Along with pecans, we also celebrate the life, legacy, and works of Clementine Hunter. Clementine Hunter paintings truly represent the rich and storied history of Louisiana, and how pecans fit into that history back then as well as going forward. While you may have seen her works before, few know a whole lot about Clementine Hunter, and why she’s such a special and celebrated folk artist even today.
Born in 1887 in Cloutierville, Louisiana, Clementine Hunter lived and worked the majority of her life on the Melrose Cotton Plantation in none other than Natchitoches, Louisiana. While some may think that Clementine Hunter’s talent for art came early on, it wasn’t until the 1940’s she started picking up painting as a hobby. Already a grandmother at this time, her first painting was of a baptism she witnessed on the Cane River, and it was painted on a window shade with paints left behind by a former plantation visitor. These first Clementine Hunter paintings sold for a whole 25 cents.
Clementine Hunter’s talents were first recognized by those who worked at and frequented the Melrose Plantation, and she was supported by the plantation’s curator Francois Mignon, who happily supplied her with paints and other supplies to create art as she pleased. Her paintings began being displayed in local stores, where they quadrupled in price to about $1 per painting.
Clementine Hunter paintings have come a very long way from those early years, and by the end of her life her paintings were being displayed in world-class galleries and selling for thousands of dollars. What makes her paintings so incredibly special is their real-life depiction of Louisiana during a certain point in time, allowing viewers to be transported back to another time and place each time they enjoy her works. Throughout her lifetime as a painter, Clementine Hunter created between 4,000-5,000 paintings.
Clementine Hunter paintings have even been printed on various housewares, which we offer alongside our famous Louisiana pecans, allowing you to bring this important piece of Louisiana folk art history into your home.