GLADYS CLARK PAPERS

(Mss. 4953)

Inventory

Compiled by

Louise Hilton

Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections

Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library

Louisiana State University Libraries

Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University

2009

CONTENTS OF INVENTORY

SUMMARY ........................................................................................................................ 3
BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE .......................................................................... 4
SERIES LIST AND DESCRIPTIONS ............................................................................... 5
INDEX TERMS .................................................................................................................. 6
CONTAINER LIST ............................................................................................................ 7

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Permission to examine archival materials does not constitute permission to publish. Any publication of such materials beyond the limits of fair use requires specific prior written permission. Requests for permission to publish should be addressed in writing to the Head, Public Services, Special Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, LA, 70803-3300. When permission to publish is granted, two copies of the publication will be requested for the LLMVC.

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SUMMARY

Size

0.75 linear ft.

Geographic Locations

Louisiana

Inclusive Dates

c. 1890-2004

Bulk Dates

1940-1997

Languages

English, French (Cajun)

Summary

Photographs, printed materials, French prayers, and other items from Acadian textile weaver Gladys Clark.

Access Restrictions

None.

Reproduction Note

May be reproduced.

Copyright

Physical rights are retained by the LSU Libraries. For those materials not in the public domain, copyright is retained by the descendants of the creators in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Related Collections

Gladys Clark Oral History Interview, Mss. 4700.0512, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, La.

Acadian Handicraft Project Records, Mss. 1880, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, La.

Louisiana Folklife Program Project Files, Mss. 4730, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, La.

Citation

Gladys Clark Papers, Mss. 4953, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, La.

Stack Location(s)

Range 128

BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE

Gladys LeBlanc was born October 31, 1918, in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana. Coming from a long family line of spinners, Gladys learned how to card and spin cotton when she was eight years old. She married Alexis Clark on January 26, 1935, and the couple had four children. LeBlanc family members were demonstrators and instructors in brown cotton weaving for Louisiana State University’s Louisiana Handicrafts Project during the 1940s. Clark and her husband grew and harvested their own cotton which Clark in turn used for her weaving projects.

Clark became an accomplished spinner and weaver in the Acadian tradition, receiving numerous awards and accolades, including the Acadian Folk Heritage Award from the Acadiana Arts Council (1996), a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (1997), and the Governor’s Arts Award from Louisiana’s Lieutenant Governor Mitchell Landrieu (2004). Clark is one of the last traditional Cajun weavers of coton jaune (literally “yellow cotton,” although it has a brown appearance).

Clark demonstrated her work at various public events, including the Louisiana Native Crafts Festival, the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife, and the Louisiana Folklife Festival.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

The Gladys Clark Papers consist of correspondence, photographs, and printed materials from Acadian textile weaver Gladys Clark, dating from approximately 1890 to 2004. Highlights include photographs from and correspondence relating to Clark’s trip to Washington, D.C., in 1997, where she was received by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton at the White House as a recipient of a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. The collection also includes printed materials from other awards she received, including the Governor’s Arts Award in 2004, and from various festivals and workshops in which she participated, including the Festival of American Folklife (1985) and the Louisiana Folklife Festival (1991).

SERIES LIST AND DESCRIPTIONS

Series I. Awards, 1997-2004

This series contains correspondence, invitations, and other items relating to two awards Clark received: the Governor’s Arts Award (2004) and the National Heritage Fellowship Award (1997). The National Heritage Fellowship Award materials include a note to Clark signed by then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton thanking her for weavings Clark had given her and a handwritten note of congratulations from Clinton to Clark.

Series II. Photographs, c. 1890-2004

This series consists of photographs and digital images related to her career as an Acadian weaver and spinner. The majority of the photographs in the “Career” folder date from the mid-1940s and show Clark and family members in traditional Acadian clothing demonstrating their weaving techniques. The folder also contains photographs from Clark’s later years and of her weavings, as well as a compact disc containing digital images of selected photographs. This series includes a “Family” folder with photographs of Clark’s family, dating primarily from the late 19th century and early 20th century.

Series III. Printed Materials, 1948-2004

This series contains printed materials such as newsletters, certificates, articles, and clippings detailing Clark’s career. The newsletters are from the Acadiana Weavers and Spinners Guild and span approximately six years. The articles and clippings are from various newspapers and include information on events at which Clark demonstrated her weaving skills. The series also includes a genealogy of the Hebert family; Clark’s mother was Colastie Hebert, who married Ambroise LeBlanc on April 2, 1910.

INDEX TERMS

Materials relating to these people, places, and things can be found in the collection as indicated by the series number.

Term

Series

Cajuns--Louisiana.

I-III

Cajun French dialect--Louisiana.

III

Clark, Gladys, b. 1918.

I-III

Clinton, Hillary Rodham.

I

Correspondence.

I, III

Cotton carding--Louisiana.

I-III

Cotton spinning--Louisiana.

I-III

Cotton weaving--Louisiana.

I-III

Newsletters.

III

Photographs.

II

Women weavers--Louisiana.

I-III

CONTAINER LIST

Stack

Location

Box

Folder(s)

Contents (with dates)

Series I. Awards (1997-2004)

128

1

1

Governor’s Arts Award (2004)

2

National Heritage Fellowship Award (1997)

Series II. Photographs (c. 1890-2004)

3

Career (c. 1943-c.2001)

4

Family (c. 1890-c.2004)

Series III. Printed Materials (1948-2004, undated)

5

Acadian Life in Louisiana (1950-1989)

6

Acadiana Weavers and Spinners Guild newsletters (1994-July 1996)

7

Acadiana Weavers and Spinners Guild Newsletters (August 1996-1999, 2004)

8

Cajun French Prayers and Worksheets (undated)

9

Certificates (1951-2004)

2

1

Clippings (1948-c. 2000)

2

Craft Talk: Visits with Five Traditional Louisiana Craftspeople (1988)

3

Festival of American Folklife (1985)

4

Hebert Family Genealogy (undated)

5

Keeping It Alive: Cultural Conservation through Apprenticeship: A Review of the Louisiana Folklife Apprenticeship Program (1993)

6

Louisiana Folklife Festival (1991)

7

Sales Ledger (1989-1990)

8

SpinOff: The Magazine for Handspinners (Fall 1996)

9

Weaving Instructions, Correspondence, and Ephemera (1993-2003, undated)