First Retrospective of Early African American Artist Julien Hudson at Worcester Art Museum

Julien Hudson, 1811−1844 American, Portrait of a Free Man of Color, 1835, oil on canvas, private collection.
Julien Hudson, 1811−1844 American, Portrait of a Free Man of Color, 1835, oil on canvas, private collection.
  • Julien Hudson, 1811-1844 American.  Creole Boy With A Moth, 1835, oil on canvas, courtesy of a private collection; photo courtesy of Fodera Fine Art Conservation, Ltd.

    Julien Hudson, 1811-1844 American. Creole Boy With A Moth, 1835, oil on canvas, courtesy of a private collection; photo courtesy of Fodera Fine Art Conservation, Ltd.

A groundbreaking exhibition opened Dec. 9 at the Worcester Art Museum entitled “In Search of Julien Hudson:  Free Artist of Color in Pre-Civil War New Orleans.” Julien Hudson (1811-1844) is the second-earliest documented portrait painter of African descent to work in the United States. Little-known today, Hudson died an untimely, somewhat mysterious death, and only fragments of his oeuvre survive to tell his story.

This exhibit, organized by William Keyse Rudolph, is the first retrospective of the artist.

Included in the exhibit are the six known paintings by Hudson, one of which may be his self-portrait, as well as work by the painter’s contemporaries. 

Initially a tailor’s apprentice, Hudson dropped that line of work to pursue painting with fashionable miniature portraitist Antonio Meucci.  Later, he studied in Paris with Alexandre Abel de Pujol, before returning to Louisiana to set up his own studio in 1931.

The work of the New Orleans native sheds some light on the “third caste” that existed in that city, a group known as gens de colour libre, or free people of color, who had a legal and social status that positioned them between the enslaved and free whites.

This exhibit is in part supported by a NEA grant, as well as by the Worcester Art Museum and The Historic New Orleans Collection, and will run through March 11, 2012, in Worcester, Mass.

(Report: Christine Bolli for ARTFIXdaily)

More News Feed Headlines

APEX mural and Cyrus Tilton sculptures at Art Silicon Valley / San Francisco

Art Silicon Valley / San Francisco Entices Techies to Art Collecting

  • October 17, 2014 00:24

This year has been rife with attempts to move the Silicon Valley tech elite into high-level art ...

Read More

Amal Clooney met with government officials in Greece about the Elgin Marbles.

Amal Clooney Advises Greece on Legal Bid for British Museum's Elgin Marbles

  • October 15, 2014 22:13

Actor George Clooney's new bride, Amal Alamuddin Clooney is going to bat for Greece in a quest to return the famed 2,000-year-old Elgin Marbles at the British Museum to their homeland.

Read More

Geneva Freeports

Experts Claim Fifty Percent of Artwork on the Market is Fake

  • October 14, 2014 22:00

Scientists at the Fine Arts Experts Institute (FAEI) in Geneva say that 70 to 90 percent of the artwork that they analyze is fake. More than half of artworks circulating on the market are either forgeries or misattributed contend some authorities...

Read More

Museum Charlotte Zander

Henri Rousseau Painting Disappears From German Museum

  • October 14, 2014 22:00

Officials say they have no leads in the theft of a Henri Rousseau painting from the Charlotte Zander Museum in Germany.

Read More

Related Press Releases

Related Events from ArtfixDaily Calendar

7542978

ArtfixDaily Artwire