The West Baton Rouge Museum hosted a lunchtime lecture featuring Southern Regional Arts Historian Claudia Kheel on Thursday, Oct. 22. Kheel presented “Burny Myrick: A Historical Perspective of the Mississippi River” to showcase the photos and painting Myrick used in his extensive research and place the famed Louisiana artists’ 19th-century paintings of the mighty river in a historical context.
The presentation accompanied the current exhibit on loan from Gerard and Selma Ruth, “Burny Myrick: The Timeless River.”
Kheel’s presentation featured photos of life in Louisiana by Jay Edwards, Samuel T. Blessings, George Francois Mugnier, Underwood & Underwood and paintings by August Nieri.
“He really took time to study 1,500 photographs and get an idea of what these steamboats looked like,” Kheel said.
Myrick provided a historical view of Louisiana in a contemporary way, she added.
Kheel is an authority on Louisiana and Southern Regional Art who has divided her time between working at the Louisiana State Museum as Visual Arts Curator and a Fine Art Consultant at New Orleans Auction Gallery and teaching at the School of Professional Advancement (SoPA), Tulane University.
The “Burny Myrick: The Timeless River” exhibit features drawings and paintings depicting life and work along the Mississippi River from 1850 to 1900 during the great steamboat age. Born in Mississippi, Myrick attended LSU where he first sketched the Mississippi River in the late 1930s. He developed a love of the river and began to focus his artistic abilities on documenting the people and places that thrived on the waterway.