Touch of St. Francisville Travels to New Orleans Museum of Art
By Anne Butler
It is called one of the South’s best preserved formal Victorian parlors, and the New Orleans Museum of Art now has it on permanent exhibit. Moved in its entirety from English Plantation Country in St. Francisville, it is shown not only as a perfect representation of an era in history, but also as a tribute to those skilled craftsmen, both free and enslaved, capable of creating such beauty.
On a plantation established in the 1790s by her father, the area’s first physician, Harriett Flower Mathews began assembling the room’s elegant furnishing and decorations as clouds of Civil War gathered. The ninth generation of direct descendants occupy the property now, but it was five generations of strong women who preserved the parlor intact.