Inventing Acadia: Painting and Place in Louisiana

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With its dense forests and swamps, Louisiana captured the imagination of an international group of painters and writers who viewed its landscape as a fascinating, untamed wilderness. Starting in the 1840s when French émigrés brought the Barbizon school to New Orleans, the state attracted artists from Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the greater United States. Often painted as a tropical paradise, the land also bore the scars of colonialism and the forced migrations of slavery. Inventing Acadia: Painting and Place in Louisiana explores this complex history, situating Louisiana landscape art amid the cultural shifts of the nineteenth century. The authors of this 231-page text engage not only with artworks but also with the issues that informed them—representations of race and industry, international trade, and environmentalism—which are then carried into the present with a look at the work of contemporary artist Regina Agu.

The exhibition catalog includes contributions by Anna Arabindan-Kesson and Mia L. Bagneris, Aurora Yaratzeth Avilés García, Katie A. Pfohl, and Kelly Presutti, along with a conversation between Regina Agu and Ryan N. Dennis.

Inventing Acadia was on view at NOMA from November 16, 2019-January 26, 2020.


Additional information

Weight 3.2 lbs
Dimensions 9.5 × 11.5 × 1 in