Zinnias: The Life of Clementine Hunter

I have to run down to the Municipal Archives so this post is going to be brief. Saturday night I saw Robert Wilson’s new opera about the artist Clementine Hunter. (There’s a New York Time’s interview with Wilson here.)

First, thank you Barbara Sacharow. She invited me and gave me the ticket!. Second, I loved it. Probably the best thing I can say to demonstrate how much I loved it is that I went home and spent hours researching Clementine Hunter, Melrose Plantation (the place where she painted) and all the people in her life. Then I came up with a plan to go to Louisiana to start exploring people’s attics and basements in order to find her paintings (haven’t come up with a plan yet for how I’m going to get into people’s attics and basements exactly). Apparently there are at least 4,000 of her paintings out there, though.

This character spent most of the opera either sitting in a rocking chair or walking, but looking like she was slowly gliding around the stage, like the way ghosts move in movies made in the 1950’s. I guessed that she was supposed to represent an older Clementine Hunter but according to the Wilson interview I guessed wrong.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

2 thoughts on “Zinnias: The Life of Clementine Hunter

  1. Wow, I’m glad you posted this, Stacy. I had no idea that this opera existed. I happen to have a Clementine Hunter painting that my parents purchased from her back in the ’60s I believe.

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