Untitled 1981

Painting of a young woman in a blue dress offering flowers to a  photograph of the artist collaged on the canvas.

Clementine Hunter, Untitled, 1981; Gift of Evelyn M. Shambaugh

Entirely self-taught and immensely prolific, Clementine Hunter earned critical acclaim for thousands of vibrant paintings.

Hunter, who labored her entire life on plantations in central Louisiana, began painting only in her late 50s. Most of her paintings chronicle her memories and experience of plantation life: harvests, baptisms, funerals, and the like.

This untitled painting, however, functions as a self-portrait. Incorporating the front panel of a 1974 exhibition brochure in the composition, Hunter simultaneously documented her photographic likeness and her public success as an artist. Even the painted figure to the left, which bears flowers, seems to allude to the respect Hunter had earned as a result of her talent.

National Museum of Women in the Arts