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From Morning to Night: Domestic Services in the Gilded Age.

From Morning to Night: Domestic Services in the Gilded Age. 

From Morning to Night: Domestic Services in the Gilded Age.
12.06.2012 - 02.03.2013
West Baton Rouge Museum - Port Allen


Port Allen: Popular notions of "upstairs-downstairs" relationships bring to mind grand estates where a small army of bustling, uniformed staff catered to the lavish lifestyles of American "robber barons" or the British gentry.  A new traveling exhibition, December 9, 2012 through February 2, 2013 at the West Baton Rouge Museum, offers a different view.  Developed by Maymont Foundation, this 14-panel exhibition presents a distinctly southern perspective on domestic service at the turn of the twentieth century.

"From Morning to Night: Domestic Service in the Gilded Age South" tells the story of a predominantly African American labor corps—barely a generation removed from slavery—that worked primarily in white households as cooks, maids, laundresses, nursemaids, butlers, and chauffeurs.  Often hidden from view, and largely hidden from history, their labor made their employers' lifestyles appear effortless.  With nearly 70 photographs and illustrations, interpretive text, and numerous period quotations, the exhibition reveals the daily rhythms of service as well as its broader context in the turbulent Jim Crow South.   The exhibition's focus on everyday interactions between black and white southerners gives visitors an intimate view of this pivotal period in American history. Those who made their living "in service"—whether as a maid of all work or as part of a specialized staff—faced long hours, low pay, and hard work.  Domestic workers often struggled to balance employers' expectations of long days or live-in service with the needs of their own families.

"From Morning to Night" was funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and developed with the assistance of the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia and the Virginia Association of Museums.  It was curated by Elizabeth O'Leary, consultant to Maymont Foundation and Associate Curator of American Arts at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  She is the author of From Morning to Night: Domestic Service in Maymont House and the Gilded Age South (University of Virginia Press, 2003).

The West Baton Rouge Museum is located at 845 N. Jefferson Avenue, Port Allen, LA, 70767. For more information please call (225) 336-2422 x15 or visit


West Baton Rouge Museum
845 N. Jefferson Ave
Port Allen
United States of America


West Raton Rouge Museum

Ongoing Events

  • The West Baton Rouge Parish Library is now offering its patrons free access to online technology training hosted by CBT Nuggets. Visit for an overview of all courses offered.
    For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Jerry Durden or Luis Interiano at the library, 342-7920.

  • Antioch Missionary Baptist Church has After school care Monday-Thursday from 3:30-6 p.m. with tutoring, homework and snacks.
    For more information, call the church’s office at 749-3251.

  • Port Allen High School class of 1982 is looking to host a class reunion this year.
    Anyone in the class of ‘82 is being asked to contact Sherry Washington Perkins at 572-9600 or 749-2188, or Dwayne Queen at 718-2957.

  • Effective now, Lake After Hours Brusly will have new hours.
    The hours are Mon-Fri, 1-9 p.m., and Sat-Sun, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

  • Volunteers are needed to help with the Therapeutic Horsemanship Program to assist with side-walking, leading, and other special projects.
    Anyone interested in learning more about this volunteer opportunity, please contact Shelley at 766-1614 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Many Boys and Girls Clubs are running a car campaign, asking anyone who wishes to donate vehicles, which will be sold to auction and the funds generated to help support their programs.

    For more information, call 800-246-0493

  • The Benevolent Society Grave Site is accepting, and in need of, donations for upkeep of the cemetery located on Eleanor St. and Louisiana Ave. in Port Allen.
    For more information, or to make a donation, contact Jocelyn Green at 329-9000

  • Heart of Prisoners Family Support Group will be meeting the first Wednesday of each month from 7-8 p.m. at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Brusly.
    For more information, call 749-2189.

  • Former Sunrise Community Residents would like to have a community reunion and are looking for interested persons willing to work on the planning committee.
    Those interested should call Ray Helen Williams, at 937-0475; or Earlett Buckley, 270-3322.

  • The WBR VA Service Office has a new office day. They will be open Wednesdays only, from 8:45 a.m.-3:45 p.m.

  • The New Poplar Grove Baptist Church Food Bank will be distributing food every Friday from 9 a.m.-noon.
    Please bring proof of income and identification.

    For more information, call 343-6479

  • The Poplar Grove Baptist Church Day Care is serving Breakfast, Lunch and a snack to all qualified Day Care participants ages 6-12.
    For more information call 343-6479 or 343-3883.

  • The Addis Museum is open from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. every fourth Tuesday of the month. Special tours can be scheduled by calling the town hall at 687-4844 or by calling 687-6333

  • Fishers of Men Tabernacle (841 S. Lobdell Hwy., Port Allen), can be watched on the Internet, at, Sundays at 9:30 a.m., and Wednesday Bible Study 7-8:30 p.m.

  • New Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Port Allen will have Bible study every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. and worship service every Sunday at 7:30 a.m. with communion on the 4th Sunday.

  • Cohn High School Alumni Association will hold monthly meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at The New Sunrise Baptist Church on Maryland Street.
    Membership is open to all who are interested.

    Interested persons may contact Wilhemenia W. DeCuir at 775-0658.


  • WBR Parish Council meets every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at 6:30 at the Parish Council Building in Port Allen.

  • WBR School Board meets each 3rd Wednesday of the month at 5 p.m. at the School Board Office in Port Allen.

  • Town of Addis Council meets the 1st Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Addis Town Hall.

  • Town of Brusly Council meets on the 2nd Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Brusly Town Hall.

  • City of Port Allen Council meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at the Port Allen City Hall.

  • The Keep West Baton Rouge Beautiful Board Meetings will be held tri-monthly at noon on the last Tuesday of the month, at various locations in the parish, to include lunch. 

    more information, call Mary at 490-8549