Clementine Hunter

clementine hunterI
Image from book cover "Clementine Hunter: Her Life and Art" by Thomas Whitehead and Art Shiver. The book reveals new details about Hunter and explores the relationships that helped bring the “outsider” artist to the attention of museums, galleries, and collectors.
Folk artist Clementine Hunter was born in 1886, at Hidden Hill - a cotton plantation close to Cloutierville, Louisiana. When she reached age 14, Clementine's family moved to the Melrose Plantation. Melrose was a very large plantation. In 1938 a man named Francois Mignon joined the Melrose family, working as a literary assistant to Miss Cammie. Francois recognized the creativity in Clementine Hunter, and it was due to his encouragement that the now 54-year-old woman began painting. Francois gave her some paint, and the next morning she presented him with a painting. For the next forty some years, Clementine produced 4000 paintings, each one telling a story of life as she saw it.

Clementine did not always have canvas so she used old window shades, bottles, cardboard and brown paper bags. Her paintings were a storybook about everyday life on and around the plantation. She received an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts by Northwestern State University of Natchitoches and her name is preserved in the famous walk of stars in the city of Natchitoches. Clementine Hunter died on January 1, 1988 and was buried near Melrose, close to her friend Francois Mignon who believed in her gift. 

clementine hunter

Above image of Clementine Hunter is from Look magazine, June 16, 1953. Photo by Clarence John Laughlin. 

Below, an example of Clementine's art. 

clementine hunter art