University of Louisiana Art Museum

Built in 1967 by A. Hays Town, A.I.A., (Class of 1922, b. June 17, 1903, Baton Rouge, Louisiana d. January 6, 2005) on donated property by Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Heymann. The University’s original Art Center was designed after the 1812 Hermitage Plantation in Darrow, Louisiana. The building is completely surrounded by 24 Doric columns. Which were laid in the original Greek revival manner and made of pie-shaped bricks and covered with plaster, the traditional method of finished columns. The bricks were specially made and laid in a circle reducing by one at each third of the way up the column. This method called entasis produces a slight narrowing of the vertical column. Originally the exterior was highlighted by the unusual pale pink color, an authentic reproduction of a color that was popular in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries in colonial Louisiana and was used on many houses and public buildings. Made by crushing old brick and mixing the brick dust with the paint base. The softly glowing pink would fade to the desired color in a few years. The building is still referred to this day as the pink elephant by many.

The staircase railing, newel post, and 225,000 bricks were salvaged from Martin Hall; the University’s administration building which was demolished in 1963 and replaced by a new building bearing the same name. Additional reused material included cypress flooring from an early New Orleans convent, French slate tiles used for the original roofing, which entered into the port of New Orleans as ballast in sailing ships.
Louisiana Cypress in the library room was finished in the traditional hand rubbed manner using a combination of lye, vinegar, and a final coating of beeswax. Hot beeswax was also applied to the traditional pattern brick flooring used in the building gave a permanent finish to the surface. The empire style sunburst motif on the library fireplace was hand carved by a local craftsman from Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. Craftsmen using wood and tin molds applied traditional plaster cornices on the first floor.

Place Categories: Art MuseumPlace Tags: fiber, paintings, printmaking, sculptures and woodworking

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