CHASING THE BUTTERFLY MAN
The Cabildo
November 22, 2019 to August 15, 2020

Today eighteen Louisiana Neo-Classical armoires survive from the workshop of the "Butterfly Man...," a cabinetmaker who created furniture between about 1800 and 1825. Their maker came to be known in the early twentieth century as the Butterfly Man for his signature use of the double dovetail (also called a “butterfly” or “flying Dutchman”), a bowtie-shaped interior patch applied to reinforce the glued panels comprising the armoires’ side walls.

This exhibition will attempt to identify this previously anonymous craftsman and fully explore how Butterfly Man armoires are constructed. You will learn….Who were the early cabinetmakers and where were they from? What was their place in the social fabric of New Orleans? Be sure to mark your calendar as we lead the chase in finding the Butterfly Man!