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The Greole Sketchbook Of A. R. Waud

July 2024
1min read

A century ago, before the levelling onslaught of modern life caught up with them, New Orleans and the isolated bayou country of southern Louisiana were not only different from the rest of the United States—they were a world apart. A superlative portrait of the phenomenon that was Creole Louisiana was made in the years following Appomattox by Alfred R. Waud, an English-born illustrator who had achieved widespread acclaim as a battle artist in the Civil War. Waud first visited the New Orleans region in 1866, when Harper’s Weekly sent him through the South to depict the results of the war and “the rising of a new world from chaos …” Then in 1871, accompanied by a writer, Ralph Keeler, he did a series of articles on the lower Mississippi for a competitor of Harper’s , the short-lived illustrated weekly Every Saturday . (While on this assignment, they rushed to cover the great Chicago fire; their eyewitness report appeared in the August issue of A MERICAN H ERITAGE .) Though engravings were made of Waud’s Louisiana sketches, the original drawings have never been published. Now, through the courtesy of Waud’s grandson, Malcolm F. J. Burns, a selection of them appears for the first time in the following portfolio.

New Orleans Observed

Sunday in the City

Delta Country

The Delta at Work

The Face of Louisiana

The Festival Life

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