Francois Mignon on Clementine's African House

If the African House were the sole structure at the Melrose French Creole Plantation in Natchitoches, Louisiana, it would more than merit a visit. It is one of nine structures you can see on your sightseeing tour of Melrose.

Francois Mignon, a prolific, gifted writer and member of the artist’s colony at Melrose relates the following endearing incident:

“It was on a hot day in July in the mid 1950's that scenes of plantation life in Louisiana began to appear along the walls of the African House. The artist was Clementine Hunter who lived in her cabin on Melrose Plantation. Well do I remember when Clementine Hunter…first tried her hand at painting. She tapped at my door, said that she had found these twisted tubes (of paint) while cleaning up and that she believed she could ‘mark a picture on her own…if she sot her mind to it.'”

She presented her first picture to Mignon who replied, “Sister, you don’t know it but this is just the first of a whole lot of pictures you are going to bring me in the years ahead“.

Francois was right and the rest is history.

(Original Post by Mr. Doyle Bailey)