Louisiana native Scott Veazey has renovated numerous houses in historic neighborhoods throughout New Orleans. His projects have been featured in books and local publications and he has received awards from the Vieux Carre Commission, as well as a special award created for him from the Historic District Landmark Commission, for his many contributions to preservation. In 2003, while lovingly renovating the home of Martha Wright Ambrose, he found several hundred paintings, sketches, and studies by Ambrose.
Noon to 12:45 p.m.
State Capitol, House Committee Room 5
Martha Wright Ambrose (1914-2000)
1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Barnes & Noble Book Selling Tent
Martha Wright Ambrose (1914-2000): The Rediscovery of a Southern Regional Artist
Imagine purchasing a house and finding a treasure trove of art by a single significant artist, left all but abandoned in a leaky garage. This is exactly what happened to Scott Veazey when, in 2003, he purchased the home of his lifelong friend and mentor, artist Martha Wright Ambrose. Ambrose’s work had been largely forgotten, but a chance encounter between Veazey and award-winning art and architectural historian and writer Roulhac Toledano brought revived interest in her art.
Thoroughly researching the artist’s life in interviews, published sources, and archives, Toledano and Veazey have since worked to fill in the story that is Martha Ambrose: from her formal art education at the New Orleans Art School, the Art Students League of New York, and the Cape School of Art; to her marriage and travels with fellow artist Jack Ambrose; and her career as an artist, teacher, and activist in the New Orleans community.
Painting over the course of fifty years, Ambrose, both student and teacher, remained true to herself as a representational artist, determined to “be, each day, a better painter.” Her paintings include the architecture of New Orleans and southern Louisiana, rural landscapes and waterways, as well as depictions of her worldwide travels. Rescued from certain destruction, Ambrose’s extensive body of work has since been cleaned and preserved and are presented to the general public for the first time in Martha Wright Ambrose (1914-2000): The Rediscovery of a Southern Regional Artist.
Material collected and included here also brings into print for the first time information on Ambrose’s colleagues and acquaintances: New Orleans artists, gallery owners, and art teachers who spent their lives promoting French Quarter and south Louisiana art. The authors also introduce readers to dozens of twentieth-century southern and New Orleans artists, placing them and Ambrose in her appropriate context as a twentieth-century Southern Regional artist.
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