On February 1, 2018, the West Baton Rouge Museum will open a new exhibition Créoles du Monde which explores the Créole world and culture from Africa and Europe to the Americas. Créoles du Monde celebrates the vibrant culture of Créole people through the eyes of the historians, collectors, artists, and photographers who have captured a rich history in textiles, rare paintings and photographs. This exhibit, which includes works from the collections of Jeremy Simien, Derrick Beard, Ulrick Jean-Pierre, Jeremiah Ariaz and Mary Gehman, will run through May 6th.
Scholars have debated the definition of Créole for over a hundred years. Depending on where you are and who you ask different answers are presented. In the United States, it refers exclusively to the people and culture of South Louisiana. But the word has a broader meaning throughout the Americas. Créole derives from the 17th century Portuguese word crioulo, used to refer to enslaved Africans born in the New World. In Louisiana, the meaning was later broadened to distinguish upper class families of European descent from the English-speaking Americans moving south after the Louisiana Purchase. World-wide, Créole has come to mean the cultures found in regions shaped by African, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Indigenous influences. A common thread that ties all Créole cultures together is the production of sugar.
On March 3, 2018 the West Baton Rouge Museum will open a new exhibition entitled Fait à la Main: The Acadian Handicraft Project. This exhibit will feature traditional Acadian handiwork such as brown cotton woven textiles, hand sewing and wood crafts created by Louisiana artisans who participated in the handicraft project. Crafts produced by modern artisans will also be featured to show how Acadian traditions are being kept alive today.
The Acadian Handicraft Project began in 1942 and was based at Louisiana State University. Its purpose was to support French language and culture in Louisiana. Field representative Louise Olivier traveled the state purchasing crafts, mostly textiles, from Acadians and marketed them for sale. The project provided a sales outlet and source of income to Acadian women who had not previously worked outside the home, as well as encouraged craftspeople to continue the traditions involved in creating these pieces. Mrs. Olivier worked with internationally known writers and magazines, providing them material about Acadian culture that would help to promote the Acadian Handicraft Project. The Acadian Handicraft Project was at the height of its popularity in 1962 when Louise Olivier passed away, but the seeds for CODOFIL, the Council for Development of French in Louisiana, were planted and the traditions of Acadian craftwork were preserved. This exhibit is based on research conducted by the LSU Textile and Costume Museum and runs through August 5, 2018.
In honor of the West Baton Rouge Museum’s 50th Anniversary, the West Baton Rouge Historical Association is opening the vault to display objects from our collection that document the rich cultural history of our parish. Many of these objects will be on display for the first time!
Staff, volunteers, and future volunteers are invited to tour the sugar refinery in Gramercy. To make reservations to attend, please call 225-336-2422 Ext. 201. FREE.
Louisiana folk artist Malaika Favorite is known for her creative interpretations of history. In her latest series, Washboard City, scrub-boards are used as a symbol of the hard work, discipline, and determination of black women in the south.
This exhibit, curated by the National Archives, features some of the hundreds of thousands of photographs that military photographers stationed in Vietnam took to document American Armed Forces activities.
If interested, contact Gwenn LaViolette at 225-336-2422 x201. FREE.