Talking With Tebe

Clementine Hunter, Memory Artist

By Mary E. Lyons
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Hardcover, 9780395720318, 48pp.)

Publication Date: September 1, 1998

List Price: $17.00*
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Born in northwest Louisiana in 1886. Called Tebe by her family, Hunter lived and worked on Melrose Plantation for more than 75 years. In colors as bright as the Louisiana sky, she shows the backbreaking work required to pick cotton, gather figs, cut sugar cane, and harvest pecans. Tebe's art portrays the good times, too. Scenes of baptisms, weddings, and church socials celebrate a rich community life that helped the workers survive. Hunter's work holds a special place in art history. She was the first self-taught artist to receive a fellowship from the Rosenwald Fund, in 1945, and the first self-taught African-American woman artist to receive national media attention. Between 1945 and 1987, over fifty museums and galleries showed her works. Some writers have called Clementine Hunter a creative genius. To others she was not a real artist but a "plantation Negro." Many were surprised that an older woman with no training could produce art at all. Now considered one of the finest folk arti.

About the Author

The author of fifteen books for young readers, Mary Lyons lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, with her husband, Paul. Her grandfather was born in Ireland in 1869, in a place much like Knockabeg.

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