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New Orleans History -- Lake Pontchartrain
Monday, December 18, 2017
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Multicolored Lotus circa 1920 watercolor

Ellsworth Woodward

Painted by the dean of the Newcomb Art School, which served as both an educational and business enterprise for young women of that era. The school focused on principles of drawing, painting, design, and crafts. The pottery department, established by this artist and his brother, produced the internationally recognized Newcomb Pottery. The brothers emphasized the unique regional characteristics of Louisiana by insisting on the use of local flora and fauna for motifs in the prevailing Art Nouveau style and the use of clay from the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain.

The younger of the Woodward brothers, Ellsworth studied art at the Rhode Island School of Design and later in the studios of Samuel Richards and Carl Mart in Munich, Germany. He accepted a position as a professor of art at Newcomb in 1885, a year after William had joined the faculty. In 1890 he was promoted to dean of the art department, a position he maintained for forty years.

A dominant and active member of the art community, Ellsworth served as an influential trustee at the Isaac Delgado Museum of Art (today the New Orleans Museum of Art), founded the Natchitoches Art Colony in Cane River Parish, Louisiana, served on international jury for the St. Louis Exposition of 1904, an became a member of the International Union of Fine Arts and Letters of Paris. He received a gold medal for the New Orleans Art Association, published the art and literary magazine Arts and Letters with fellow artist Bror Wikstrom, and painted allegorical murals for the criminal courts building at Broad Street and Tulane Avenue.

Although he painted in oils and made etchings, Ellsworth preferred watercolors. Multicolored Lotus is a close-up view of a cluster of lotuses. Both Woodward brothers found inspiration in the coastal areas of Louisiana and Mississippi.

Source: http://lsm.crt.state.la.us/painting/woodwarde.htm