1947. ISBN 1603540172, 9781603540179. 746 pages, "Art" Page 161 to 177. (Google Books full view). Accessed August, 2015.

Louisiana Art from the Encyclopedia of Louisiana, a project of Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, contains biographies of artists of the state plus entries including:

Newton Howard: Painter of the Sportsman's Paradise is a 2018 exhibit at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art which says: "Newton Howard (1912-1984) was a New Orleans painter known for his serene landscapes of the marshes and bayous of South Louisiana."  Accessed 10/18

Paintings from the Louisiana State Museum and Painting in Louisiana from the Historic New Orleans Collection, from LOUISiana Digital Library. Accessed August, 2015.

Per(Sister): Incarcerated Women of Louisiana is a 2019 major exhibit at the Newcomb Art Museum which says: "Newcomb Art Museum has partnered with formerly incarcerated women, community organizations, stakeholders, and those directly impacted by the prison system to create the exhibition Per(Sister), which is intended to share the stories of currently and formerly incarcerated women in Louisiana, and shine a light on the myriad issues as identified and expressed by the women themselves"   Accessed 2/20

Visual Arts Collection from the Louisiana State Museum. Accessed August, 2015.

Women, Art, and Social Change: The Newcomb Pottery Enterprise is a 2016 exhibit at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts which says: "With 180 objects that span 45 years of production, the exhibition examines the role that the Newcomb school played in promoting art for the advancement of women and, in turn, New Orleans' business and cultural communities, which were still struggling from the effects of the Civil War."  Also see news release. Accessed 8/18

"Women Artists in Louisiana 1825-1965" by Judith H. Bonner, from Summer 2009 issue of Louisiana Cultural Vistas, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

Women Artists in Louisiana, 1825-1965: A Place of Their Own, April 15-September 13, 2009, New Orleans Museum of Art, from The Historic New Orleans Collection. Accessed August, 2015.

"Women Artists in Louisiana, 1965-2010," and biographies including the artist William Woodward from Historic New Orleans Collection. Accessed August, 2015.


TFAO's Distinguished Artists catalogue provides online access to biographical information for artists associated with this state. Also, Search Resource Library for online articles and essays concerning both individual artists associated with this state's history and the history of art centers and museums in this state. Resource Library articles and essays devoted to individual artists and institutions are not listed on this page.


Books, listed by year of publication, with most recently published book listed first:

Confronting Modernity: Art and Society in Louisiana, by Richard MeGraw. 304 pages. Publisher: University Press of Mississippi (March 1, 2008). ISBN-10: 1578064171. ISBN-13: 978-1578064175. Product Description: "Confronting Modernity: Art and Society in Louisiana examines how the conflicts and benefits of modernity's nationalizing influences were reflected and resisted by the state's artists in the first half of the twentieth century. In Louisiana, such change not only produced the turbulent politics of the Huey Long era but also provoked debate over new ideas on art and social roles for artists. By using two of Louisiana's most prominent cultural figures of the era as lenses, Megraw reveals the state's complex relationship with modernity. Artist Ellsworth Woodward and writer Lyle Saxon battled to retain artistic control over what they considered the exceptional character of Louisiana. Woodward defended localized assumptions through art in the world-renowned pottery program he established in 1892 and directed for more than forty years at Sophie Newcomb College. Saxon, on the other hand, fought against modernity's encroachment from within, serving as director of the Federal Writers Project in Louisiana. He used his position to promote literature and culture that preserved local place and historic structure from the transformations wrought by industrialism, consumerism, and the mass media. Confronting Modernity vividly explores how Louisiana's struggles with America's rush to modernize mirrored battles for autonomy happening between artists and governments across the country. Richard Megraw is associate professor of American studies at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. His work has been published in Prospects: An Annual of American Cultural Studies. " (text courtesy of Amazon.com)

Complementary Visions of Louisiana Art: The Laura Simon Nelson Collection at the Historic New Orleans Collection by William H. Gerdts (Author), George E. Jordan (Author), Judith H. Bonner (Author), Patricia Brady (Author), Louise C. Hoffman (Author), Lynn D. Adams (Author). 95 pages. Publisher: Historic New Orleans Collection; 1st edition (October 1996). ISBN-10: 091786039X. ISBN-13: 978-0917860393

Louisiana art from the Roger Houston Ogden collection: A joint exhibition held at the Anglo-American Art Museum, Memorial Tower, and Hill Memorial Library, ... Louisiana, September 13-November 15, 1992, by H. Parrott Bacot. 64 pages. Publisher: The University (1992). ASIN: B0006F0JWI

Downriver: Currents of Style in Louisiana Painting, 1800-1950, by Estill Curtis Pennington. 208 pages. Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company (February 1991). ISBN-10: 0882898000. ISBN-13: 978-0882898001

Encyclopedia of New Orleans Artists, 1718-1918. New Orleans: Historic New Orleans Collection, 1987.

Louisiana Landscape and Genre Paintings of the 19th Century: A Loan Exhibition, April 12-May 24, 1981, the R.W. Norton Art Gallery, Shreveport, Louisiana, By R.W. Norton Art Gallery. Published by R.W. Norton Art Gallery. 1981. ISBN 0913060194, 9780913060193. 44 pages

The Louisiana Portrait Gallery, By John Burton Harter, Louisiana State Museum, Mary Louise Tucker, Louisiana State Museum. Published by Louisiana State Museum, 1979

Louisiana's Art Nouveau: The Crafts of the Newcomb Style, by Suzanne Ormond (Author), Mary E. Irvine (Author). 196 pages. Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company (1976). ISBN-10: 088289112X. ISBN-13: 978-0882891125

Louisiana Folk Art, By Anglo-American Art Museum, Anglo-American Art Museum, Baton Rouge Louisiana State University. Published by Anglo-American Art Museum, 1972. 44 pages

Sail and Steam in Louisiana Waters: Exhibition September 19-December 8, 1971, By Anglo-American Art Museum, Published by Anglo-American Art Museum, 1971

19th Century Louisiana Painters and Paintings from the Collection of W. E. Groves, By Martin Wiesendanger, William E. Groves, Margaret Wiesendanger, W.E. Groves Collection. Compiled by Martin Wiesendanger, Margaret Wiesendanger. Contributor William E. Groves. Published by Pelican Pub Co Inc, 1971. ISBN 0911116524, 9780911116526. 118 pages

The Louisiana Landscape, 1800-1969, By Anglo-American Art Museum. Published 1969. 52 pages. "[Loan exhibition] September 14-November 15, 1969, Anglo-American Art Museum, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana." Source: Google Books

Louisiana Artists from the Collection of Dr. and Mrs. James N. Nelson, By James N Nelson, LSU Union Art Committee. Published by J.-B. Print. Co, 1968. Google Books says: "Exhibit at Louisiana State University Union Building July 15, 1968; sponsored by LSU Union Art Committee."

Monumental New Orleans, By Edward J. Cocke. Published by La Fayette Publishers, 1968. 36 pages. Source: Google Books

Louisiana Paintings of the Nineteenth Century: Lent by Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Groves, New Orleans; an Exhibition in the Louisiana State University Library, October and November, 1959, By Louisiana State University Library, William E. Groves, Gladys Rhodes Groves, Published by Louisiana State University Library, 1959

Contemporary Art and Artists in New Orleans, By Isaac Monroe Cline. Published by , 1924. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized May 17, 2006. 15 pages. Google Books says: "Reprinted from Biennial report, Louisiana State museum. 1924."

Art and Artists in New Orleans During the Last Century, By Isaac Monroe Cline. Published by s.n., 1922. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized Jan 2, 2007. 13 pages. Google Books says: "Reprinted from Biennial report, Louisiana State Museum, 1922." Note Google Books offers a Full View: of Biennial Report, By Louisiana State Museum. 922. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized Feb 21, 2008

Some Notables of New Orleans: Biographical and Descriptive Sketches of the Artists of New Orleans and Their Work, Illustrated with Extracts from the Works of Poets and Dramatists, Art in Music, Painting, Sculpture, Poetry, and the Drama, By May W. Mount. Published by M.W. Mount, 1896. 182 pages



Historical Sketch of Art in Louisiana, By Ben Earl Looney. Reprinted from The Louisiana Historical Quarterly, [vol. 18, no. 2. April 1935]

"A Different Slant of Light: A Bicentennial History of Art in Louisiana" by Michael Sartisky Ph.D., from Winter 2011-12 issue of Louisiana Cultural Vistas, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities


Do you know of additional sources whether online or paper-printed? TFAO welcomes your suggestions. Please send them to:

TFAO wishes to extend appreciation to Jerry Bloomer, Director, The R.W. Norton Art Gallery and Tony Lewis, Ph.D., Curator of Visual Art, Louisiana State Museum, for their review and suggestions concerning this page.

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