Today's Hours
Museum: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Gardens: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Today's Hours
Museum: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Gardens: 7:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Hawthorne, Lloyd
Collection: American Collection
Specialties: Drawings, Paintings
View Artwork
Artist Lloyd Hawthorne was originally from Pineville, Louisiana. He had
always known he wanted to pursue a career in art. He got his first chance
doing medical illustrations while serving in the Navy during World War II.
After the war, he attended Louisiana College, receiving degrees in Fine
Arts and psychology. He worked for a number of years as a draftsman and
artist for the Central Louisiana Electric Company, taking occasional
breaks to go uranium prospecting and pursue graduate studies in art at
L.S.U., but in 1958, he decided to leave the company permanently in order
to pursue a career as an artist.

Hawthorne had always been fascinated by the story of Captain Shreve and
the Red River Raft and couldn't understand how it was that no other artist
had sought to depict that seminal event in American history. He first
proposed the topic of Shreve and the Raft as a mural for a project at
L.S.U., but the project fell through and he began looking for another
sponsor. In 1968, he received the commission for the work from the R.W.
Norton Art Gallery in Shreveport, Louisiana and began work.

It was essential that the painting be historically accurate, so Hawthorne
had to do an enormous amount of research. A long search ensued for an
accurate portrait of Henry Shreve and information on his hair color and
eyes. The search for an accurate rendering of Shreve's snagboat had a
happy ending when a search of Congressional Records at L.S.U. revealed
that in the 1842-43 records a congressman had read Shreve's letters patent
(No. 913) for his snagboat into the record and noted that drawings were
included with it. Hawthorne wrote to the U.S. Patent Office and received a
copy of the original drawings submitted by Shreve. The 48"x72" canvas was
completed in time to be unveiled at the annual Holiday in Dixie
celebration in Shreveport in 1970. It remains on permanent display at the
R.W. Norton Art Gallery where it is one of the paintings most frequently
requested for reproductions in books, magazines, and scholarly journals.

Lloyd Hawthorne continued to paint the rest of his life. Today, his works
are on display at the Louisiana Governor's Mansion, Northwestern State
University, and the Alexandria Museum of Art, in addition to the R. W.
Norton Art Gallery. Mr. Hawthorne passed away on March 2, 2003, but his
legacy lives on in the very popular "Capt. Henry Miller Shreve Clearing
the Great Raft from Red River, 1833-1838".

Everl Adair, Director of Research and Rare Collections