Clementine Hunter's African House Murals: How Personal Memory and Fictional Narrative Interact to Create a Biographical Representation of Plantation Life during the First Half of the Twentieth Century in Rural Louisiana
Date of Award
Master of Arts
General Art History
In this thesis, I present research on Clementine Hunter's African House Murals, a set of nine panels that depict an overview of plantation life in rural Louisiana during the first half of the twentieth century. Hunter is classified as a self-taught artist of place, but is also known as a memory painter. Hunter relied on her personal memories and experiences growing up and living at Melrose Plantation in Natchitoches, Louisiana for inspiration throughout this monumnetal work. However, a character by the name of Francois Mignon played a large role in the final product. During the 1930s, he began re-crafting the history of Melrose to include historical figures such as Marie Therese Coincoin and Claude Thomas Pierre Metoyer. While the legend of Coincoin had existed for at least one hundred years prior to his arriaval, Mignon is the first to connect her name to the founding of Melrose Plantation. The combination of Hunter's personal memories intertwined with Mignon's fictional narrative is what makes the African House Murals so unique. This thesis will explore said interaction and analyze the final product.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Stafford, Mary Aubrey Landrum, "Clementine Hunter's African House Murals: How Personal Memory and Fictional Narrative Interact to Create a Biographical Representation of Plantation Life during the First Half of the Twentieth Century in Rural Louisiana" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1516.