APHN Offers Two Clementine Hunter Books for One Low Price Monday, Jan 21 2013 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for

The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches

Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches offers two great Clementine Hunter books for one low price. Visit Melrose Plantation for a wonderful tour of where Clementine lived and worked, see her magnificent mural and get your books at the Bindery (Gift Shop). If you cannot make it to Melrose, go to the APHN website and purchas the books. {click here}

Special Offer #1: a two book package for one Low Sale Price.

Clementine Hunter:Her Life and Art
By Art Shiver and Tom Whitehead
Louisiana State University Press, 2012
She painted and painted and painted: for fifty years she painted. She produced “between five and ten thousand” works of art. On snuff bottles, window shades, plywood, canvas and a multitude of objects found on the plantation. Hunter tells her own story and the story of her people in her paintings. The descendent of an enslaved family, she came from field hand in the cotton rows to cook for the plantation Big House to internationally known Folk Artist.
Shiver and Whitehead’s book is. itself, a well researched and lively story of not only the Artist, but of those who encouraged her, such as Lyle Saxon and Francois Mignon. It includes facinating data of forgeries and FBI involvment. Both authors knew Clementine.Whitehead visited her regularly for many years. Book includes paintings and photographs. Read and become Clementine’s friend

Clementine Hunter: The African House Murals
by Art Shiver and Tom Whitehead
Copyright 2005 The Association of the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches 
Published by NSU Press Publications
Hardcover Edition

The story in words and pictures about “the most colorful room in the south”.  One of the modern treasures of the American art scene was painted in the middle of the last century on nine plywood panels and installed on the dusty second floor of a unique structure at rural Melrose Plantation in northwest Louisiana.. Through journals and correspondence, we (the authors) are able today to put together the events that tell the story of the creation of Clementine Hunter’s African House Murals. (excerpt from inside cover)




Clementine Hunter: Her Life and Art Thursday, Sep 13 2012 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for

The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN)

Clementine Hunter admirer? You will want this book.

Clementine Hunter, lived and painted at Melrose



Every Day Is An Opportunity For A New Discovery At Melrose Wednesday, Mar 21 2012 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN)

Guest Blogger, Adam Foreman, Executive Director, APHN

New Discoveries in the Collection at Melrose

Recently there have been several new discoveries centering on the Clementine Hunter Collection at Melrose. It all began with the stove in the Clementine Hunter house located on the Melrose Property. I do not know when the home was moved to the Melrose property however according to Tommy Whitehead, Clementine Hunter moved from the home in 1977.

For the last 35 years, items have remained in the stove undiscovered and unexplored. When I discovered these items in late February I quickly contacted Dustin Fuqua with the National Park Service to assist me with an assessment, inventory, and documentation of these [no longer hidden pieces of our collection.

What we found was truly amazing. We found items dated between 1972 and 1977. Two of the neatest items were an Avon product box and a St. Augustine Church raffle ticket from October 7& 8 1972. Several other paper documents including a receipt from Roques auto garage, newspaper sections, a Natchitoches Parish water bill, and even an empty pack of Pall Mall cigarettes (According to Tommy Whitehead, Clementine did not smoke but her daughter did.)

Also were various bone fragments possibly from beef and pork ribs and chicken bone fragments. We also found carbonized wood and a large amount of construction nails.
The second big discovery is more of a “re-discovery”. While inspecting broken glass doors in the Melrose Library I uncovered a large blue binder with a full inventory of items received by APHN from the Hunter family after her death. Once this re-discovery was fully realized, I began attempting to identify and find the items listed. One such item was an “artist box”. When I found this box and opened it- I was amazed to see Clementine’s paints and brushes still inside. With the help of supplies from Dustin and the National Park Service, I was able to identify and inventory the contents of the Artist box.

Every day is an opportunity for a new discovery at Melrose. The large blue binder has nearly 300 sheets of paper, so this project has just begun.


Adam Foreman
Executive Director, APHN

See Photos


Clementine Hunter of Melrose Plantation and Her Wig Tuesday, Dec 6 2011 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for The Association for the Preservation of  Historic Natchitoches  (APHN)

Lyle Saxon, a frequent visitor to Melrose Plantation from 1923 until his death, tells of an interesting incident concerning Clementine Hunter. Chance  Harvey,  in her  excellent read-every  word  (and  enjoy)  book,  The Life  and  Selected  Letters  of  Lyle  Saxon  records  his account of Clementine and her wig.

According to Saxon, Clementine was jealous of the wig he had bought Victoria, another cook at Melrose Plantation. Clementine had owned a wig but it came to an unfortunate end when her husband, Manuel, snatched it from her head and flung it into the fire one night after she had sent him into a rage.

Saxon wrote of the incident and the fact it “may not seem like an international episode to you, but on the plantation it almost caused a revolution”.

Mr. Henry (Cammie’s husband), bought Clemance (Clementine) another wig, it too eventually disappeared.

When Victoria, wearing her wig, fell out of a swing and died of a concussion, she was laid to rest at a funeral that Cammie Henry and Lyle Saxon attended. Saxon concludes his chapter with a remark made by Cammie Henry:

“I wish I could open that coffin. I would like to look at Victoria once more. I am sure Clemance has stolen her wig”.

Clementine Hunter, lived and painted at Melrose

Visit historic Melrose Plantation and tour the site where Clementine lived and painted. See the impressive mural she painted in the African House.

Go here for more information [           ]

African House, Melrose


Melrose Plantation, the Big House Managed by APHN

Melrose Plantation, Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana is Like “Time in a Bottle” Tuesday, Dec 21 2010 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for

The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches

Of all of Jim Croce’s heartfelt songs, “Time In a Bottle” is the one that touches me at the deepest level.

The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN) seeks to preserve the culture, tradition, and stories as well as the physical structures and grounds of the Melrose Plantation in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana.

Like a vintage wine, it is a delight to visit and uncork the Melrose experience. It really is like “time in a bottle”.

Visit Melrose Plantation and  step back  over 200 years in history.




The African House at Melrose Plantation, Natchitoches, Louisiana Monday, Oct 18 2010 

Posted by Doyle Bailey for


The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN)

The African House at Melrose Plantation

If the African House were the sole structure at the Melrose French Creole Plantation in Natchitoches, Louisiana, it would more than merit a visit. It is one of nine structures you can see on your sightseeing Tour of Melrose.

Francois Mignon relates the following endearing incident:

“It was on a hot day in July in the mid 1950,s that scenes of plantation life in Louisiana began to appear along the walls of the African House. The artist was Clementine Hunter who lived in her cabin on Melrose Plantation“.  


Francois Mignon, a prolific and gifted writer and a member of the artist’s colony at Melrose writes with feeling concerning Clementine Hunter

“Well do I remember when Clementine Hunter…first tried her hand at painting. She tapped at my door, said that she had found these twisted tubes (of paint) while cleaning up and that she believed she could ‘mark a picture on her own…if she sot her mind to it’.”

She presented her first picture to Mignon who replied:

Sister, you don’t know it but this is just the first of a whole lot of pictures you are going to bring me in the years ahead“.

Francois was right and the rest is history.

Buy Online Or At Melrose

Get more information on Touring Melrose.  Go {here) for the APHN website or to purchase your copy of:

ART FROM HER HEART; Folk Artist Clementine Hunter by Kathy Whitehead and Shane W. Evans