Clementine Hunter Talk at DuSable Museum of African American History Chicago, IL. Feb. 2015
Clementine Hunter was an illiterate African American folk artist who chronicled plantation life in the early 20th century. She spent most of her life at Melrose Plantation, which grew cotton and pecans and was an artists' colony. In her mid-fifties she picked up a set paints abandoned by a resident artist and, encoraged by other residents, launched herself as an artist. She was prolific, painting almost to the day of her death in 1988 at 101 years of age.
As her reputation grew, her paintings increased in value. Her success attracted the attention of several forgers. The FBI asked McCrone Associates' microscopist, Joe Barabe, to examine 5 genuine paintings from the artist in an attempt to authenticate 5 suspect paintings purchased from a disreputable gallery This presentation detailed the analysis these paintings underwent in the course of the investigation that ultimately resulted in a successful prosecution.