National Museum of Women in the Arts Hosts Virtual Happy Hour: Clementine Hunter

By Editorial Team on January 12, 2021
Clementine Hunter, Untitled, 1981; Oil and collage on canvasboard, 14 x 18 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of Evelyn M. Shambaugh; © Clementine Hunter
Event: Tuesday, January 19 from 5:30–6:30pm

Virtual Happy Hour: Clementine Hunter
Join the staff of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) for a virtual happy hour to celebrate Clementine Hunter’s birthday. Make a specialty cocktail (or mocktail) in her honor as we share artworks, stories and explore the museum’s collection and archives for all things Clementine.

Online. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join.

Donation-based; contribute what you wish.

Clementine Hunter (1887–1988) lived and worked most of her life on the Melrose cotton plantation near Natchitoches, Louisiana. She did not start painting until the 1940s when she was already a grandmother. Her first painting, executed on a window shade using paints left behind by a plantation visitor, depicts a baptism in Cane River.

Hunter painted at night, after working all day in the plantation house. She used whatever surfaces she could find, drawing and painting on canvas, wood, gourds, paper, snuff boxes, wine bottles, iron pots, cutting boards and plastic milk jugs.

Working from memory, Hunter recorded everyday life in and around the plantation, from work in the cotton fields to baptisms and funerals. She rendered her figures, usually Black, in expressionless profile and disregarded formal perspective and scale.

Though she first exhibited in 1949, Hunter did not garner public attention until the 1970s when both the Museum of American Folk Art in New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibited her paintings. Even with such success, Hunter chose to stay in Louisiana, working at the plantation until 1970 when she moved to a small trailer a few miles away on an unmarked road.