Rodrigue: Celebrating Music


George Rodrigue’s family presents a new exhibition highlighting the artist’s representation of music in the culture and history of Louisiana

Mardi Gras has passed, and that means spring is just around the corner. In Louisiana that translates to warmer weather, festivals and plenty of live music.  Music is an integral part of Louisiana’s culture and was an important subject for George Rodrigue throughout his career. Brought together for this special exhibition, we present a selection of musically themed paintings illustrating the artist’s love of music from a variety of genres.

fais do-do

Fais Do Do, 1986 by George Rodrigue


Growing up in New Iberia, Rodrigue was deeply influenced by the music produced in that area, and in the early 1970s he painted dozens of musical subjects and portrayed a wide range of local musicians.  Rodrigue saw music in the same way he saw the oak tree — a strong symbol of his beloved homeland and an important aspect of the disappearing Cajun culture.  The Cajun musicians and, similarly, Cajun festivals, remained among his favorite subjects for 25 years and, to some degree, within the later Blue Dog Series as well.  Repeatedly, Rodrigue strove to capture the true spirit of his heritage.   He often expressed his opinion that music, along with food and art, characterizes Louisiana’s traditions and values.


Rodrigue Steinway, 2012


This exhibition brings together some of Rodrigue’s seldom seen paintings from private collections, as well as better-known works frequently on view within larger traveling shows.  Of special note is the Rodrigue Steinway, a 1913 piano donated and restored by the Hall Piano Company and Steinway & Sons, hand-painted over three months in 2012 by George Rodrigue.

“People outside of Louisiana first connected the word ‘Cajun’ to music.  Soon after came Chef Paul Prudhomme, Tabasco, and in 1976, art, when The Cajuns of George Rodrigue became the first book published nationally on the Cajun culture.  The music, food, and art of the 1970s and 1980s introduced Cajun to the world.” — George Rodrigue

Paintings include Clifton Chenier (1985), Fais Do Do (1986), and Mahalia Jackson (1995-96). The Rodrigue Steinway (2012) will also be on display.

Mahalia Jackson, 1995 by George Rodrigue

WHAT:  “Rodrigue: Celebrating  Music,” featuring  a  selection of musically themed paintings illustrating the artist’s love of music from a variety of genres.

WHEN: Feb. 24th through May 15th 2016.   Open Mon-Thurs, 10-6; Fri-Sat, 10-8; Sundays 12-5.  Free.

WHERE:  Rodrigue Studio, 730 Royal Street, New Orleans

WHY:  George Rodrigue’s family shares his artistic legacy with periodic thematic exhibitions of original artwork borrowed from private collections and Rodrigue’s personal archives.