Documentary on New Orleans Afro-Creole Carvers

Published on: May 20th, 2008

New Orleans native and scholar of African American history and culture Maurice Martinez will present his documentary Wings of Wood (2007) at The Historic New Orleans Collection on Thursday, March 6.

In the 24-minute film, Martinez examines the work of Afro-Creole carvers Charles Hutchison, Rudolph Hutchison and Eric Hutchison. Brothers Charles and Rudy Hutchison grew up in New Orleans' 7th Ward, near noted carver Mitchel Lafrance. Lafrance, who had been a key figure in the Plaquemines Parish carving community, taught and influenced the Hutchison brothers, who went on to distinguish themselves by perfecting the "soft feather" technique. In this unique style, each feather is carved to scale from an individual piece of wood. As many as 5,000 pieces of wood may make up a single carving. The birds are so lifelike that when a fan blows air across the carving, the feathers ruffle.

The screening will be on Thursday, March 6, 2008, at 6:30 p.m. at the Historic New Orleans Collection. The HNOC is located in the Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres Street in New Orleans. This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are encouraged and may be made by e-mailing or by calling (504) 523-4662.

This screening is presented in conjunction with The Collection's exhibition, "Birds of a Feather: Wildfowl Carving in Southeast Louisiana," which is currently on display at the Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres Street. The exhibition will be open prior to the screening and admission fees will be waived.

Founded in 1966, The Historic New Orleans Collection is a museum, research center and publisher dedicated to the study and preservation of the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South region.

For more information, visit the website of The Historic New Orleans Collection, whose mission is "Preserving our Past for a Brighter Future."

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