Sixty Years of Collecting at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum

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Sixty Years of Collecting AT T H E L O U I S I A NA A RT & S C I E N C E M U S E U M


Acknowledgements

This publication was made possible by a Rebirth grant from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities in 2021. Funding for 2021 Rebirth grants has been administered by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH) and provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) and the NEH Sustaining the Humanities through the American Rescue Plan (SHARP) initiative. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

President & Executive Director Serena Meredith Pandos, MFA, MAAA Curator Lexi Adams, MA

Find out more about the artists in LASM’s permanent collection by scanning the QR code!

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Cover Image: Conrad Albrizio, Jordan, 1935–1937. Oil on panel. 40 x 48 inches. Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 1984.006.001 This publication was edited by Frances Lee, LASM’s Development & Grants Manager. Additional research and editing for this publication was provided by Claudia Kheel, Louisiana Southern and Regional Art specialist and fine art consultant.


Forward

For sixty years, the Louisiana Art & Science Museum and Irene W. Pennington Planetarium has been committed to the development of intellectual skills, creative abilities, and the acquisition of knowledge in the arts and sciences not only for our Baton Rouge community but also for visitors from throughout the United States. This year, on its sixtieth anniversary of becoming a 501(c)3 nonprofit museum, we honor those generous individuals and visionaries who have made the Museum what it is today—among the less than 10% of museums recognized for excellence by the American Alliance of Museums. LASM was conceived by a steering committee of the Junior League of Baton Rouge, with input and support from numerous philanthropic individuals, corporations, and foundations, along with support from the City of Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, and the State of Louisiana. Sixty years later, the Museum is an anchoring cultural institution whose outreach and services are enjoyed by visitors from near and far. Since 1976, the Museum has been housed in a sprawling, 85,000-squarefoot historic railway depot located on the banks of the Mississippi River in downtown Baton Rouge. In 2003, a south wing was added and the Museum became home to the state-of-the-art Irene W. Pennington Planetarium, which remains the largest and most technologicallyadvanced planetarium in Louisiana. Tourists from all over the world travel to experience LASM’s entertaining and educational learning programs, six art and science galleries, hands-on learning spaces, timely scientific and entertaining content, and Ancient Egypt Gallery, one of the only permanent galleries dedicated to ancient Egypt in the southeastern United States. LASM also boasts a permanent collection of over 4,000 objects, twenty-two of which are described in this catalog. The Louisiana Art & Science Museum continues to be defined by the belief that the disciplines of art and science shape, complement, and spring from one another, and that those interdisciplinary experiences enhance the ability of diverse audiences to make connections and discover new ways of seeing and thinking. We hope you enjoy this publication as much as we have enjoyed creating it, with special thanks to the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, the many visionaries and philanthropists who have gifted so generously to make our permanent art collection the treasure that it is today...and finally...to my visionary predecessors Adalié Brent and Carol Gikas, whose hard work paved the way these last sixty years, as we plan for the next sixty...

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Serena Meredith Pandos, MFA, MAAA President & Executive Director Louisiana Art & Science Museum Irene W. Pennington Planetarium


Introduction and Dedication

The Louisiana Art & Science Museum (LASM) has been a collecting institution since its incorporation in 1962. The growth of the collection has been guided by the dedicated service of the Board of Trustees members, Board Collections Committee, and tireless efforts of staff. The over 4,000 objects in the permanent collection have come to the Museum’s care through generous donations, bequests, and thoughtful purchases. Within the collection of the Louisiana Art & Science Museum, there are four primary collecting focuses: ancient art and artifacts; scientific objects; artworks by prominent American and European artists working from the eighteenth through the twenty-first century; and Louisiana artists working from the eighteenth century onwards. This publication focuses on the latter, exploring the stories of artists who were born in the state, who visited it, or who adopted it as their home. Whether they were residents for a brief time or were captured by Louisiana and all it offered, each artist made an impact on the cultural and artistic history of the state. It has long been a dream of the Louisiana Art & Science Museum’s staff and Board of Trustees members to present a catalog of its permanent collection. Through the commitment and great efforts of the Museum’s personnel, both past and present, that dream has finally taken shape. Each staff member who has passed through the Museum has left their mark on the institution. Their work is present in this text, though I have composed the words. Museums are defined by their employees, board members, and volunteers, whose efforts allow institutions like ours to keep serving the public who seek to discover beauty, connection, and inspiration. We dedicate this publication to each and every one of the team members who have had a part in LASM’s sixty-year history. Without them, this publication, and indeed the Museum, would not exist.

Lexi Adams, MA Curator Louisiana Art & Science Museum Irene W. Pennington Planetarium 4


Nineteenth Century John James Audubon White-headed Eagle (Plate 31) from the Havell elephant folio edition, No. 7, 1828 Hand-colored engraving 25 x 37 1/2 inches Engraver: Robert Havell Jr. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Haas Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 2002.012.001 John James Audubon (1785–1851) was an ornithologist, naturalist, and painter. Audubon, who was born in modern-day Haiti and was raised in France, immigrated to the United States in 1803 to manage his father’s plantation in Pennsylvania. After losing his fortune in 1819, he searched for a new way forward in life. At this time, he developed the idea to create a complete illustrated text of all of the birds of North America, which would become one of the finest ornithological works ever completed: The Birds of America. Audubon left his home in Kentucky and traveled down the Mississippi River to New Orleans to begin his project. In the spring of 1821, he found part-time employment as a tutor at Oakley Plantation in St. Francisville. During his four-month stay on the property, he spent much of his free time in the woods observing and painting native birds. Audubon traveled much of the United States and parts of Canada to complete his projects, but Louisiana was his favorite location, as evidenced by historical records indicating his fondness for the state. Of the 435 species created for his publication, 167 were created in the state, 32 in St. Francisville alone. Audubon is known to have told the fabricated story that he was born on a plantation near Mandeville; he once explained, “…the state of Louisiana has always been my favorite portion of the Union, although Kentucky

and some other states have divided my affections.” For five years, Audubon created images for his publication. He sailed to London in 1826 in search of an engraver willing to undertake the monumental printing of his masterpiece. He and the engraver, Robert Havell, decided that the prints should be released as a series, with five plates included in each set of prints and several sets released each year. In 1838, ten years after printing began and nearly twenty years after the idea was first conceived, The Birds of America was complete.

Audubon was a handsome man who was particularly fond of his long, chestnut-colored hair. He once wrote in a diary entry, “My locks flew freely from under my hat, and every lady that I met looked at them and then at me until – she could see no more.”

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Harold Rudolph Untitled (Sunset), c. 1870 Oil on canvas 11 1/2 x 17 1/2 inches Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 1979.011.001

The American transcendentalist

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Harold Rudolph (1850–1884) resided in New Orleans from 1873 until his death in 1884. Initially, Rudolph worked as a portraitist, maintaining studios and exhibiting his paintings in the French Quarter. Soon after his arrival in New Orleans, his portrait work was praised by the local newspapers New Orleans Republic and Daily Picayune as being among the best ever produced in the city. However, Rudolph abandoned portraiture in 1877, following the suicide of Brutus Ducomman, his brother-in-law and portrait-painting partner. For the remainder of his career, he painted landscapes reminiscent of those described in Walden, the transcendentalist text by American poet Henry David Thoreau. This marsh scene, luminous with sunset light, displays Rudolph’s typical melodramatic yet masterful handling of his landscape subjects. According to southern art historian Estill Curtis Pennington, “In [Rudolph‘s] works there is truly the light of Louisiana at its most extraordinary.”

writers of the nineteenth century, who believed that divinity pervaded all of nature and humanity, influenced not only Rudolph but also Will Henry Stevens, who is featured later in this publication.


Modern Conrad Albrizio Jordan, 1935–1937 Oil on panel 40 x 48 inches Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 1984.006.001

Conrad Albrizio (1894–1973) was born in New York City to a family of Italian immigrants who were sculptors of religious figures for churches. Albrizio traveled to New Orleans to study architecture in 1919 but discovered a passion for painting and joined the New Orleans Arts and Crafts Club in the French Quarter. Continuing to work as a draftsman and architectural designer to finance his artistic studies, Albrizio enrolled at New York’s Art Students League where he studied painting. In 1924, he traveled to Paris to continue his arts education. While in Europe he traveled to Belgium, Italy, Spain, and beyond to visit museums, perform historical research, and to study the landscape. In 1929, Albrizio enrolled at the National School of Arts and Trades in Rome, where he studied the classic techniques of fresco and encaustic painting. When Albrizio returned to the United States in 1932, he was commissioned to complete multiple frescos for the new Louisiana State Capitol building and then the Capitol Annex Building in Baton Rouge. Throughout Albrizio’s career, his frescoes and mosaic murals would adorn the walls of public buildings across the Gulf Coast. Albrizio created art in spaces accessible by the community, intending for his work to be encountered by people in their daily lives. Though Albrizio is best remembered for his public murals, he was also a skilled painter of landscapes and portraits, instilling his subjects with

energy and emotion which reaches beyond the boundaries of the picture plane. The religious ecstasy of a Southern Black baptism occurring in a river shown in Jordan is palpable. Conrad Albrizio joined the faculty at the newly established art school at Louisiana State University in 1935, where he taught art for nearly twenty years. Captivated by the charm and vitality of south Louisiana, Albrizio believed that the art produced by Southern artists would one day be recognized as “true American art.”

You may have seen fresco murals that were painted by art students in the 1930s under Albrizio’s direction in Louisiana State University’s Allen Hall.

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Fritz Bultman Untitled (Still Life), 1939 Oil on canvas 30 x 24 inches Purchased through the Alma Lee, Norman and Cary Saurage Fund of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation in honor of Alma Lee and H.N. Saurage Jr. Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 2006.001.001

New Orleans native Fritz Bultman (1919–1985) became interested in art while still in grammar school. In his high school years, Bultman attended the New Orleans Arts and Crafts School and came into contact with prominent local artists including Will Henry Stevens, Paul Ninas, and others who were working in the city at the time. After traveling to Germany in 1935 with the intent of enrolling in the Bauhaus School, only to find it closed, Bultman returned to America to study at the “new” Bauhaus in Chicago. There, he was able to learn under the guidance of legendary artist Hans Hoffman for two years. Hoffman and others were at that time moving toward a new style of American art: Abstract Expressionism. This new form of art was characterized by varying degrees of artistic abstraction and, most notably, by the shared emotional sentiment of the artists, who had lived through the horrors of World War II and whose parents suffered through the first World War and Great Depression. Artists in this group each found their own style by exploring their emotions, conveying them abstractly. 8

In 1950, protesting the bias of jurors against the new Abstract Expressionist style, Fritz Bultman and twenty-seven others signed a letter to

boycott the 1950 exhibition American Painting Today at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The “Irascibles,” as the artists were called, protested the conservative nature of the selection process for the show in a letter published by The New York Times. When the Irascibles were pictured in Life magazine in 1950, Bultman missed the photography session because he was in Italy studying bronze casting techniques. The artist, recognized by his peers for his exceeding talent, received less credit than his fellow Irascibles Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Hans Hoffman (Bultman’s mentor).

Bultman was in Italy studying the lost wax technique of bronze casting when he missed the infamous Irascible photograph and the fame that would follow. Ivan Meštrović and Frank Hayden, whose works are held in LASM’s collection, also practiced this ancient bronze casting technique.


Elizabeth Catlett Walking Woman, 1987 Bronze 31 3/4 x 8 x 7 inches Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 1996.001.001

Elizabeth Catlett (1915–2012), a granddaughter of former enslaved people, was raised in Washington, D.C., by her widowed mother. Catlett’s family history impressed upon her at an early age the struggle and exploitation that made up the African American experience, which also became her reality. Denied entry to her college of choice because of her race, Catlett enrolled at Howard University, a historically Black university in Washington, D.C., graduating with honors in 1937. She continued her education at Iowa State University, earning her Master of Fine Arts degree in 1940. There, she was mentored by famed American artist Grant Wood, who advised his students to choose what they knew the most about to be their subjects. Drawing upon her personal experiences, Catlett found her subjects: women, African Americans, and the minority working class. Following her graduation, Catlett accepted a position teaching at Dillard University in New Orleans. Though she only remained in the city for two years, her impact was transformative. Most notably, she arranged for her students to visit the Delgado Museum, now the New Orleans Museum of Art, to view a touring retrospective on Pablo Picasso. The students visited on a day when the museum was closed to the (white-only) public, marking the first time that many of her students had ever visited an art museum. Catlett strove to have that same impact for the rest of her life. Whether in the United States or in Mexico, where she lived for sixty years, through her art or her political activism, she sought to highlight the histories, struggles, and experiences of people of color and minorities. Her African American subjects expressed a humanism that had often been excluded in artistic depictions. Of her subjects, she said, “I reflect the body and facial forms of African American people because I want to show the physical forms. I would say at the same time they are expressing such qualities as dignity, strength, tenderness, love…”

Catlett studied for a short time with Grant Wood, who is most famous for painting the Modernist work American Gothic. The two people displayed in the scene are not a husband and wife, as often thought, but Wood’s sister and dentist. Their figures have been elongated to match the “Carpenter Gothic” style of the house.

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Caroline Durieux Medusa Afraid, 1956 Electron print 19 1/4 x 15 1/2 inches Gift of the artist Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 1968.005.007

Caroline Durieux (1896–1989), a New Orleans native, discovered her artistic vocation when she was only four years old. As a young girl, she sat in on art classes taught by a family friend and professor at Tulane University’s Newcomb College. She would later attend Newcomb College as a student, where she studied under Ellsworth Woodward. She credited Woodward’s critiques of her work for spurring her interest in satire, a subject synonymous with her work today. After graduating with a Bachelor of Design and a Bachelor of Art Education, Durieux enrolled at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

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Durieux married her husband Pierre in 1920. The couple soon relocated to Cuba for Pierre’s work where they remained for fifteen years. From Cuba the family again followed Pierre’s career, this time to Mexico. While there, she befriended artist and political activist Diego Rivera. Rivera encouraged Durieux’s art practice and critics agree that her work matured during this period. The family then returned to New Orleans, where Durieux worked with the Federal Art Project (FAP), which was part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), eventually becoming state supervisor, and taught art at Newcomb College. In 1943, she accepted a teaching position at Louisiana State University (LSU) in the recently established art school. There, she not only developed the printmaking department but also entered a prolific period of creativity

in her own artistic career. In 1951, Durieux developed a new method of printmaking in collaboration with Dr. Harry Wheeler, an LSU professor of plant pathology, and Naomi Wheeler, a printmaking student at LSU and Dr. Wheeler’s wife. The technique, electron printing, involves the mixing of radioisotopes with pigment. The resulting mixture of radioactive ink is used to create images that are then placed on photosensitive paper to create a print. The trio experimented with their new technique for six years before patenting electron printing in 1957.

Diego Rivera, famed painter, muralist, and husband to Frida Kahlo, painted Durieux’s portrait in 1929. Today, the portrait is part of the LSU Museum of Art’s permanent collection.


Angela Gregory Untitled (female bust), date unknown Plaster 19 x 16 x 10 inches Gift from the Estate of Angela Gregory (Gregory Art, LLC.) Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 2014.020.001

A lifelong resident of New Orleans, Angela Gregory (1903–1990) was a talented and prolific Louisiana sculptor working in the twentieth century. Gregory was the daughter of Selina Bres, one of the original Newcomb potters, and began attending Newcomb College herself at the young age of fourteen. There, she learned clay modeling and relief casting under Ellsworth Woodward. Gregory graduated from Newcomb College in 1925 with a degree in design and a scholarship to attend the Paris branch of Parsons School of Fine and Applied Arts. While in Paris, she became the only American ever accepted into the studio of famed sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, a protege of Auguste Rodin. Bourdelle was so impressed by the young artist’s eagerness to learn stone carving that her planned three weeks in the studio turned into three years. Gregory returned to New Orleans in 1928 and quickly received the first of many public commissions, including a sculpture for the façade of the New Orleans Criminal District Court Building on Tulane Avenue. Gregory went on to become one of few women sculptors of her era to complete three civic monuments, most notably the Bienville Monument in the French Quarter. Gregory also completed work on the profile portraits of Thomas Jefferson, John James Audubon, and six other historical figures on the façade of the new State Capitol in Baton Rouge.

In 1941, Gregory became state supervisor of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Art Project in Louisiana, a role she accepted when Caroline Durieux stepped down. During World War II, she became assistant architectural engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans, using her artistic talent to design camouflage for the U.S. Army. After retiring in 1976, she was named an outstanding alumna at Newcomb College, Tulane University. In 1982, she was honored as Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) by the cultural minister of France.

Gregory and Caroline Durieux were both taught by Ellsworth Woodard at Newcomb College and both served as Louisiana state supervisors of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). 11


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Knute Heldner Untitled, 1930–1940 Oil on canvas 24 x 22 inches Purchased through the Alma Lee, Norman and Cary Saurage Fund of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation in honor of Alma Lee and H.N. Saurage Jr. Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 2002.008.001

Swedish-born Knute Heldner (1877–1952) received his early artistic training at the Karlskrona Technical School and the National Royal Academy of Stockholm. Heldner served in the Swedish Royal Navy for nearly a decade before jumping ship and journeying to Boston in 1902. In the United States he worked flexible jobs that left him free to study art at the Minneapolis School of Fine Arts and the Art Students League in New York City. While teaching at a small art studio in Minnesota, Heldner met his wife, Colette Pope. At this time his work was colored with philosophical concerns for the working class, a theme which would follow him when he and his wife moved to New Orleans in 1923. A preoccupation with such concerns was fitting for Heldner’s new environment. The French Quarter of the 1920s was entering a Renaissance when the neighborhood was an art colony for writers, photographers, and artists. These individuals flocked to the area to explore the run-down district which overflowed with poor, working-class immigrants while retaining a bohemian charm.

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Heldner had already gained national prominence for his self-described “post-impressionist” style when he moved to the city. In 1926 he was honored with a one-man exhibit at the Delgado Museum, now the New Orleans Museum of Art. Heldner then

used funds from his art to finance a trip to Europe. While there he traveled and exhibited his work but did not adapt his artistic style to imitate the artists of Europe. In fact, the only change to Heldner’s work at this time came from his adoption of a brighter color pallet, which art historians noted was the result of the subtropical climate of New Orleans. Works such as this nocturnal forest scene were typical of Heldner’s commercially successful style, which consisted of romanticized depictions of the Louisiana swamps and bayous and their inhabitants. The works he created for himself show his lifelong preoccupation with the working class and the struggles of man. His preferred subjects were the buildings and residents of the French Quarter. He captured the personalities and

struggles of the Quarter’s character rather than the idealized versions created by his contemporaries.

Like Heldner, Will Henry Stevens, Noel Rockmore, and Conrad Albrizio all studied at the famed Art Students League in New York City for a period of time.


Noel Rockmore Ship Graveyard, 1964 Acrylic on canvas 20 x 40 inches Gift of E. Lorenz “Larry” Borenstein Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 1974.035.001

Noel Rockmore (1928–1995), born Noel Davis, was the son of established New York City artist-intellectuals Floyd Davis and Gladys Rockmore Davis, whose famous friends included Ira and George Gershwin and Ernest Hemingway. A child prodigy in both art and music, he devoted himself to painting after a bout of polio; by age eleven, he was a proficient artist. Rockmore intended to further his studies at the legendary Art Students League in New York. However, he left after one week, preferring to teach himself. This effort was successful. By the time he was thirty years old, Life magazine had published a feature on his work and his paintings had been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, and he was represented by a New York City art dealer. Rockmore embraced representationalism in his art, shunning the Abstract Expressionist

style which prevailed in New York City at the time. In 1959, frustrated with the New York art scene, Rockmore moved to New Orleans and changed his surname from Davis to Rockmore, adopting his mother’s maiden name to the dismay of his parents and New York City art dealer. Seeking to “dwell in creative obscurity,” Rockmore embraced the unique architecture, colorful inhabitants, and bohemian lifestyle of the city and became a frequenter of the French Quarter. In New Orleans, he worked through many mediums and styles to find his personal aesthetic; he drew from a deep knowledge of art history as well as his own skill, emotions, and dreams. He often created series of works based around a central subject. With the encouragement of art dealer E. Lorenz “Larry” Borenstein, Rockmore worked on a series of portraits of jazz musicians at Preservation Hall in the French Quarter.

Rockmore was a talented portrait artist, known for capturing the psychological complexities of his subject, if not always their exact likeness. When patrons were displeased, Rockmore’s

This painting is one in a series painted onsite at the “ship graveyards” along the New Orleans Industrial Canal. Rockmore gained permission to enter restricted areas where disused vessels were being cut up for scrap metal. The Ship Graveyeard series reflects Rockmore’s growing obsession with mortality and humanity’s decline.

art dealer customarily offered to keep the portrait and have another redone at no charge.

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Will Henry Stevens #951, 1935 Oil on canvas 25 3/4 x 35 inches Purchased through the Alma Lee, Norman and Cary Saurage Fund of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation in honor of Alma Lee and H.N. Saurage Jr. Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 2001.002.001

Will Henry Stevens (1881–1949) was introduced to art at an early age, as his parents were both amateur artists. In 1901 he enrolled at the Cincinnati Art Academy, furthering his studies at the Art Students League of New York. Between 1912 and 1916, Stevens taught art classes in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1921 he joined the faculty at the Newcomb Art Department of Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana, where he would make a lasting impression as a teacher and successful artist until his retirement in 1948.

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Stevens is famed for working in two distinct artistic styles. His paintings of nature follow the guidelines of Representational Naturalism, though they maintain his personal and emotional response to the scenery. Stevens’ second style is one that he is credited for pioneering: Southern Modernism. This genre of art is influenced by Modernist aesthetics, yet is largely informed by the experiences of life in the South. Stevens’ abstract and non-objective Southern Modernist works retain the vocabulary of nature’s forms. Arabesque lines indicate the path of wind and feathered edges represent river waves upon the shore. Despite the absence of outright natural representations and his use of angular lines and geometric shapes, it is apparent that even Stevens’ abstract works are intertwined with nature.

Stevens retains a national reputation as a modernist artist today and even had a New York City dealer in his mature career while teaching at Newcomb College. Though his work in Representational Naturalism was more successful commercially, Stevens worked in two styles for the majority of his career. Sharing a root inspiration tied to nature, neither can be completely separated from the other. Yet, they are also distinctly unique and served specific purposes for the artist. Of his duality of styles, he wrote to Newcomb College faculty member and friend Bernard Lemann, “I do not draw a line between objective and non-objective...I am doing both and will continue to, so long as either seems vital to me.”

Stevens assisted his pharmacist father by measuring and combining ingredients for medications. He later translated this skill to art, mixing and grinding his own paints and pastels. Pastel crayons were Stevens’ preferred medium; he experimented with recipes until he developed a clay-based pastel formula that did not smudge.


Contemporary Lin Emery Anthem (model), 2018 Polished aluminum 30 x 18 x 18 inches In recognition of Carol Gikas, longtime director of the Louisiana Art & Science Museum Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 2018.007.001

New York-born Lin Emery (1926–2021) created kinetic sculptures inspired by the forms and rhythms of nature. Her materials and methods, however, were distinctly her own. Emery first studied sculpture under Ossip Zadkine at the Sorbonne in Paris. After returning to New York, she learned to weld and cast bronze at the Sculpture Center. In 1945, she moved to New Orleans where she refined her skills, notably setting up a welding studio inside her French Quarter apartment. Her neighbors apparently did not mind the noise; she later remarked, “…in New Orleans, I can do anything I please.” Emery’s kinetic sculpture followed the pioneering work of Alexander Calder. Calder is credited with creating the first kinetic sculptures, which he called mobiles. Kinetic art is defined as art that either implies movement or is in motion. Emery’s kinetic work evolved over her more than sixty-year career from her early aquamobiles, which are propelled by water, to magnetmobiles, which move by magnetic force, to her mature works, which are powered by wind. To visualize her wind-powered sculptures, Emery drew in space three-dimensionally with straws and cardboard before further developing her ideas in welded aluminum. As seen in the model for Anthem, Emery usually began small with lightweight aluminum sheets, making maquettes,

or test versions, of her final large-scale sculptures. Ball bearings inserted into various elements of the sculpture’s form allow for ease of movement. She carefully measured and planned out the form’s balance points and orbits of motion, becoming intimate with its various moving combinations. Unlike the predictability of a machine, the completed sculpture dips and twirls freely and spontaneously in the atmosphere, propelled by the rhythms of the wind.

LASM presented Lin Emery: A Force of Nature in 2018, the last retrospective of Emery’s work before her passing in 2021 at the age of ninety-five.

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Ida Kohlmeyer Composite 88-1, c. 1990 Mixed media on canvas 79 1/2 x 68 1/2 inches Gift of the Ida and Hugh Kohlmeyer Foundation Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 2009.001.001

Ida Kohlmeyer (1912–1997) was a graduate of Newcomb College, wife, and mother of two when she began pursuing her artistic career. At the age of thirty-seven, she returned to Newcomb College to obtain a Master of Fine Arts degree, graduating in 1956 and studying under painting professor Pat Trivigno. In the summer of 1956, Kohlmeyer traveled to Provincetown, Massachusetts to study in the studio of Hans Hofmann, who played a critical role in the development of the Abstract Expressionist style. Kohlmeyer, who had been introduced to the rising Abstract Expressionist movement while at school, readily sought the chance to study with one of its founding members. Kohlmeyer then traveled to Europe where she met Joan Miro, whose surrealism and abstract style she admired. Returning to New Orleans, Kohlmeyer accepted a position on the faculty of Newcomb College, where she taught until 1965. In 1957, just after her return from Europe, Kohlmeyer befriended Mark Rothko, a protege of Hofmann and fellow Abstract Expressionist who had been invited to Newcomb College as a visiting professor. Ida Kohlmeyer was stylistically influenced by the work of each of these legendary artists, drawing inspiration from them in her early paintings. It was not until some years later that she would alight on her own distinct style.

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Kohlmeyer’s new path produced a vocabulary of symbols including X’s, hearts, wheels, arrows, circles, and fruit-like shapes. Her personlized iconography was inspired by the energy of the objects, shapes, and colors she encountered in her daily life. These symbols, though visually reminiscent of hiero-

glyphic and cuneiform writing, were simply Kohlmeyer’s own personal expression. Of her style, she said, “…the more you work, the more change is likely. You can’t go on imitating yourself forever!” In her mature career, Kohlmeyer began creating sculpture as well. These three-dimensional forms relied on the same vocabulary of symbols as her two-dimensional works, but in a new and distinct way. Kohlmeyer’s artistic style was ever-evolving, but always retained the calling card of its creator. Kohlmeyer found great success in Louisiana and beyond. In a 1981 interview she noted, “If you have (an urge to work), if you are willing to use yourself up working, then the North will find you in the South,” indicating that success can be found anywhere if one will dedicated themselves wholly to attaining it.

Similarly to Fritz Bultman, Kohlmeyer maintained relationships with and drew inspiration from famous Abstract Expressionists, including the renowned Hans Hoffman.


George Rodrigue We Will Rise Again, 2005 Silkscreen print 28 1/2 x 20 1/2 inches Gift of E. John Bullard Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 2014.012.001

George Rodrigue (1944–2013) was born in New Iberia, Louisiana. At the age of nine, he was bedridden with polio and began to paint and draw to pass the long hours. His parents and teachers saw promise in these early works and encouraged Rodrigue to continue creating art. In 1963, Rodrigue traveled to California to study at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. There, he realized that the history, ways of life, and stories of his childhood were completely foreign outside of his home state. Returning to Louisiana in 1967, Rodrigue set out to capture the distinctive elements of his homeland and the Cajun culture. He began with paintings of Louisiana bayou landscapes, later introducing characters from the turn of the century: Cajuns as they were before outside influence altered their way of life. Rodrigue is best known for his Blue Dog paintings. The canine icon was first conceived in 1984 as an illustration in Bayou, a book of Cajun ghost stories. The dog, tinted blue-grey from moonlight, was based on Rodrigue’s studio dog, Tiffany. She was intended to represent the loup-garou, the Cajun werewolf. Viewers were enamored, dubbing her the “Blue Dog,” which Rodrigue appreciated. Rodrigue made innumerable works with his Blue Dog, from portraits to international advertising campaigns. In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city of New Orleans, Rodrigue created a series of four prints to raise funds for the nonprofit Blue Dog Relief: George Rodrigue Art Campaign for Recovery. Sales of this print featuring a watery American flag benefited the Southeast Louisiana Chapter of the Red

Cross. “The Blue Dog is partly submerged, and its eyes, normally yellow, are red with a broken heart,” Rodrigue wrote in September 2005. “Like a ship’s S.O.S., the red cross on the dog’s chest calls out for help.” The artist’s campaign ultimately raised $1.5 million for the ravaged city.

Like Noel Rockmore, Rodrigue transformed his illness with polio during his childhood into an opportunity to create artwork and practice painting.

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S i x t y Ye a rs of C ol le ct i n g | L O U I S I A NA A RT & S C I E N C E M U S E U M

Hunt Slonem Shanti, 1989 Oil on canvas 72 x 84 inches Gift of Henry and Pat Shane Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 2006.003.002

Born the son of an active Navy officer, Hunt Slonem (b. 1951) spent his childhood in Maine, Hawaii, Virginia, Connecticut, California, Washington State, and, as an exchange student, Nicaragua. Slonem studied at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, at the University of the Americas in Mexico, and at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in painting and art history from Newcomb Art Department, Tulane University in New Orleans. His time at Tulane instilled in him a love of Louisiana; today, Slonem owns several plantation homes in the state and visits regularly.

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The travels of Slonem’s adolescence inspired a lifelong passion for collecting in the artist. When he lived in Hawaii, he would study the flora and fauna of the islands; in Nicaragua, he played hooky from school to collect butterflies in the jungle. Slonem collects many things, including neo-gothic furniture, top hats, fine art, and rescued exotic birds, which hold a special place in his collection. Slonem shares his home studio with the birds he cares for, spending two hours each morning preparing meals for his companions. At times, Slonem has cared for over one-hundred birds in his home. This favor of devotion is returned by the birds in the form of perpetual inspiration for the artist. Spirituality underscores the subjects of Slonem’s paintings. Exotic animals,

tropical butterflies, and spectacular birds represent souls or guardian angels, transcendent beings. These animals, which are quickly becoming extinct in the wild, are for the artist “a last look at these forms before they disappear, dissolving into pure energy.” Often, he paints his subjects as ghostly forms captured in the moment of dissolution, caught between heaven and Earth. The hatch marks he customarily scores across the surfaces of his paintings emphasize the psychological barrier between the viewer and the transcendent subject.

In 2004, LASM hosted Slonem’s first exhibition in Louisiana, Hunt Slonem: An Art Rich and Strange. This exhibition featured Slonem’s bunny series.


Folk, Self-Taught, & Craft Clementine Hunter Baptism, c. 1960s Oil on board 18 x 24 inches In Memory of Dr. Gerri Curry Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 2007.001.001

Clementine Hunter (c. 1887–1988) was born at Hidden Hill plantation near Cloutierville in northwest Louisiana. A descendant of former enslaved people, her father was part Irish and Native American. Hunter considered herself Creole, speaking French as her only language until adulthood. When Hunter was fifteen years old, she moved to Melrose plantation, where she worked as a field hand before becoming a cook and domestic servant in the main house. She first lived in a small cottage and later in a nearby trailer, which she was able to purchase with proceeds from her art. Cammie Henry owned Melrose Plantation where she invited artists and writers, forming an art colony while Hunter resided there. Hunter’s career as an artist began when she was fifty years old in the 1940s, after she had been married twice and given birth to seven children. Reputedly, she began painting with brushes and tubes of paint left behind at Melrose by French Quarter artist Alberta Kinsey. Architect and historian Francois Mignon, who resided at Melrose, encouraged Hunter to create art. Hunter sold her early works for 25 or 50 cents each. Within a decade, her renown had spread. In 1949, she displayed works at the New Orleans Arts and Crafts show; in 1953, her work was profiled in LOOK magazine alongside the work of other folk artists. Hunter was the first African American artist to present a solo exhibition at the Del-

gado Museum, now the New Orleans Museum of Art. Hunter’s work often depicts biblical themes or scenes from her life on the plantation, most often at Melrose. Painting with simplicity, directness, and humor, Hunter was sometimes called the “Black Grandma Moses.” A prolific artist, she produced more than 5,000 paintings, ranging from small postcard-size works to the murals at Melrose’s African House. She also created illustrations for the book The Joyous Coast by James Register, who helped publicize and influence her works.

The New Orleans Museum of Art honored Hunter with a solo exhibition in 1955, just fourteen years after Elizabeth Catlett and her students had to visit the museum on a day when it was not open to the public because the museum did not admit African Americans at that time.

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S i x t y Ye a rs of C ol le ct i n g | L O U I S I A NA A RT & S C I E N C E M U S E U M

Rosabel Sylestine Coushatta Coiled Pine Needle Basket and Lid, 1973 Pine needles, raffia, and pine cones 6 x 10 1/2 x 7 1/2 inches Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 1973.022.005a-b

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Well recognized for her basket weaving skills, Rosabel Sylestine (1923–1998) was born in Elton, Louisiana and was a member of the Louisiana Coushatta Native American Tribe. Sylestine learned the technique of weaving using pine needles from her mother. Traditional Coushatta baskets could be woven from white oak, sedge grass, or swamp cane. In the 1900s tribe members began to weaving using needles from the native long-leaf pine, which were widely available as traditional weaving materials became difficult to acquire. Basket weaving was once part of the daily life of the Coushatta and other Native American tribes. Sylestine shared about the practice in a

1973 interview: “As a child at home, around seven years of age, I became interested in the pine needles by playing with my mother’s gatherings. Then I grew to love the art my mother was creating with the straws. I would constantly be by my mother’s side when she was doing baskets, and I began to learn the art by beginning to feel the working of the straw…As I became more involved in the craft, I saw the potential of sales…My education is limited to the sixth grade, and I felt the training would help me to provide additional income for me and, later, for my family…I enjoy my work, as I have done this approximately for forty years…I love the environment we live in, among the pine timbers which have provided me all the ware I needed to do this work.” Rosabel Sylestine’s works are in prominent collections, including the National Museum of the American Indian, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University, the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, and the Louisiana Art & Science Museum.

The Louisiana Coushatta Native American Tribe is one of three federally recognized tribes of the Koasati people. The other two tribes are located in Oklahoma and Texas.


Florence Robinson Coushatta Pine Needle Effigy Basket and Lid, 1977 Pine needles and raffia 5 x 11 x 5 inches Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 1977.004.002a-b

Florence Robinson was a member of the Louisiana Coushatta Native American Tribe. Native American basket weaving is one of the oldest crafts in history. Baskets made of stiff plant fibers, cane, and split wood have been discovered that date as far back as 8,000 BCE. Originally created for utilitarian purposes such as storage, transport, and cooking, baskets took on different patterns, shapes, and techniques as determined by the customs of the tribes who made them. The Louisiana Coushatta Native American Tribe, which was originally settled on an island in the Tennessee River in northeastern Ala-

bama, was forcibly relocated in the sixteenth century. Today the tribe is located on a reservation near Elton, Louisiana. The Coushatta people are known for their techniques in basket weaving passed down for generations. Coushatta baskets were made from swamp cane until land cultivation made it no longer plentiful. The emergence of the coiled pine needle technique among the Coushatta is reported to have come from Mrs. Paul King Rand in the 1930s. Rand taught several Coushatta women the coiled pine needle technique when she realized that river cane, the traditional material, was dwindling and there was an abundance of pine needles. Coushatta pine needle basketry is distinct in its use of raffia for binding, its form of stitching, its shapes and natural color, and the way the first coil is begun. Effigy baskets are also unique to this type of weaving and often take on forms such as frogs, crawfish, alligators, and turkeys.

Koasati is a living language spoken by members of the Coushatta Tribe, with approximately 370 native speakers in America today. The Koasati (Coushatta) Language Project seeks to study, preserve, and revive this language.

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Baton Rouge Emerson Bell The Prophet, date unknown Gouache on paper 14 x 14 1/4 inches Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Prestia Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 2002.013.001

Baton Rouge native Emerson Bell (1931–2006) demonstrated an early talent and enthusiasm for the visual arts, an interest he claimed derived from the community of his formative years. “A lot of notable people came from South Baton Rouge, who were like internationally-known singers and musicians and teachers and professors... it was a haven for great knowledge where I lived,” he said in a 2002 interview with Louisiana State University PhD candidate Barbara Faulkner. In South Baton Rouge, Bell participated in the African Methodist Church. The Church’s rich symbolic imagery, painted scenes, and choral music inspired his lifelong pursuit to express a spiritual dimension in his art. Although he had no formal training, Bell became known in the community as a capable young artist and received his first commission, a fresco of the saints for Greater St. Michael Baptist Church, at just fifteen years old. After graduating from McKinley High School, Bell lived in New York and Detroit for a time and served abroad in the military. In the mid-1960s, he returned to Baton Rouge. He enrolled in the local vocational-technical school, where he learned to work wood, metal, and stone, and studied informally with other artists in their studios. 22

Bell began teaching in the 1970s. He was the first artist-in-residence in an East Baton Rouge Parish school to be funded by the National Endowment

for the Arts. At that time, Bell also began to exhibit his work regularly in New Orleans. Additionally, he joined the newly-formed Baton Rouge Gallery, where he developed lasting friendships with many local artists, among them Frank Hayden, Randell Henry, John Payne, Martin Payton, and Clifton Webb.

In addition to his paintings, frescos, and gouache works on paper, Bell was a skilled sculptor who mastered the media of plaster, copper, metals, stone, and clay through studies with Frank Hayden.


Adalié Brent Girl with Red Hair, date unknown Oil on canvas 30 3/4 x 22 3/4 inches Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 1992.003.001

Adalié Brent (1920–1993) was the first director of the Louisiana Arts and Science Center, now the Louisiana Art & Science Museum. She guided the institution for sixteen years, from 1963 until her retirement in 1979. In that time, she worked tirelessly for the Museum and local artistic community, elevating the cultural landscape of the capital city through her passionate work and artistic endeavors. Her work can be seen throughout Baton Rouge in secular and religious settings alike, a testament to her legacy in the city. Brent was an artist as well as a community leader. She was a painter, graphic designer, and illustrator who worked in a variety of mediums including stained glass, textiles, murals, and jewelry. She attended the University of California, Los Angeles where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Art Education. After graduating, she and her husband settled in Baton Rouge, where she worked as an art instructor at Louisiana State University and Saint Joseph’s Academy before becoming the Executive Director of the LASC. Brent is best remembered for her paintings, illustrations, and work in stained glass design. She preferred not to name her artistic style, instead referring to it as timeless. In her painted works, such as Girl with Red Hair, Brent presents questions, often without answers. When discussing the meaning of her images, Brent stated, “If I were a poetess or a writer, I would not have to paint, but since I do paint, why should I have to talk about it?”

Adalié Brent produced an illustrated children’s book with her daughter Joanna Brent Leake in 1971. The book, A Child Likes, outlines the many daily occurrences that bring children joy. Adalié illustrated the publication and Joanna wrote the accompanying text.

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S i x t y Ye a rs of C ol le ct i n g | L O U I S I A NA A RT & S C I E N C E M U S E U M

Michael Crespo Acteon’s Dream, 2008 Oil on linen 60 x 72 inches Gift of the artist Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 2008.001.001

Michael Crespo (1947–2010) was born in New Orleans but spent much of his life in Baton Rouge. Crespo earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Louisiana State University (LSU) in 1968 before attending City University in New York, where he earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in 1970. Like many artists, Crespo accepted a job teaching after graduation. For nearly forty years he delighted in teaching LSU students and made a lasting impression on the development of the School of Art, where he served as director from 1990–1996, interim director from 2002–2004, and was awarded the university’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 1999.

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An avid reader of philosophy, poetry, and the classics, Crespo was continually inspired by the symbolism and meanings found in ancient myths and stories of magic. Especially fond of the symbolism and techniques of the Italian Renaissance, he adapted these elements into his body of work. Crespo developed his own vocabulary of symbols and motifs, which held meaning for him but were meant to be interpreted by the viewer based on their own experiences. He drew attention to these elements by employing darkened backgrounds and lighting only the central figures. This use of chiaroscuro, Italian for “lightdark,” was a technique employed by artists of the Italian Renaissance to produce a dramatic effect and to direct the eye of the viewer across the painting.

Drawn from the stories of mythology, Acteon’s Dream depicts a stag standing amid four moons, each in a different phase. In Greek mythology, Acteon suffered the wrath of Artemis after he accidentally caught sight of the goddess bathing. Artemis turned Acteon into a stag and he was hunted by his own dogs. In Crespo’s painting, the hunter has become the hunted. Serenely facing the viewer, the stag appears heroic and ready to accept his fate.

Crespo was married to Libby Johnson, a Baton Rouge painter whose work is also held in LASM’s permanent collection, for many years.


Frank Hayden Sixteen Men Make a Rod, c. 1977 Honduran mahogany 27 1/2 x 58 x 6 inches Louisiana Art & Science Collection, 1977.020.001

Museum

Prolific African American sculptor Frank Hayden (1934–1988) was born in Memphis, Tennessee. Hayden attended Catholic schools, where he developed a strong work ethic and a respect for his fellow man. The nuns at the school recognized his natural abilities, encouraged him to create art, and helped him apply to college. He earned a scholarship to Xavier University in New Orleans, where he received his first formal art training under Sister Mary Lurana Neely. Hayden continued his studies in Indiana at the University of Notre Dame in the studio of Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović. Following his graduate education, Hayden earned a Fulbright Fellowship that enabled him to study in Munich, Germany under sculptor Heinrich Kirchner. Hayden was devoted to his Catholic faith and was passionate about com-

bating civil injustice, often using his art to highlight biblical messages and to communicate issues central to the civil rights movement. Sixteen Men Make a Rod does both. The word rod has several meanings. In biblical usage, a rod refers to a line of family descent, or a tribe. It is also an old-English form of measurement equal to 16.5 feet. Voter rights were a central issue in the civil rights movement and remain an important political issue today. Here, a group of men stand heel-to-toe in line to vote. Each holds a “yes” or “no” ballot in his right hand. The front figure is about to cast his vote into the ballot box. Frank Hayden moved to Baton Rouge in 1961 with his wife and four children. He joined the faculty of Southern University, where he taught drawing, sculpture, aesthetics, and art appreciation. During his twenty-seven year tenure at Southern, he mentored many students and became part of the local art scene. In 1985, Hayden was honored with the university’s first Distinguished Professor Award.

Hayden was actively involved in the Baton Rouge artistic community. Many residents remember his work from shows at Baton Rouge Gallery, where he was an artist member, and from his studio at Southern University, where he was a professor. LASM presented a retrospective exhibition of Hayden’s work in 2020 titled Frank Hayden: Lift Every Voice.

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S i x t y Ye a rs of C ol le ct i n g | L O U I S I A NA A RT & S C I E N C E M U S E U M

Margaret Stones Hydrangea Quercifolia (Oakleaf Hydrangea), Limited edition print of watercolor 33/500, 1979 Print 22 x 18 inches Gift of the Baton Rouge Rotary Club Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 1981.013.002

Australian-born Margaret Stones (1920–2018) served as a nurse during World War II. During her service, she contracted tuberculosis and was confined to a hospital for several years while she recovered. During this time, Stones discovered her passion for botanical drawing. Before the War, she had studied at the Swinburn and the National Gallery, art schools in Melbourne, Australia. Her talent and drive sent her to Surrey, England in 1951, where she began a career as an independent botanical artist. She worked largely with botanists at Kew Gardens. While engaged at Kew Gardens, collectors commissioned Stones to create botanical drawings. A Louisiana State University (LSU) professor saw one of those drawings in a New York home and then commissioned a work for his home in Baton Rouge. There, Dr. Gresdna Doty, a fellow LSU professor, saw Stones’ artwork. Due to her fondness for the drawing, Doty arranged to visit Stones on an upcoming trip to England. The two women met and began an eduring friendship that would give Louisiana one of the most scientifically significant artistic recordings since John James Audubon published The Birds of America in 1838.

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In 1976, Stones came to Baton Rouge to visit Doty and was introduced to Paul W. Murrill, who was the Chancellor of LSU at the time. He was enthusiastic about her work, and she was equally charmed by the area; by the end of her trip, she accepted a ten-year contract to create 200 botanical prints of native Louisiana flora. Stones’ work has been collected and exhibited by prestigious institutions around the world, most notably of which have been exhibitions at the British Museum and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

Stones’ and John James Audubon’s scientifically significant artistic recordings of flora and fauna open and close this publication. True artist-scientists, Stones and Audubon both exemplify LASM’s interdisciplinary mission.


LASM: A Brief History

1960 The Baton Rouge Arts and Science Center (BRASC) adopts its Articles of Incorporation. 1962 BRASC moves into the basement of the Old State Capitol and is incorporated, receiving 501(c)3 tax-exempt status. 1963 Adalié Brent is hired as the Museum’s first Executive Director. The Committee for a Better Baton Rouge acquires the vacant Old Governor’s Mansion for BRASC and Act 26 of the state legislature creates the Louisiana Arts and Science Center (LASC), setting aside the Mansion to house it. 1967 The City-Parish government issues bonds to fund a Zeiss planetarium as part of LASC. 1971

The former Illinois Central Railroad passenger station built in 1925 by the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad Company is leased to the City of Baton Rouge with the provision that it be used only by LASC. The train depot serves as a complement to the main museum housed in the Old Governor’s Mansion.

1972 LASC receives accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums for the first time. 1976 LASC fully moves into Baton Rouge’s former Illinois Central Railroad passenger station. 1979 Adalié Brent retires.

1980 Carol Gikas is hired as LASC’s second President & Executive Director. 1994 LASC’s building is placed on the National Register of Historic Places. 2001 LASC’s name is changed to the Louisiana Art & Science Museum (LASM). 2003 Extensive building additions are completed, including the creation of the Irene W. Pennington Planetarium and Bert S. Turner Family Atrium. 2018 Carol Gikas retires. 2019 Serena Meredith Pandos is hired as LASM’s th i rd P re sident & Executive Director. 2020 LASM creates LASM 360, an internationally-recognized and award-winning free platform that invites visitors on an immersive, narrated tour of the Museum and Irene W. Pennington Planetarium. Though initially created to benefit isolated audiences as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, LASM 360 has become an important resource for art and science education. 2022 After two years of public health and economic crises caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, LASM’s sixtieth anniversary is celebrated by the creation of this collections catalog, a “Diamonds of History”-themed fundraising Gala, and the beginning of extensive renovations to its hands-on childrens’ areas.

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MISSION We seek to enhance the understanding and appreciation of art and science for general audiences and students by presenting unique, educational and entertaining experiences that encourage discovery, inspire creativity, and foster the pursuit of knowledge.

VISION We envision a community of lifelong explorers inspired by art and science.

Find out more about the artists in LASM’s permanent collection by scanning the QR code!


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