Together with his brother, William (1859 - 1939), Ellsworth Woodward was a leading force at Tulane University's Newcomb College, where he taught drawing and painting from 1886 until 1918. Like his brother, Ellsworth produced a number of etchings and engravings in addition to canvases painted in an Impressionist style. The Woodward brothers were important early advocates for historic preservation in Louisiana, especially New Orleans.
Madame John's Legacy
Graphite on paper, 8 x 11 inches
Louisiana State Museum, Gift of Mrs. Phyllis Hudson, 1968.029
Madame John's Legacy was completed by 1789 at present-day 623 Dumaine Street in New Orleans. It was nearing its bicentennial when Woodward drew this sketch - a year before he began teaching at Newcomb College. The name of the house comes from "Tite Poulette" by George Washington Cable, a story that was set at the house. First published in Scribner's Magazine, the story appeared in Old Creole Days (1879), a collection that enjoyed enormous popularity. By 1885, Cable had left New Orleans, however, vilified for his unflattering portrayal of southerners in an expose on the corrupt convict lease system.