Fairs and Festivals, Ducks Unlimited and the New Orleans Jazz Club

If you ask George Rodrigue what made his art famous in Louisiana, his answer might surprise you. It’s not the Blue Dog, Absolut Vodka ads, or Jazz Fest. Rather, it’s the small town festival posters. Throughout the 1980s George created posters for dozens of festivals throughout the state. He sold thousands of these inexpensive offsetContinue reading “Fairs and Festivals, Ducks Unlimited and the New Orleans Jazz Club”

The Saga of the Acadians

Between 1985 and 1989, George Rodrigue painted the Saga of the Acadians, a series of fifteen paintings chronicling the Acadian journey from France to Nova Scotia in the 17th century, from Nova Scotia to Louisiana during the Grand Dérangement of 1755, and finally the first official return visit from Southwest Louisiana to Grand Pré inContinue reading “The Saga of the Acadians”

The Traiteur

With nearly 60,000 visitors in two months at the George Rodrigue exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art in 2008, we received hundreds of letters, all positive, mostly from people who prior to NOMA knew little about the scope of George’s career. As a result, they were surprised at how much they enjoyed theContinue reading “The Traiteur”

From Jolie Blonde to Bodies: Paintings of Women

According to local legend, in the 1920s a Cajun imprisoned in Port Arthur, Texas pined for his lost love, his beautiful blonde, his “Jolie Blonde,” and wrote a waltz from those feelings of longing. Over the years the song became for many the Cajun anthem based on a sort of modern day Evangeline, and CajunContinue reading “From Jolie Blonde to Bodies: Paintings of Women”

A History of Evangeline in Rodrigue Paintings

There are enough Rodrigue Evangelines to fill an entire museum exhibition. He’s painted the Acadian heroine one hundred or more times over nearly forty years. Like Jolie Blonde, the Oak Tree, and the Blue Dog, she is a staple in his work, a protagonist as much for him as she is in the story ofContinue reading “A History of Evangeline in Rodrigue Paintings”

The Aioli Dinner and a Cajun Artist

The first time I saw the original Aioli Dinner, I was struck by its monochromaticity. It is a green painting through and through. You don’t notice it in a photograph and certainly not in a print (as explained below), but the painting itself exudes the swamp, and one almost feels the mugginess, smells the sweat,Continue reading “The Aioli Dinner and a Cajun Artist”

Early Oak Trees and a Regrettable Self-Portrait

It was on the long drives back from The Art Center College of Design in California that George Rodrigue developed his style. He’d been thinking about it for some time – about how different South Louisiana is from other places, as well as the eighteen hundred miles of cities and countryside and Americans he passedContinue reading “Early Oak Trees and a Regrettable Self-Portrait”