On Tuesday, July 14, Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and the Louisiana State Museum will unveil a new exhibition, titled, “A Colorful World in Black & White: Fonville Winans’ Photographs of Louisiana” at the Capitol Park Museum in Baton Rouge, reports MyNewOrleans.com.
“Louisiana is justly famous for its unique landscapes, its colorful politicians, and its hospitable people,” commented Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “Fonville’s iconic and beautiful photographs document the past while reflecting the radiance and resiliency of Louisiana culture.”
Photographer and artist Theodore “Fonville” Winans possesses an intuitive eye for composition and a gifted ability to connect with his subjects in order to reveal both personality and sense of place, simultaneously.
Inspiration for the series comes from Winans’s history of navigating south Louisiana backroads and bayous during the early 1930’s. While traveling he documents many intriguing aspects of iconic Louisiana culture including Grand Isle’s Acadian fishing community, Crowley’s Rice Festival, Feliciana Parish’s annual fox hunt, Avery Island’s salt mine, and Angola State Penitentiary’s prisoners.
After his marriage in 1936, Winans and his bride, Helen Collins, settled in Baton Rouge, where they would raise a family and produce masterful photographs for half a century. Initially in his career, Winans worked as a state photographer who specialized in portraits of elected officials during Governor Earl Long’s tenure. He then transitioned into opening his own studio in 1940 on Laurel Street, becoming a wedding and portrait photographer. Winanas was known around the city and surrounding areas for his thoroughly friendly approach, causing generations of Baton Rouge brides throughout the decades to book him for their special day’s documentation.
Not just limited to his wedding photography, all of Winans’s work achieves an engaging blend of revelation and intimacy, and despite the rising popularity of color photography throughout his career, he mostly kept to the familiarity of black and white. Known as a sensitive and alert documentarian, Fonville Winans created a magnificent and monochromatic record of the colorful and vibrant Louisiana culture.
The Louisiana State Museum acquired the largest collection of Fonville Winans photographs in 1994, alongside camera equipments and memorabilia. The comprehensive exhibition includes more than 160 of Winans’s photographs of Louisiana bayous, politicians, citizens, celebrities, and brides.
“A Colorful World in Black & White: Fonville Winans’ Photographs of Louisiana” will be on display at the Capitol Park Museum in downtown Baton Rouge. The Exhibit’s unveiling begins on Tuesday, July 14 with a reception, free to the public, the opening celebratory festivities will be held from 5:00-7:00 with food and libations. The museum is located at 660 N. Fourth Street in Baton Rouge and is open between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Admission to the museum is $7 for adults, $6 for students, senior citizens, and active military, and free for children six and under. Visit LouisianaStateMuseum.org for more information. Guests are encouraged to wear masks and hand sanitizer will be provided at the entrance to the museum.
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