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    Square Collection featured at West Baton Rouge Museum

    Graduates of Grambling State University, where they met, Lawrence and Gay Square started collecting art 40 years ago. Today, their private collection is on display at the West Baton Rouge Museum through March 24.

    The Square Collection features fine art from some of America’s most distinguished artists including 20 figurative sculptures by the internationally renowned sculptor Tina Allen.

    The Square’s Black art collection includes paintings and prints by acclaimed artists: Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, Ed Dwight, Charles Bibb, John T. Scott, Charles Dickson, Jim Wider, and Manuelita Brown, as well as slave shackles, rare historical documents, autographed books and memorabilia from sports icons like Michael Jordan.  Whether created in the medium of oil, pen, Lucite or bronze, these carefully selected pieces beautifully portray strength, character, beauty, and the collectors’ love of history.

    When asked, “Why do you collect?” Lawrence Square’s answer is always, “I buy what I like.”

    The West Baton Rouge Museum is happy to share this exhibit in its first Louisiana public showing

     

    Feature photo by Lucie Monk Carter. Read more at Country Roads.

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    There’s a Juke Joint in West Baton Rouge

    The West Baton Rouge Museum is pleased to announce the grand opening of the Juke Joint exhibit on April 6th at 6:30PM. This new permanent exhibit will interpret the rich blues heritage of West Baton Rouge. It is one of the first projects of the museum’s new curator of exhibits Kathe Hambrick.

    Kathe Hambrick, Curator of Exhibits, West Baton Rouge Museum

    Kathe Hambrick, Curator of Exhibits, West Baton Rouge Museum

    The Juke Joint grand opening is a tribute to Slim Harpo with living legends Henry Gray and Carol Fran along with tomorrow’s legends Carter Wilkerson and the Riverside Blues Band and Rudy “Trey” Richard, III. We will be frying fish and serving up Juke Joint beer from Tin Roof and the all new “Baby Scratch My Back” cocktail invented just for us by Cane Land Distilling Company, said museum planners.
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    Juke joints have a history that is deeply rooted in small towns throughout the south. West Baton Rouge was famous for the juke joints that provided relief to the workers coming in from the sugarcane fields and long hard days of work on the Mississippi River. The night time establishments in West Baton Rouge Parish drew crowds as the Blue Laws of East Baton Rouge did not apply on the west side. You could hear live music playing all night through open windows across the canebrake. Ernest Gaines is quoted in his memoir, Mozart to Leadbelly, “Baton Rouge was a dry town on Sundays; so I…would go across the Mississippi River into Port Allen, into The White Eagle bar.” He wrote about hearing Bobby Rush, Bobby Blue Bland, and Ernie K-Doe in The White Eagle.

    Learn more of the juke joints and the Blues musicians that made West Baton Rouge famous. Be prepared to dance and share your juke joint stories from West Baton Rouge Parish.

    ONLINE: http://westbatonrougemuseum.com

    Photos by James Terry III

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  • West Baton Rouge Museum open for King holiday

    On Monday, January 19, a day when many institutions will be closed in observance of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr holiday, the West Baton Rouge Museum will be open with free admission, 10am – 4:30pm, to commemorate the life’s work of King.

    There will be a moderated film discussion at noon presented by Aaron Sheehan-Dean, LSU History Department’s Fred C. Frey Professor of Southern Studies. The film discussion will focus on the 19th century abolitionist struggle that has been noted as America’s first Civil Rights struggle. As part of his presentation, Sheehan-Dean will share clips from the documentary film, The Abolitionists featuring brave men and women who risked their lives to end slavery.“Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle” series, a Bridging Cultures initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities

    Throughout the day, the public is invited to walk through Brave Steps: The Louisiana Native Guard. This exhibit, curated by West Baton Rouge Museum’s Angelique Bergeron and guest curator, Emmitt Glynn, illustrates the history of the Louisiana Native Guard, the first Black troops to be mustered into the Union Army during the American Civil War and the brave first steps toward life out of slavery and working toward equality.

    West Baton Rouge Museum is located at 845 North Jefferson Avenue in Port Allen. For more information, visit www.westbatonrougemuseum.com or call 225-336-2422 Ext. 15.

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