BUILDING ARTS COLLECTION

 

 

(Mss 312)

 

 

Earl K. Long Library

University of New Orleans

 

June 2003

 

 

 

Inventory

 

 

Summary

 

Biographical Note

 

List of Series

 

Series Descriptions

 

Container List

 

Index Terms

 

Procedures for Requesting Special Collections Materials

 

 

 

Summary

 

 

Size:                          2 linear feet

 

Geographic

Locations:                New Orleans, La.

 

Inclusive dates        1998-2001

 

Bulk dates                1999-2001

 

Summary:                Cassette tape recordings and transcripts of forty-eight interviews with black Creole craftsmen who participated in the building trades in New Orleans.  Included are carpenters, plasterers, masons, and others.

 

Related

Collections:             Marcus Christian Collection (Mss 11)

 

Source:                     Gift, April 2003

 

Access:                     No restrictions

 

Copyright:                Physical rights are retained by the Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans.

 

Citation:                    Building Arts Collection, Earl K. Long Library, University of New Orleans

 

 

 

Historical Note

 

 

            Generations of African American craftsmen/builders have made a significant contribution to the distinctive urban landscape of New Orleans.  Often, however, the identities of the skilled and meticulous carpenters, ironworkers, carpenters, brick and stone masons, and other artisans have been lost or ignored.  To learn more about how these builders view their own work, in 1998 a project was undertaken to collect oral narratives of the most skilled and highly regarded master craftsmen in each of the building arts; field recordings began in earnest in 1999 and continued through the summer of 2001.  The artisans, in their narratives, “tell stories filled with personal hopes, inspirations, values, technical knowledge, traditional wisdom, and insight into the historical and social realities of their world.  In narrative reflection workers have the opportunity to evaluate their own work, place it within contexts meaningful to them, and voice commentary in their own terms” (p. 131).

 

            “Selection of interviewees for this project was non-random.  Attempts were made to identify and record veteran master craftsmen well-respected within their occupational communities.  Interviewees were asked to provide the names of the most skilled and valued craftsmen in their trade. . . . [They] represent a wide range of building trades, diverse social and cultural backgrounds, multiple generations, and great vistas of individual experience.  To record voices from such a pool of diversity, a strategy of informal, semi-structured inquiry was employed.  In each case, narrators were asked to explore certain pre-defined themes while being encouraged to develop their narratives in directions they considered most relevant.

 

            “A ‘modified’ life history approach was used to pursue certain areas of inquiry. . . .  Inter­views were much too short to be considered ‘full’ life histories.  Nevertheless, significant atten­tion was placed on the social/cultural background of each narrator, and on the historical flow of each artisan’s life.  Questions concerning heritage, national origins, ethnic affiliations, marriage and family, use of non-English languages, occupations of parents and kin, and neighborhood/ community links were explored.  With regard to the personal histories of interviewees, particular attention was applied to the acquisition and development of trade skills and occupational statuses.  Artisans were asked about their education, vocational training, skills learning, and personal career development.  Transmission of knowledge and skills from one generation to the next was a consistent theme of inquiry.  ‘How do you define “good work” in your trade?’ was also particularly effective as an open-ended question, permitting artisans to comment on aesthetic and behavioral values associated with their crafts.  In addition, artisans were asked to comment on major historical changes within their work experiences, the current state of their trade, and what might be needed to insure the continuity of quality craftsmanship into the future” (pp. 131-132).  Their narratives, on audiotape and in transcription, comprise this collection.

 

 

Source:         Raised to the Trade: Creole Building Arts of New Orleans, edited by Jonn Ethan Hankins and Steven Maklansky.  New Orleans: New Orleans Museum of Art, 2002.  La.Col. TH25.N45R25 2002

 

 

 

List of Series

 

 

Series I.         Interviews with Craftsmen

 

Series II.        Miscellany

 

 

 


Container List

 

 

Series I.  Interviews with craftsmen

 

                  SUBJECT                             OCCUPATION                                       INTERVIEWER                  DATE

 

                  Abadie, Vernon                   Lather                                                       Coumanis, Keri                                       2001-01-23

312-001           Typescript

312-049           Tape 1 of 2

312-050           Tape 2 of 2

312-051           Tape 1 of 2 (copy)

312-052           Tape 2 of 2 (copy)

 

                  Abry, Herman                      House shorer                                           Abry, George                              2000-01-23

312-002           Typescript

312-053           Tape 1 of 2

312-054           Tape 2 of 2

 

                  Alexander, Louis                Plasterer                                                  Coumanis, Keri                           2001-01-23

312-003           Typescript

312-055           Tape 1 of 1

312-056           Tape 1 of 1 (copy)

 

                  Barthe, Earl                          Plasterer                                                  Schmidt, Aimee                                             1998-08-04

312-004           Typescript

312-057           Tape 1 of 1

 

                  Barthe, Earl                          Plasterer                                                  Richardson, Lisa                                     1999-07-01

312-005           Typescript

312-058           Tape 1 of 1

 

                  Barthe, Earl                          Plasterer                                                  Spitzer, Nick                                            2000-07-27

312-006           Typescript

312-059           Tape 1 of 1

 

                  Barthe, Earl                          Plasterer                                                                                                                    2000-02-07

312-060           Tape 1 of 2

312-061           Tape 2 of 2

 

                  Bennett, Gary                      Roofer                                                      Poret, Ray                  1999-06-23

312-007           Typescript

312-062           Tape 1 of 1

 

                  Breaux, Joseph                  Carpenter                                                 Legaux, Frankie                  1999-06-21

                                                                                                                                    Legaux, Gerard

312-008           Typescript

312-063           Tape 1 of 2

312-064           Tape 2 of 2

 

                  Broussard, Dwayne          Finish woodworker                                 Coumanis, Keri                  2001-02-01

312-009           Typescript

312-065           Tape 1 of 2

312-066           Tape 2 of 2

312-067           Tape 1 of 2 (copy)

312-068           Tape 2 of 2 (copy)

 

                  Bruno, Frank                                                                                         Legaux, Frankie                  2000-11-22

312-069           Tape 1 of 1

312-070           Tape 1 of 1 (copy)

 

                  Bruno, Thomas                   Cabinet maker; sculptor                         Legaux, Frankie                  2000-11-27

312-010           Typescript

312-071           Tape 1 of 2

312-072           Tape 2 of 2

312-073           Tape 1 of 2 (copy)

312-074           Tape 2 of 2 (copy)

 

                  Bruno, Victor                       Architect; cabinet maker                        Legaux, Frankie                  2000-11-29

312-011           Typescript

312-075           Tape 1 of 1

312-076           Tape 1 of 1 (copy)

 

                  Burkhart, Allan                    Roofer                                                      Poret, Ray 1999-06-29

312-012           Typescript

312-077           Tape 1 of 1

 

                  Bush, Melvin                        Plant engineer, air conditioning             Poret, Ray 1999-06

312-013           Typescript

312-078           Tape 1 of 1

 

                  Castenell, Amedee             Plasterer                                                  Sammuels, Daniel                  1999-03-05

                                                                                                                                    Spitzer, Nick

312-014           Typescript

312-079           Tape 1 of 1 (copy)

 

                  Collins, Preston                  Brick mason                                            Legaux, Frankie                  1999-07

                                                                                                                                    Legaux, Gerard

312-015           Typescript

312-080           Tape 1 of 2

312-081           Tape 2 of 2

 

                  Doucette, Sal                       Carpenter                                                 Poret, Ray 1999-06

312-016           Typescript

312-082           Tape 1 of 1

 

                  Doucette, Sterling              General contractor                                  Poret, Ray 1999-06-25

312-017           Typescript

312-083           Tape 1 of 1

 

                  Fleming, Irvin                       Brick mason/masonry instructor            Rogers, Bethany                  2000-08-02

                  Fleming, Sylvia Broyard   Wife of I. Fleming

312-018           Typescript

312-084           Tape 1 of 2

312-085           Tape 2 of 2

 

                  Gaudet, Ivy                           Carpenter                                                 Rogers, Bethany                  2001-01-10

312-019           Typescript

312-086           Tape 1 of 2

312-087           Tape 2 of 2

312-088           Tape 1 of 2 (copy)

312-089           Tape 2 of 2 (copy)

 

                  Gettridge, Herbert, Sr.       Plasterer                                                  Coumanis, Keri                  2001-01-18

312-020           Typescript

312-090           Tape 1 of 1

312-091           Tape 1 of 1 (copy)

 

                  Gueringer, Henry “Hank” Carpenter; wild fowl carver                    Rogers, Bethany                  2000-11-21

312-021           Typescript

312-092           Tape 1 of 1

 

                  Hartdegen, Clayton           Millwright                                                  Coumanis, Keri                  2001-01-11

                  Hartdegen, Jason              Millwright

312-022           Typescript

312-093           Tape 1 of 1

312-094           Tape 1 of 1 (copy)

 

                  Hartsock, John                   Architectural lathe and mill worker        Knight, Heather                  2001-06-25

312-023           Typescript

312-095           Tape 1 of 2

312-096           Tape 2 of 2

312-097           Tape 1 of 2 (copy)

312-098           Tape 2 of 2 (copy)

 

                  Hewitt, Tom                          Maintenance engineer                            Poret, Ray                        1999-06

312-024           Typescript

312-099           Tape 1 of 1

 

                  Hutchison, Rudy                Carpenter; wild fowl carver                    Rogers, Bethany                  2000-11-12

312-025           Typescript

312-100           Tape 1 of 2

312-101           Tape 2 of 2

312-102           Tape 1 of 2 (copy)

312-103           Tape 2 of 2 (copy)

 

                  Jackson, Desoto                Brick mason                                            Legaux, Frankie                  1999-06-14

                                                                                                                                    Legaux, Gerard

312-026           Typescript

312-104           Tape 1 of 2

312-105           Tape 2 of 2

 

                  Lachin, Thomas                  Ornamental plasterer                              Knight, Heather                  2001-07-25

312-027           Typescript

312-106           Tape 1 of 1

312-107           Tape 1 of 1 (copy)

 

                  Monette, Wilbert F.             Brick mason                                            Legaux, Frankie                  1999-06-11

312-028           Typescript

312-108           Tape 1 of 2

312-109           Tape 2 of 2

 

                  Montana, “Tootie”              Lather                                                       Sammuels, Daniel                  1999-06-18

312-029           Typescript

312-110           Tape 1 of 2

312-111           Tape 2 of 2

 

                  Montana, “Tootie”              Lather                                                       Spitzer, Nick 2000-07-26

                                                                                                                                    Sakakeeny, Mark

312-030           Typescript

312-112           Tape 1 of 1

 

                  Perrault, Raphael               Brick mason                                            Knight, Heather                  2001-01-21

312-031           Typescript

312-113           Tape 1 of 2

312-114           Tape 2 of 2

312-115           Tape 1 of 2 (copy)

312-116           Tape 2 of 2 (copy)

 

                  Pieri, Joe                               Tile setter                                                 Coumanis, Keri                  2001-02-08

312-032           Typescript

312-117           Tape 1 of 1

312-118           Tape 1 of 1 (copy)

 

                  Pierre, Teddy                       Brick mason                                            Richardson, Lisa                  1999-06-30

312-033           Typescript

312-119           Tape 1 of 2

312-120           Tape 2 of 2

 

                  Pierre, Teddy                       Brick and stone mason                          Spitzer, Nick 2000-07-25

312-034           Typescript

312-121           Tape 1

312-122           Tape 2

 

                  Plessy, Russell                   Carpenter                                                 Sammuels, Daniel                  1999-06-19

312-035           Typescript

312-123           Tape 1 of 1

 

                  Reeves, Darryl                    Blacksmith                                               Knight, Heather                  2001-07-03

312-036           Typescript

312-124           Tape 1 of 1

312-125           Tape 1 of 1 (copy)

 

                  Rein, Joseph                       Painter                                                      Legaux, Frankie                  1999-06-02

312-037           Typescript                                                                                        Legaux, Gerard

312-126           Tape 1 of 2

312-127           Tape 2 of 2

 

                  Reynolds, Jerry                  Brick mason;                                           Knight, Heather                  2001-06-22

                                                                  masonry instructor

312-038           Typescript

312-128           Tape 1 of 1

312-129           Tape 1 of 1 (copy)

 

                  Romain, Edwin                   Carpenter                                                 Legaux, Frankie                  1999-06-07

                                                                                                                                    Legaux, Gerard

312-039           Typescript

312-130           Tape 1 of 2

312-131           Tape 2 of 2

 

                  Schwander, Louis “Ted” Sheet metal worker; roofer                    Abry, George 2000-11-15

312-040           Typescript

312-132           Tape 1 of 1

 

                  Sinceno, Kevin                   General contractor/carpentry                 Poret, Ray                  1999-06-24

312-041           Typescript

312-133           Tape 1 of 1

 

                  Smith, William “Smitty”     Plasterer                                                  Knight, Heather                  2001-08-01

312-042           Typescript

312-134           Tape 1 of 2

312-135           Tape 2 of 2

312-136           Tape 1 of 2 (copy)

312-137           Tape 2 of 2 (copy)

 

                  Sumas, Allen, Jr.                 Plasterer                                                  Knight, Heather                  2001-01-24

312-043           Typescript

312-138           Tape 1 of 1

312-139           Tape 1 of 1 (copy)

 

                  Thornton, Evins                  Carpenter/trade and                               Poret, Ray                  1999-06

                                                                  industry instructor

312-044           Typescript

312-140           Tape 1 of 1

 

                  Thornton, Evins                  Carpenter/carpentry instructor               Rogers, Bethany                  2000-07-19

312-045           Typescript

312-141           Tape 1 of 2

312-142           Tape 2 of 2

 

                  Tucker, A. J. “Pete”           Contractor; brick mason                         Legaux, Frankie                  1999-06-11

312-046           Typescript

312-143           Tape 1 of 1

 

                  Tudury, Donald                   Iron worker                                               Legaux, Frankie                  1999-06-29

312-047           Typescript

312-144           Tape 1 of 2

312-145           Tape 2 of 2

 

                  Vandergriff, Tevis B., III     Plasterer                                                  Legaux, Frankie                  1999-06-23

                                                                                                                                    Legaux, Gerard

312-048           Typescript

312-146           Tape 1 of 2

312-147           Tape 2 of 2


 

 

Series II.  Miscellany

 

                  “Building Arts” meeting, New Orleans Museum of Art, 2000-07-08

312-148           Tape 1

312-149           Tape 2

 

                  “Building Arts” meeting, New Orleans Museum of Art, 2000-07-09

312-150           Tape 1

312-151           Tape 2

312-152           Tape 3

312-153           Tape 4

312-154           Tape 5

 

 

 

Index Terms

 

 


Abadie, Vernon

Abry, Herman

Alexander, Louis

Architecture—LouisianaNew Orleans

Barthe, Earl

Bennett, Gary

Breaux, Joseph

Broussard, Dwayne

Bruno, Frank

Bruno, Thomas

Bruno, Victor

Burkhart, Allan

Bush, Melvin

Castenell, Amedee

Collins, Preston

Craftsmen—LouisianaNew Orleans

Doucette, Sal

Doucette, Sterling

Fleming, Irvin

Fleming, Sylvia Broyard

Gaudet, Ivy

Gettridge, Herbert, Sr.

Gueringer, Henry “Hank”

Hartdegen, Clayton

Hartdegen, Jason

Hartsock, John

Hewitt, Tom

Hutchison, Rudy

Jackson, Desoto

Lachin, Thomas

Monette, Wilbert F.

Montana, “Tootie”

Perrault, Raphael

Pieri, Joe

Pierre, Teddy

Plessy, Russell

Reeves, Darryl

Rein, Joseph

Reynolds, Jerry

Romain, Edwin

Schwander, Louis “Ted”

Sinceno, Kevin

Smith, William “Smitty”

Sumas, Allen, Jr.

Thornton, Evins

Tucker, A. J. “Pete”

Tudury, Donald

Vandergriff, Tevis B., III