Inventing Acadia: Painting and Place in Louisiana at New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), through January 26, 2020

“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.  

From the early 19th century onwards, Louisiana’s dense forests and tangled, impenetrable swamplands—branded as Acadie, or Acadia—came to represent America’s fascination with untamed wilderness. In Louisiana, artists encountered a landscape utterly unlike the Northeastern forests and mountains around which the very idea of the American landscape had been formed. Louisiana drew painters from France, New York, Boston, Mexico and the Caribbean, who made the region a testing ground for new ideas about landscape representation. This resulted in landscape paintings that brought American art into conversation with a new type of terrain, as well as a more international set of artistic and cultural references. Far from a regional phenomenon, Inventing Acadia shows how Louisiana landscape painting was part of a national–and even international–landscape conversation.” — NOMA

LA-2019-57_Brammer_Mississippi Panorama

Robert Brammer, Mississippi Panorama, 1842-1853, Oil on canvas, 29 x 36 inches, Collection of Stacy and Jay Underwood

56-34

Alfred W. Boisseau, Louisiana Indians Walking Along a Bayou, 1847, Oil on canvas, 24 x 40 inches, Gift of William E. Groves, New Orleans Museum of Art, 56.34

NOC340917

John Antrobus, A Plantation Burial, 1860, Oil on canvas, 52 ¾ x 81 5/16 inches, The Historic New Orleans Collection, The L. Kemper and Leila Moore Williams Founders Collection, 1960.46

A Swamp in the Landes

Theodore Rousseau, A Swamp in the Landes, after 1844, Oil on panel, 16 7/16 x 22 5/16 inches, The Walters Art Museum, 37.991

LA-2019-4_Duncanson_Uncle Tom and Little Eva

Robert Seldon Duncanson, Uncle Tom and Little Eva, 1853, Oil on canvas, 27 ¼ x 38 ¼ inches, Gift of Mrs. Jefferson Butler and Miss Grace R. Conover, Detroit Institute of the Arts, 49.498 

50.118_SL3 copy

Joseph Rusling Meeker, The Acadians in the Atchafalaya, “Evangeline,” 1871, Oil on canvas, 32 1/8 x 42 3/16 inches, A. Augustus Healy Fund, The Brooklyn Museum, 50.118

Julio Life Along a Louisiana Bayou

Everett B.D. Fabrino Julio, Life Along a Louisiana Bayou, 1877, Oil on canvas, 15 ¼ x 30 ¼ inches, Collection of Roger Houston Ogden

Meeker After the Storm LSU MOA

Joseph Rusling Meeker, After a Storm—Lake Maurepas, 1888, Oil on canvas, 20 ½ x 32 ¼ inches, Gift of the Phi Gamma Chapter of the Chi Omega Society, Louisiana State University Museum of Art, 98.14

Durand Forenoon 1847 NOMA

Asher Brown Durand, Forenoon, 1847, Oil on canvas, 60 ¼ x 48 ¼ inches, Gift of the Fine Arts Club of New Orleans, New Orleans Museum of Art, 16.4

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George David Coulon, Spirit of Louisiana, 1894, Oil on canvas, 44 x 27 inches, Gift of the Fine Arts Club of New Orleans on the occasion of their 60th Anniversary, New Orleans Museum of Art, 76.69

Inventing Acadia: Painting and Place in Louisiana is accompanied by a site-specific contemporary art installation in NOMA’s Great Hall by the artist Regina Agu, created in partnership with A Studio in the Woods, through an artist residency. For her project, Agu created a large-scale photographic panorama that wraps the museum’s Great Hall, based on her experiences revisiting the sites of many of the historical landscape paintings in the exhibition. 

Inventing Acadia: Painting and Place in Louisiana is organized by the New Orleans Museum of Art.