Newton Howard (1912-1984) was a New Orleans painter known for his serene landscapes of the marshes and bayous of South Louisiana. An avid duck hunter, fisherman and conservationist, Howard’s paintings evoke the calm solitude he found during countless hours of paddling through the marshes near Lafitte and in the many bayous and other swampy settings of the region.
Recognized by New Orleans residents as the architect of Monkey Hill, a beloved city landmark located in the Audubon Zoo, Howard graduated from the Tulane University School of Architecture and was subsequently employed by the Federal Works Progress Administration to oversee improvements to the zoo during the Depression. After having difficulty finding work as an architect, Howard decided to embrace his childhood passion and studied painting at the Chicago Institute of Art. When he returned to New Orleans, he joined Fitzgerald Advertising where he served as the agency’s art director and designed regional and national campaigns for companies including Brown’s Dairy and Tabasco.
Described by those who knew him as a stoic gentleman who captivated many with a quiet charm and intellect, Newton Howard preferred his pirogue and the swamp over the social scene, where he spent much of his spare time hunting and fishing—and was never without a case of Dixie Beer. From these bayou excursions, Howard painted countless oil, acrylic and watercolor works, often in a minimalist style which emphasized where the bayou waters met the horizon, broken only by a slow-moving shrimp trawler or the flutter of pintails taking off over the marsh. This exhibition will bring to view a portion of these works and will portray the cherished locales within the Louisiana coastal marshes and waterways where Newton Howard felt most at home.