Outsider Art. Rare primitive painting. First work by Clementine Hunter.
Home Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6

 "Bowl of Zinnias"
Clementine Hunter's First Oil Painting

The Secret Paintings of Clementine Hunter - Part 1

Background of Whitfield Jack, Jr., grandson of the
original owner of Clementine Hunter's "Bowl of Zinnias"

Whitfield Jack, Jr. was born in 1936 in Alexandria, Louisiana, about forty-five miles from Melrose Plantation. In 1944, when Whitfield was eight years old, Mrs. Cammie Henry, owner of Melrose, gave his grandparents, Blythe White Rand and Dr. Paul King Rand of Alexandria-- friends of Mrs. Cammie's since the mid 1930's -- a one-hundred year lease for $1.00 on a parcel of land for a fishing camp on Cane River. The camp, named Happy Landing, was located just across the cotton fields and down the road from Clementine's house. From the time he was eight years old, until Mr. Jack was in his late teens, he visited Melrose frequently with his grandmother -- sometimes staying at Happy Landing for several weeks at a time -- and became a good friend of both Clementine Hunter and Francois Mignon, the resident guardian, care keeper, and director of social life at Melrose. Mr. Jack maintained his friendship with Francois until the latter's death in 1980 and is one of the few people still alive today who was actually there during the early years when Clementine first began painting.

Whitfield Jack Jr.'s Family Connections With Melrose

Mrs. Blythe Rand with Mrs. Cammie Henry at Melrose
Francois Mignon reminisces about the Rand's camp at Melrose
Dr. Paul King Rand (right) shown with Francois Mignon (left)
Letter from Pat Henry to Whitfield Jack Jr. re picture at right
Blythe Rand (far right) and Francois (2nd from left) Melrose, 1944
Mr. Jack's uncles with former slave, "Uncle Israel" Melrose c.1940

Go to The Secret Paintings of Clementine Hunter - Part 2

Secrets Index
Home Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6

Vignettes of Melrose by Whitfield Jack, Jr.
Click to read in sequence

Top of Page