Chasing the Butterfly Man Catalog
*Current exhibit at the Cabildo - November 22, 2019 to March 7, 2021*
Today eighteen Louisiana Neo-Classical armories 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 armories’ side walls.
This exhibition will attempt to identify this previously anonymous craftsman and fully explore how Butterfly Man armories 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!