In Search of Julien Hudson (Historic New Orleans Collection) pdf, epub, doc

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Published on the occasion of the exhibition In Search of Julien Hudson: Free Artist of Color in Pre-Civil War New Orleans.

Julien Hudson, the second earliest known portraitist of African heritage to have worked in the United States, was a product of a very specific time and place: pre-Civil War New Orleans. Born January 9, 1811, Hudson was the son of a property-owning free woman of color and an English merchant. A French-speaking Catholic raised primarily by women, Hudson lived in a city where his racial ancestry and status as a free person of color left him forever straddling the line between freedom and slavery. Hudson s own story reveals the striking level of mobility available to some free people or, more specifically, native-born free men of color. Hudson took up his career in painting after a brief stint as a tailor's apprentice in the mid-1820s. In New Orleans he trained first with itinerant miniaturist Antonio Meucci and later with German painter François (Franz) Fleischbein, but he also took two trips to Paris, where he studied with well-known French painter Alexandre-Denis Abel de Pujol.

Julien Hudson's portrait-painting career was short he died young, at age 33, in 1844. The circumstances surrounding his death are a mystery. All that remains of his body of work are five paintings by his hand and two attributed to him by stylistic affinity. It is difficult to know whether these works are a reasonable representation of his artistic abilities, but in the context of American art history, their mere existence has fueled a lively discussion about the painter and his world.

The fourth publication in The Collection's Louisiana Artists Biography Series, In Search of Julien Hudson is carefully researched and written by art historian William Keyse Rudolph and historian Patricia Brady and accompanies an exhibition curated by Rudolph, on view at The Historic New Orleans Collection (January 20-April 20, 2011), the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina (July 22-October 16, 2011), and the Worcester Art Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts (December 20, 2011-March 11, 2012). The exhibition showcases Hudson's small but significant body of work, along with more than two dozen paintings, sculptures, and drawings by his mentors and contemporaries. In telling Hudson's story, The Collection hopes to explore not only a series of remarkable antebellum paintings but also the history of free people of color in New Orleans, and how issues of race, class, and ethnicity defined, and perhaps limited, Hudson's own artistic horizons.

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Book info

  • Author:
  • Publisher:Historic New Orleans Collection
  • File: 1.9 Mb
  • Release: 02.03.2011
  • ISBN: 9780917860577
  • Pages 114
  • Rating: 5 (2 votes)


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