On Monday, a day when many institutions will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the West Baton Rouge Museum in Port Allen will be open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with free admission and a screening of the documentary, “The Abolitionists,” at 10:30 a.m.
“The Abolitionists” focuses on the 19th century abolitionist struggle that has been noted as America’s first civil rights struggle.
Abolitionist allies Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Harriet Beecher Stowe, John Brown and Angelina Grimké turned a despised fringe movement against chattel slavery into a force that literally changed the nation.
The documentary was made available to the West Baton Rouge Museum as part of the “Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle” series, a Bridging Cultures initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, that uses the power of documentary films to encourage community discussion of America’s civil rights history.
The public also is invited to visit the last day of the exhibition, “The Portrait, The Artist, and the Patron: 19th Century Portraiture.”
This exhibit features masterworks from the Historic New Orleans Collection, Louisiana State Museum, the Paul and Lulu Hilliard Museum in Lafayette, as well as private collections, and includes the works of American and European artists such as Thomas Sully, Jean Joseph Vaudechamps, Jacques Amans, Adolph Rinck, Jules Lion, George Harrison Hite and George Peter Alexander Healy. Photography from the 19th century also is included in the exhibit.
The 19th century photo portraits emulate the style and composition of the painted portraits, which became increasingly important to families with the outbreak of the Civil War.
The West Baton Rouge Museum is located at 845 N. Jefferson Ave. in Port Allen. For information, visit westbatonrougemuseum.com or call (225) 336-2422, ext. 15.