SOLD - Clementine Hunter



"Graduation" by Clementine Hunter 

Oil and Photo Montage on Canvas Board, Framed

The photograph of Hunter is from 1986, when Northwestern State University in Natchitoches awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts to the then 99-year-old Clementine Hunter.

18.5" x 26.5" Framed

Condition: The painting is in overall fine condition with only minor scuffs to the frame.

This is a unique example of one of Hunter’s works,  of herself receiving the award. * See a 1986 photograph from Northwestern University Archives of Clementine Hunter, assisted by Art Historian Thomas Whitehead, receiving her Hoary Doctorate



"Graduation” was originally part of the Dr. & Mrs. Robert F. Ryan collection. This work was created by the artist at the Melrose Plantation in Natchitoches, LA and it has been authenticated that it was originally purchased by Dr. Ryan at the plantation. This type of provenance is rare and provides the highest level of authenticity to this work. The painting was later purchased by Anton Haardt in November, 1999 from Tom Heller, 1812 9th Place NW, Birmingham, AL 35215-4320

(Ms. Haardt has the original email from Tom Heller concerning her purchase who documents it origin from Dr. Robert F. Ryan)

 A Certificate of Authenticity from Dr. Ryan was mailed to Ms. Haardt in 1999.

Thomas Heller detailed "Graduation" in November, 1999:

"This piece has never been exhibited or seen by others because Dr. Ryan never let it out of his collection. Dr. Ryan asked Clementine to paint a series of these canvas boards on which he had affixed the original photos. Whenever someone would come by to visit, Clementine she would put the painting away so no one ever saw them until Dr. Ryan came to buy them from her. These are of historical value because of the photos of Clementine and her painting around the photo."

Dr. Robert F. Ryan, a retired plastic surgeon and art enthusiast, from Metairie, Louisiana, was an early collector of Clementine Hunter's art. In July 2007, Ogden Museum mounted an Exhibit of a Private Collection of Clementine Hunter 's Art, including pieces from Dr. Ryan’s collection, then 88 years old.

In 1998, Dr. Ryan wrote an article on Clementine Hunter for Raw Vision Magazine Volume #24 in which he said::

         "Many people found Clementine to be very reserved and shy, but this was only until she got to know and trust you. I doubt she ever remembered my name. She referred to me as the tall, bald-headed doctor but I was able to visit and joke with her for one or two hours each month when I visited her from the early 1960's until shortly before her 'passing"


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