capitol park museum

A new exhibit, 'A Colorful World In Black & White: Fonville Winans' Photographs of Louisiana' opens July 14 at the Capitol Park Museum.

A new exhibit focusing on the work of well-known photographer Fonville Winans opens with a free reception from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. July 14 at the Capitol Park Museum, 660 N. Fourth St.

"A Colorful World in Black & White: Fonville Winans’ Photographs of Louisiana" includes more than 160 of his photos of the state's bayous, politicians, residents, celebrities and brides; several videos about the photographer and his subjects; and photography equipment from his studio.

A gifted, amiable and inquisitive photographer, Winans drove the back roads and navigated the bayous of south Louisiana during the early 1930s. Along his travels, he documented many fascinating aspects of Louisiana culture including Grand Isle, the Crowley Rice Festival, an annual fox hunt in the Felicianas, the interior of a salt mine on Avery Island and prisoners at Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.

After getting married in 1936, Winans and his bride, Helen Collins, settled in Baton Rouge where he raised a family and continued taking photographs for half a century.

Initially, he worked as a state photographer specializing in portraits of elected officials during the tenure of Gov. Earl Long. In 1940, he opened his own studio on Laurel Street and became a wedding and portrait photographer.

Although color photography became more available and popular during his career, Winans mostly stuck with black and white.

In 1994, the Louisiana State Museum acquired the largest collection of Winans' photos, along with camera equipment and memorabilia from Robert L. Winans, the photographer’s son, and Natalia Winans, his daughter-in-law. 

Museum hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Admission is $7; $6 for students, senior citizens and active military; free for ages 6 and younger. Guests are encouraged to wear masks; hand sanitizer will be provided at the entrance to the museum.

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