Brian Cheramie's presentation was a rare treat for all decoy collectors: he compiled a broad selection of great Louisiana decoys from various collections besides his own. For many collectors this would be their first opportunity to handle really great Louisiana decoys and to learn to appreciate their flowing abstract style. Brian, who has lived on the banks of the Bayou in southern Louisiana all his life added down home tales of the Bayou to his overview of the history of waterfowling and decoy makers from the different regions of the state. His slide show was professionally choreograph by his daughter with Cajun music, vintage photography,Louisiana' vistas and of course decoys.
Midwest Decoy Collectors Association's annual Classic Decoy Display featured Louisiana Decoys and one of the premier collectors of Louisiana decoys and Waterfowling heritage historian, Brian Cheramie graciously agreed to coordinate the exhibit and give a presentation during the MDCA Seminar session
Brian Cheramie, guest speaker and Rose Claussen Master of Ceramonies for seminar programs
MDCA Board member Rose Claussen introduced the speaker for this year's seminar, Brian Cheramie, author of Louisiana Lures and Legends and long time collector of Louisiana decoys.
Brian Is recognized as a driving force behind bringing the Louisiana decoy makers and their decoys to the attention of fellow collectors and documenting the rich tradition of waterfowling in this state
His book Louisiana Lures and Legends is one of the best regional decoy books with outstanding examples, well researched documentations, and superb quality printing.
Using impressive graphics to pinpoint the different schools of carvers by their location in the state with his slide show, Brian presented a well organized, informative seminar that everyone enjoyed.
During his opening remarks Brian singled out Alan Haid, presenting Alan with the 'prestigous' Louisiana Honorary Registered Coonass Award. As the MDCA Board member in charge of the annual Classic decoy exhibit, Alan worked diligently for several years to convinced Brian to bring Louisiana decoys to the MIdwest, no easy task, but one Brian accomplished marvelously setting a new standard for future decoy presentations!
Alan Haid official Louisiana CoonAss :-)
Alan & Elaine Haid with Brian, his wife, Emelie and their daughter, Erica
Erica did a very professional slide production with Cajun music, vintage photography, Louisiana' vistas and of course decoys which made Brian's talk all the more impressive
One of great vintage photos that Brian used to transport his listeners to the Bayou
Nicole Vidocvich made this specular pair of mallards for his wife c. 1880's
Dos Gris Club was a typical gentleman's club where locals enjoy waterfowling tales over their drinks.
Reme Roussel Jr (1903-1972) blue-winged teal
A rig of decoys by Xavier Bourg ( 1901-1984) fill this plank style Pirogue, a type boat that was found in almost every canal in Larose, Louisiana.
This ringed-neck drake is a fine example of Mark Whipple's 'butterball' style decoy.
Albert Comardelle (1889-1960) mallard drake
Charles Numa Joefrau (1913-1983)
Classic Louisiana decoy with fluid form emulating the hen preening the feathers on her upturned tail by the Creole decoy making trio: Mitchel Lafrance (1882-1979), a 'hatchet man; who quickly fashioned blocks of cypress root into duck form which Charles Joefrau, the seasoned carpenter would refine and detail; leaving the painting to George Frederick Jr (1907-1977)
The Historic New Orleans Collection lent placards from the past Birds of a Feather exhibit to help Brian identify the Louisiana wildfowling regions.
Grand Louisiana 'Belles; Erica Cheramie, Emelie Cheramie, & Ann White
Jack White, good friend of Brian's and fellow collector who helped Brian with the display of Classic Louisiana decoys seated with Frank Schmidt partner in Guyette & Schmidt Inc
The Cheramie slide show kept the room's attention captured
This presentation was entertaining as well as informative!
Front and center were Jack White, Joe Tonelli and Frank Schmidt
Alan & Elaine Haid... Mr & Mrs Coonass :-)...Seriously they are known throughout the collecting community as as the grandest couple who share their wealth of decoy knowledge and their collection freely at the various decoy shows.
Birds of a Feather ~Wildfowl Carving in Southeast Louisiana Published by The Historic New Orleans Collection Museum and Research Center( www.hnoc.org) in conjunction with an outstanding exhibition of Louisiana decoys.
At the end of Brian program he passed out copies of Birds of a Feather ~Wildfowl Carving in Southeast Louisiana the catalog for an exhibition held in 2007-2008 The Historic New Orleans Collection at the Williams Research Center to everyone at the seminar courtesy of the Historic New Orleans Collection Museum.
Folks quickly lined up to have their copies autographed by Brian
Linda Handevidt, wife of MDCA board member, Steve, was among the first to recieve her autographed copy of HNOC exhibit catalog
Brian evaluates a Louisiana decoy for Matt Bryant after his presentation... and the Louisiana decoy tradition lives on as well it should.
The next slides are 'behind the scenes' photos take by Tom Bosworth as Brian handled the book work and organizing of the Classic Decoy Exhibit. Folks usually can't appreciate the amount of time and effort goes into these exhibits each year by everyone involved.
Before the exhibit decoys are arranged in the display cases, Each is photograph by Joe Engers for his publication Decoy Magazine and the MDCA newsletter and website www.midwestdecoy.org
Brian was responsible for registering each decoy and getting releases from their owners and insuring that the birds were returned to their owners at the end of the show.
Brian could have easily just used decoys from his own exceptional collection, but instead Brian called on 20 other collectors to share their favorite Louisiana birds; Jack White, Torrey Reilly, Cal Kingsmill, Morgan Perrin, Larry Carter, Bob Metcalf, Bill Rigsbee, Jan Junker, gary Lipham, Bruce Lowe, Barry Sallinger, ken Trayer, Norbert, Deshotels, Roger Bourgeois, Alan Haid, David Haydel, Mike Tonquis and Aldon Wahl jr. needless to say this created a lot more paperwork for him!
Although the mirror backed glass cases gave show goers a good view of each decoy, it makes for very 'busy' photo, but you can get a sense of the magnitude of this display.
Jack was on hand by the display during much of the show MDCA Mega Center show to answer questions viewers might have.
Needless to say Brian took great pride is showing off the Louisiana Decoys!
Brian discussing a certain point with Jason Baldwin.
Even though it had been a long show for Brian, he took time to have his picture taken with each contributor to the display as they they retrieve their decoys at the end of the show. here he is with Norbert Deshotels.
And a special thanks goes out to Brian, his family and Jack & Ann White for making the MDCA show special this year!