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The Helis Foundation

The Historic New Orleans Collection


F. H. Hatch Presentation Silver Service 1858–1861; coin silver by Terfloth and Kßchler, silversmith ON The cOveR:

Covered sugar bowl (detail) 2008.0329.2.5 OppOSiTe:

Hot-water pot (detail) 2008.0329.2.1


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The Helis Foundation

The Historic New Orleans Collection


Introduction Priscilla Lawrence, executive director The Historic New Orleans Collection

More than three centuries of history are reflected in the holdings of The Historic New Orleans Collection. Located in the heart of the French Quarter, The Collection—a museum, research center, and publisher—faithfully preserves the unique history and culture of New Orleans and the surrounding area. Our extensive repository of artifacts, art, maps, manuscripts, and rare holdings serves as the foundation for educational programming, exhibitions, and publications—and an ongoing source of public enjoyment. The Collection continues to build a multifaceted art collection. Though these materials are just a part of our larger holdings, they are indispensable in portraying the art history of the region as well as the social history of those who created these objects and those patrons who caused them to be created. Beginning in 2008 The Helis Foundation began to assist The Collection in the acquisition of such materials, significantly increasing the depth, contour, and eminence of our art holdings. Indeed, the shrewd judgment of the principals of the foundation has allowed us to acquire a body of artistic work—ranging from two rare portraits from Louisiana’s colonial period to a twenty-first-century collection of paintings inspired by New Orleans’s inundation after Hurricane Katrina—that merits a publication of its own. Viewed together, these pieces delight the eye with their dynamic progression from old to new, and their contrasting evocations of realistic tradition, abstract modernism, and contemporary interpretation. As New Orleans approaches three hundred years of existence, this collection, acquired primarily with funds donated by the Diana Helis Henry Art Fund of The Helis Foundation, reflects the best of Louisiana’s artistic creation. Our sincere thanks go to David A. Kerstein, president of The Helis Foundation, for his recognition of the importance of making this material available for all to enjoy, and for embodying the foundation’s extraordinary generosity. We hope you delight in the works presented here for their individual beauty, their manifestation of extraordinary creativity, and their reflection of the social eras that inspired them. To permit such contemplation, and to celebrate the generosity and foresight of The Helis Foundation, The Historic New Orleans Collection presents this catalog.


The Helis Foundation David A. Kerstein, president The Helis Foundation

The Helis Foundation is a Louisiana private foundation funded by the generosity of the William Helis Family. The Diana Helis Henry and Adrienne Helis Malvin Art Funds of The Helis Foundation provide funding to sustain, sponsor free admission days for, and acquire works of art for cultural institutions throughout the Greater New Orleans area. In 2008, The Helis Foundation began acquiring significant artworks that highlight key periods of the Gulf South region’s cultural record on behalf of The Historic New Orleans Collection. We are delighted to assist The Collection in its commitment to building a portfolio of artworks and culturally significant artifacts that preserve and promote the unique history of New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Gulf South. Art has the innate ability to impart a deeper understanding of our collective history and its context within our culture. The works acquired by The Helis Foundation provide visitors with an unparalleled glimpse into our region’s rich history. For example, the detailed engravings decorating the F. H. Hatch presentation silver service transport us to the US Custom House at the foot of Canal Street in 1861, while New Orleans painter Rolland Golden’s thought-provoking Katrina series captures the destruction of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in powerful portraits of devastated landscapes. Though seemingly disparate, these works establish a cultural framework that offers a deeper understanding of ourselves and our current community. The Helis Foundation is proud to support The Historic New Orleans Collection’s ongoing efforts to preserve and share the history of New Orleans as a means of advancing and protecting our unique culture.


Pierre Denis de la Ronde, père ca. 1760; oil on canvas by an unknown painter The Historic New Orleans Collection, 2009.231.2

Marie Madeleine Broutin de la Ronde ca. 1760; oil on canvas by an unknown painter The Historic New Orleans Collection, 2009.231.1 acquisitions made possible by the Diana Helis Henry Art Fund of The Helis Foundation and the Laussat Society of The Historic New Orleans Collection

These two oil paintings by an unknown artist are rare examples of portraits of Louisianans from the French colonial period. There are no known artists who worked in New Orleans before the late eighteenth century, so these portraits were probably painted in France or Canada. The subject of the first portrait, Pierre Denis de la Ronde, was born in Quebec City, Canada, on November 11, 1726, the son of Louis Denis de la Ronde and Marie Louise Chartier de Lotbinière. In 1744 Pierre Denis was a second ensign in the Infantry of the Marine in Louisiana. In 1746 he was enseign en pied (a junior officer) stationed in Natchitoches, Louisiana. De la Ronde, who retired as a lieutenant, settled in New Orleans sometime after 1755. He became a sugar planter in the vicinity of what is now known as the Chalmette Battlefield, and he was one of eight syndics selected to take part in the deliberations of the Superior Council, the judicial body for French Louisiana. In 1756 de la Ronde married Marie Madeleine Broutin, daughter of Madeleine Marguerite Lemaire Broutin and Ignace François Broutin, the architect and royal engineer who assisted in the planning of the original French settlement of New Orleans. The de la Rondes had several children, including Louise (born 1758), who married philanthropist Don Andrés Almonaster y Rojas, and Pierre Denis (born 1762), who led the Louisiana Militia at the Battle of New Orleans. It was on the de la Ronde property that some of the major action of the battle took place. The elder Pierre Denis de la Ronde was made a knight in the Military Order of St. Louis. He died on May 7, 1772, and is interred in St. Louis Cemetery No. 2; his wife died soon thereafter.


Creole in a Red Headdress ca. 1840; oil on canvas by Jacques Guillaume Lucien Amans, painter The Historic New Orleans Collection, 2010.0306 acquisition made possible by the Diana Helis Henry Art Fund of The Helis Foundation, in memory of Charles A. Snyder

The artist Jacques Guillaume Lucien Amans (1801–1888) was born in the Netherlands and educated in France. He first arrived in Louisiana around 1836 on the same ship as French artist Jean-Joseph Vaudechamp. Both artists would establish reputations in New Orleans and paint portraits of wealthy citizens of European heritage. Amans opened a studio on Royal Street in New Orleans in 1837 and continued to work seasonally in the city for two decades. Unlike Vaudechamp, who returned to Paris each summer, Amans married a local woman and purchased a sugar plantation on Bayou Lafourche. Although he returned to Paris occasionally during the summers, he often stayed at his plantation in the country. In 1856 Amans sold his Louisiana plantation and returned permanently to France. The unidentified sitter of Creole in a Red Headdress fascinates the viewer with a direct and seductive stare. The portrait certainly could have been painted in New Orleans, but there is yet no information to confirm whether the sitter resided in France or Louisiana. The subject’s pose, which obscures details of the body, along with the androgynous features, create intrigue—what is the gender? Unless the portrait depicts someone in costume, the white off-the-shoulder peasant blouse, brown skirt, and headdress or tignon suggest a woman of the working class, whether free or slave. The 1840 census for New Orleans lists one slave living in Amans’s household, a female under twenty-three years of age, but there is no evidence that this sitter is that young woman. The initials E. D., which appear in uppercase block letters in the neckline of the blouse, may be a clue to the sitter’s identity.


F. H. Hatch Presentation Silver Service between 1858 and 1861; coin silver by Terfloth and Küchler, silversmith The Historic New Orleans Collection, 2008.0329.2.1–7 acquisition made possible by the Diana Helis Henry Art Fund of The Helis Foundation and the Laussat Society of The Historic New Orleans Collection

Francis Hanson Hatch, a legislator from St. Helena Parish, was appointed collector of customs for the Port of New Orleans by President James Buchanan in 1857. This spectacular coffee and tea service was produced as a gift for Hatch in 1861. It was made in New Orleans by the firm of Terfloth and Küchler, which operated between 1858 and 1866. Both partners, Bernard Terfloth and Christopf Christian Küchler, were German immigrants. Scholars H. Parrott Bacot and Carey Mackie described the service in their article for The Historic New Orleans Collection’s Quarterly as “characterized by the most contemporary illustrative iconography of all known examples of New Orleans–made presentation silver.” The service includes a coffee pot, a teapot, a hot-water pot, a sugar bowl, a creamer, a waste bowl, and a monumental tray produced of coin silver. The two-handled oval tray features an engraved view of the US Custom House taken from an 1848 drawing by Thomas K. Wharton, architect and construction supervisor. The building, which still stands near the foot of Canal Street and occupies an entire square block, is an impressive example of Egyptian revival architecture. Below the engraving on the tray, an inscription reads: “Presented to /F. H. Hatch /Collector of the Port of New Orleans /By his Friends in the Custom House /May 1st 1861.” The flag to the left of the inscription represents the one-star banner of the Republic of Louisiana, established on January 26, 1861, when the state seceded. The republic lasted only until Louisiana joined the Confederate States of America, on March 21, 1861. The flag to the right is the first national Confederate flag, which also flies over the Custom House in the engraving. Louisiana had joined the Confederacy by the time the service was presented to Hatch. Both sides of each piece of hollowware—with the exception of the creamer—are decorated with repoussé and chased scenes illustrating the commerce of Louisiana. Representative examples of Louisiana flora in the form of an orange, a kumquat, a sunflower, a pecan, acorns, and a fig serve as finials atop the individual lids.


Hot-water pot (details) TOP: fig terminus BOTTOM: allegorical figure with cotton bales and sugar barrels 2008.0329.2.1

Tray (details) TOP: cartouche with inscription BOTTOM: US Custom House 2008.0329.2.6

Covered sugar bowl (details) TOP: palm tree and train BOTTOM: factory and columned building 2008.0329.2.5

Coffeepot (details) TOP: pecan terminus BOTTOM: steamboat and sailing ship 2008.0329.2.3


Creamer (detail) sugarcane, palmetto, tobacco plants 2008.0329.2.4 Waste bowl (detail) beehive 2008.0329.2.7

Teapot (details) TOP: kumquat terminus BOTTOM: allegorical figure with urn and oar 2008.0329.2.2

Teapot (detail) sunflower, palm tree, ship, and schooner 2008.0329.2.2


Bayou scene 1881; oil on canvas by William Henry Buck, painter The Historic New Orleans Collection, 2013.0358.5 acquisition made possible by the Diana Helis Henry and Adrienne Helis Malvin Art Funds of The Helis Foundation

William Henry Buck (1840–1888), one of the so-called Bayou Painters, was among Louisiana’s best-known landscape painters of the late nineteenth century. Buck immigrated to Boston from his native Norway and lived for a time in the New England area. By 1860 he had settled in New Orleans, where he worked in the cotton business for twenty years. During that time he studied with some of the city’s leading artists and was considered the popular successor to his most noted teacher, Richard Clague. In 1880 Buck devoted himself to painting scenes of the state’s lush bayous, accented with hunting cabins and fishing camps. He also painted fox-hunting scenes and an occasional nautical scene. Buck was active with the Southern Art Union and its successor, the Artists’ Association of New Orleans. His work was included in the art exhibitions held at the World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition of 1884–85 and the Creole Historic Exhibit of 1885–86. This 1881 bayou scene, which was completed the year after Buck took up painting full time, reveals his mastery of the genre. The landscape suggests the concept of the Louisiana sportsman, as captured by the state’s popular nickname Sportsman’s Paradise.


S. S. Atenas Moored at Old Havana Harbor 1920; oil on canvas by William Woodward, painter The Historic New Orleans Collection, 2011.0431.1 acquisition made possible by the Diana Helis Henry Art Fund of The Helis Foundation with additional funds from the Neal Auction Company

William Woodward (1859–1939) was born in Massachusetts. While he was still a student at the Massachusetts Normal Art School, in 1884, he was hired by Tulane University President William Preston Johnston to teach fine arts, mechanical drawing, and architectural drawing at the newly reorganized and renamed institution. Two years later William recommended his brother, Ellsworth (1861–1939), to head the Newcomb College School of Art and both settled in New Orleans for lengthy, influential careers. William moved to the Gulf Coast in 1923, and Ellsworth settled in Covington after his retirement. In 1920 William Woodward received a commission from the United Fruit Company to paint a mural, fifteen feet in diameter, to cover the entrance rotunda of the company’s new elevenstory, million-dollar building at 321 St. Charles Street. The work suggests the international aspect of New Orleans commerce, driven by one of the world’s largest port systems. This easel painting is a modified version of the mural, perhaps a finished study. Founded in 1899, the United Fruit Company traded in tropical fruits grown on Central and South American plantations and Caribbean islands. The company was founded by Minor Cooper Keith (1848–1929), an American railroad, fruit, and shipping magnate. The company flourished in the early and mid-20th century and controlled vast territories and transportation networks along the Caribbean coast of the West Indies, Colombia, and Ecuador. The resultant monopoly of the United Fruit Company and the nefarious multinational political shenanigans that developed in these areas gave rise to the term “banana republic.” The 5,000-ton Atenas, a banana reefer and passenger ship, belonged to the United Fruit Company’s “Great White Fleet.” The ship, shown moored at Havana harbor, was an American steam merchant completed in 1909 by Workman, Clark and Co. of Belfast and registered under the US flag in 1914.


Basin Street Cemetery 1975; oil on linen by Ralston Crawford, painter The Historic New Orleans Collection, 2012.0418 acquisition made possible by the Diana Helis Henry Art Fund of The Helis Foundation

Ralston Crawford’s (1906–1978) place in twentieth-century art movements was assured decades ago when he, Arthur Dove, Stuart Davis, and Charles Sheeler were the dominant proponents and practitioners of Precisionism, a hard-edged style grounded in modern imagery, often of the industrial world. Crawford’s regular visits to New Orleans over the course of his career as an artist along with a teaching post at Louisiana State University in 1950–51 make him not only a Louisiana artist but one with an international reputation. He remains the most prominent modernist with Louisiana and New Orleans ties. Indeed, Crawford identified so much with the region that he chose to be buried in St. Louis Cemetery No. 3. His will even specified which musicians should perform at his jazz funeral. Though he never lived in Louisiana on a permanent basis, the city is featured in much of his work. The bulk of this output occurred between 1949 and his death in 1978. Crawford painted Basin Street Cemetery in 1975, when he had fully absorbed the visual possibilities of New Orleans. This type of composition, employing hard-edged planes of color in tense juxtaposition, is characteristic of his style. The color palette for this work, vibrant but not gaudy, is also an element seen throughout his depictions of New Orleans. Like Basin Street Cemetery, Crawford’s compositions often featured abstractions of real-world subjects. His work as a photographer, especially his photographs of New Orleans jazz during the mid-twentieth century, sometimes deviated stylistically from the linear and flat sparseness of his painted work. The Historic New Orleans Collection acquired this painting as part of a group of twenty-four prints, drawings, and photographs by Crawford.


The Other Side of Caution 2006; acrylic on canvas by Rolland Harve Golden, painter The Historic New Orleans Collection, 2008.0109.10 New Orleans Museum of Art, 2007.113.4 acquisition made possible by the Diana Helis Henry Art Fund of The Helis Foundation; joint ownership with the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Fund

Born in New Orleans in 1931, artist Rolland Golden has spent his life picturing Louisiana and other areas of the South in his work. Golden’s personal response to the devastation of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina resulted in a series of twenty-six paintings, mostly large scale, depicting the destruction suffered by the city and the resultant despair of its residents. The group was the subject of an exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), Katrina: Days of Terror, Months of Anguish: Paintings by Rolland Golden, from November 10, 2007, through February 17, 2008. A selection of these exhibited works—along with seventy-nine preparatory drawings and photographs—was jointly acquired by NOMA and The Historic New Orleans Collection. Golden described his feelings about each painting in the catalog that accompanied the exhibition at NOMA. Describing the painting pictured here, The Other Side of Caution, he relates that “it was shocking to drive around old New Orleans and see certain streets barricaded, some closed with barbed wire. The day I was there was hot and sunny, as it had been for weeks. Not a soul was to be seen; the only noise came from passing cars on the nearby expressway. . . . I made numerous changes from photographs in an attempt to capture what the scene could have looked like just days after passage of the storm.”


Heading for the Superdome 2007; acrylic on canvas 2008.0109.7

Arches of Misery 2007; acrylic on canvas 2008.0109.1

Desperation 2006; acrylic on canvas 2008.0109.4

Claiborne Avenue 2006; acrylic on canvas 2008.0109.3

Escape 2006; acrylic on canvas 2008.0109.6

Tremé 2006; acrylic on canvas 2008.0109.13

Push Came to Shove 2007; acrylic on canvas 2008.0109.9


Throw Me a Line, Mister 2006; acrylic on canvas 2008.0109.12 Christmas Eve 2007; watercolor and gouache 2008.0109.2

Helicopter Hands 2006; acrylic on canvas 2008.0109.8

The Spirit Returns 2007; acrylic on canvas 2008.0109.11

Elysian Fields, Land of the Gods 2006; acrylic on canvas 2008.0109.5


Checklist

Pierre Denis de la Ronde, père ca. 1760; oil on canvas by an unknown painter 2009.0231.2 Marie Madeleine Broutin de la Ronde ca. 1760; oil on canvas by an unknown painter 2009.0231.1 F. H. Hatch Presentation Silver Service between 1858 and 1861; coin silver by Terfloth and Küchler, silversmith (active 1858–1866) 2008.0329.2.1–7 The Historic New Orleans Collection, acquisitions made possible by the Diana Helis Henry Art Fund of The Helis Foundation and the Laussat Society of The Historic New Orleans Collection

SS Atenas Moored at Old Havana Harbor 1920; oil on canvas by William Woodward, painter (1859–1939) 2011.0431.1 The Historic New Orleans Collection, acquisition made possible by the Diana Helis Henry Art Fund of The Helis Foundation with additional funds from the Neal Auction Company

Creole in a Red Headdress ca. 1840; oil on canvas by Jacques Guillaume Lucien Amans, painter (1801–1888) 2010.0306 The Historic New Orleans Collection, acquisition made possible by the Diana Helis Henry Art Fund of The Helis Foundation, in memory of Charles A. Snyder

Bayou scene 1881; oil on canvas by William Henry Buck, painter (1840–1888) 2013.0358.5 The Historic New Orleans Collection, acquisition made possible by the Diana Helis Henry and Adrienne Helis Malvin Art Funds of The Helis Foundation


The Other Side of Caution 2006; acrylic on canvas by Rolland Harve Golden, painter (b.1931) 2008.0109.10

Desperation 2006; acrylic on canvas by Rolland Harve Golden, painter (b.1931) 2008.0109.4

Christmas Eve 2007; watercolor and gouache by Rolland Harve Golden, painter (b.1931) 2008.0109.2

The Spirit Returns 2007; acrylic on canvas by Rolland Harve Golden, painter (b.1931) 2008.0109.11

Heading for the Superdome 2007; acrylic on canvas by Rolland Harve Golden, painter (b.1931) 2008.0109.7

TremĂŠ 2006; acrylic on canvas by Rolland Harve Golden, painter (b.1931) 2008.0109.13

Throw Me a Line, Mister 2006; acrylic on canvas by Rolland Harve Golden, painter (b.1931) 2008.0109.12

Elysian Fields, Land of the Gods 2006; acrylic on canvas by Rolland Harve Golden, painter (b.1931) 2008.0109.5

Arches of Misery 2007; acrylic on canvas by Rolland Harve Golden, painter (b.1931) 2008.0109.1

Claiborne Avenue 2006; acrylic on canvas by Rolland Harve Golden, painter (b.1931) 2008.0109.3

Helicopter Hands 2006; acrylic on canvas by Rolland Harve Golden, painter (b.1931) 2008.0109.8

Escape 2006; acrylic on canvas by Rolland Harve Golden, painter (b.1931) 2008.0109.6

Push Came to Shove 2007; acrylic on canvas by Rolland Harve Golden, painter (b.1931) 2008.0109.9

The Historic New Orleans Collection, acquisitions made possible by the Diana Helis Henry Art Fund of The Helis Foundation; joint ownership with the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Fund


Basin Street Cemetery 1975; oil on linen by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2012.0418

New Orleans Cemetery No. 2 1952; serigraph by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.1

Pete Herman’s circa 1960; photoprint by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.7

Man by Door ca. 1954; photoprint by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.14

The Historic New Orleans Collection, acquisition made possible by the Diana Helis Henry Art Fund of The Helis Foundation

The Glass No. 3, First State 1955; serigraph by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.2

Rum Boogie Restaurant between 1955 and 1966; photoprint by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.8

French Opera Parking Lot ca. 1960; photoprint by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.15

After Bayou Barataria between 1955 and 1966; ink on paper by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.3

Jax Beer Sign on Corner 1966; photoprint by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.9

Vase on Tomb ca. 1954; photoprint by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.16

Dave Brown Riverside Bar 1966; photoprint by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.10

J&G ca. 1965; photoprint by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.17

2 Story House with Balcony 1966; photoprint by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.11

Ship’s Masts and Rigging ca. 1954; photoprint by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.18

Perseverance No. 4 ca. 1950; photoprint by Ralston Crawford (1906-1978) 2013.0021.12

Gin Mill 1955 or 1956; photoprint by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.19

Police with Man on Stoop ca. 1955; photoprint by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.13

The Historic New Orleans Collection, acquisitions made possible by the Diana Helis Henry Art Fund of The Helis Foundation and Neelon Crawford

At the Dock between 1955 and 1966; ink on paper by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.4 Door with Shadows 1963; ink on paper by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.5 Twilite Inn between 1955 and 1960; photoprint by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.6

Historical Old Absinthe House on Bourbon ca. 1955; photoprint by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.20 Picou’s Food Store 1956; photoprint by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.21 Girls Dancing on Corner ca. 1954; photoprint by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.22 Walter’s Place ca. 1955; photoprint by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.23 Apartment House with Columns 1966; photoprint by Ralston Crawford (1906–1978) 2013.0021.24


The Historic New Orleans Collection

MU SE U M • R E SE AR C H C E NT E R • PU BL I SHE R

Board oF direCtorS

Mrs. William K. christovich, Chair Drew Jardine, President John Kallenborn, Vice President John e. Walker e. Alexandra Stafford hilton S. Bell Bonnie Boyd Fred M. Smith, Emeritus and Immediate Past President exeCutive direCtor

priscilla Lawrence


The Historic New Orleans Collection

M U S EU M • R E S E A R C H CE N T E R • P U B L I S H E R

533 Royal Street

New Orleans, Louisiana 70130

(504) 523-4662

www.hnoc.org


The Helis Foundation & The Historic New Orleans Collection Catalog