Announcing an exhibit of

 "Fonville's Life and Photography" 

at The Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for 8 weeks beginning with 

a reception on May 17, 2014 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. 

The public is invited to attend

F  O  N  V  I  L  L  E    R  E  T  U  R  N s

     Time rushes on, and we risk a proper appreciation, at our peril, as they say.  It is relentless and cannot be altered.  Perhaps that is why we risk ignoring it?  Within its purview, is the bittersweet memory of the good old days, or the naïve notion that we have an enduring plan.

     Fonville was a Peter Pan, able to dodge the slings and arrows of time better than most.  Look at these relics and images and see their shadows.  Watch your step.  Before you know it, you're looking backward with a melancholy, tripping on time.

     Many of the people of Louisiana and the deep south, are immortalized by a favorite, or sometimes, an only picture.  The lucky ones had a photo by Fonville.  What his portraits now tend to is the poignant record of generations past.  Photography moves on, technology moves on.  We are left with the blacks and whites of history.

     The nature of “our Valentino”, as Ruth Laney so correctly dubbed Fonville, was Peter Pannish.  He made movies, flew airplanes, captained cruisers, shot photos, made music and courted beauties all before he was 25.  He went on to be an inventor, a gourmet, an artist, a playboy, a notorious bon vivant and a financially secure father and studio operator by 35.  His carreer lasted another 50 years until his time was up.  He worked almost to the very end.  He became an icon, a household name here in his adopted Louisiana, a man of renown.  He was adored and he was famous in his lifetime.  Even great men seldom are so lucky.

     The exhibition has currents and cross currents, showers and squalls.  Tears of recognition or sympathy, or of understanding, appreciation and even happiness to go with the smiles.  This exhibition has an undercurrent of the passing of time.  For some of us, it is more like an undertow.

James R Turner, FAAR, FASLA


Welcome to FonvilleWinans.com

Prints & PricesFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Theodore Fonville Winans was a noted American photographer whose black and white images captured south Louisiana people and places.

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 CRUISE OF THE PINTAIL

In 1932 a young Fonville Winans (1911-1992) left his home in Fort Worth and set out on the waterways of south Louisiana searching for adventure and fortune. This journal recounts, in his own words, how the now-renowned photographer and his two friends first mate Bob Owen and second mate Don Horridge ventured onto untamed Louisiana waters aboard a leaking, rudderless sailboat, the Pintail.

Fonville was shooting footage for a movie that he was certain would make them rich and famous, telling the story of subtropical south Louisiana's remote coastal landscapes and their curious people. The project was ambitious and risky just the right combination for three young Texans with hopes of stardom.

Developing his photographic skill, Fonville traveled during the summers of 1932 and 1934 to swamps, barrier islands, and reefs, from Grand Isle to New Orleans to the Atchafalaya, making friends and taking pictures. The journal, in effect, layers Fonville's unique voice over his now-iconic photographic record of moving images and stills.

Robert L. Winans selected more than one hundred photos to illustrate his father's diary entries, offering a fascinating inner look at Fonville and the world as he saw it.               To order click here