skip to navigation | skip to content

George Rodrigue Timeline

1944
Born on March 13 in New Iberia, Louisiana, to George Rodrigue, a brick-layer, and Marie Rodrigue. Remains an only child.

1952
Begins to paint and sculpt during a four-month bout of polio.

1956-58
Studies privately with Mrs. Keen in New Iberia.

1959-61
Enrolls at Art Instruction School and an intensive Art Correspondence Course.

1962-64
Enters University of Southwest Louisiana in Lafayette as an Art Major.

1965-67
Attends Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles as a Graphic Arts Major.

1967
Returns to New Iberia when his father dies. Enlists in Louisiana National Guard. Marries Veronica Hidalgo.

1968
Art Director for an advertising agency in Lafayette, Louisiana.

1969
Leaves ad agency. Paints full-time. First exhibition at Arts Center for Southwest Louisiana in Lafayette. Governor John McKeithen commissions painting as Louisiana's gift to the Prime Minister of Quebec.

1970
Exhibition of 69 Rodrigue landscapes at the Old State Capitol Building, Baton Rouge, sponsored by the The Louisiana State Arts Commission.

1971
The Aioli Dinner, Rodrigue's first painting with people, displayed at the Iberia Parish Library. First public exhibition in New Orleans at Reilly Gallery.

1972
The Class, Rodrigue adapted this from the class photo (circa 1920) of his mother, Marie Courrege. As with his other paintings from photos, he moved the entire setting outside under the oaks, framing the class with the landscape.

1973
One-week exhibition in London through Munchick & Franks Fine Arts.

1974
Miss Fourth of July of Carencro, Louisiana included in touring "Watergate" exhibition of museums and galleries throughout Europe. Honorable mention with The Class in Le Salon des Artistes, Paris. Gold medal from the Academy of Literature, Arts, and Science of Rome.

1975
Jolie Blonde exhibited at Le Salon des Artistes, Paris. Produces first silkscreen. Son Andre born in Lafayette, Louisiana. Exhibition at Arvest Gallery, Boston, MA.

1976
Pellerin and Friends Sip Cajun Coffee chosen by Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards as official gift to the President of France. Book The Cajuns of George Rodrigue published by Oxmoor House, Birmingham, Alabama.

1977
The Cajuns of George Rodrigue chosen as official US State Department gift for visiting foreign heads of state during Carter Administration.

1978
Exhibition at 226 Decatur Gallery in New Orleans.

1980
Exhibition at Galerie Antenia in Paris features The Kingfish. Rodrigue dubbed "The Louisiana Rousseau" by Le Figaro.

1981
Exhibition at Provincial Hotel, French Quarter, New Orleans. Book, A Couple of Local Boys, published by Claitor. Son Jacques born in Lafayette, Louisiana.

1983
Commissioned by Edwards' re-election committee to paint Governor Edwin Edwards.

1984
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Monument, a 12-foot-tall bronze sculpture, dedicated in Lafayette, Louisiana. Bayou (Inkwell), a book of forty ghost stories by Chris Segura, includes first Blue Dog painting (loup-garou).

1986
Commissioned by The Republican Party to paint President Ronald Reagan (Reagan later donated painting to Louisiana State University).

1988
Exhibition at Upstairs Gallery, Beverly Hills, California. Exhibition at Moscow Summit, including portraits of Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. Commissioned by The Republican Party to paint Vice President George Bush and ten grandchildren (Painting hangs in Bush's private office.)

1989
The Rodrigue Gallery of New Orleans opens in French Quarter. Exhibition at Texas A & M Museum, College Station, Texas. Exhibition aboard Queen Elizabeth II transatlantic liner. Paints three Cajun Easter Eggs for annual White House Easter Egg Roll.

1991
Cajun food served by Chef Paul Prudhomme at Grand Opening of Galerie Blue Dog in Carmel, California.

1992
Painting demonstration at Paul Prudhomme Festival in Opelousas, Louisiana. At festival, meets Michel Roux of Carillon Importers, who commissions Absolut Louisiana for USA Today. Documentary, Rodrigue: A Man and His Dog Dog, filmed with Whoopi Goldberg.

1993
Museum Exhibition at McLean County Arts Center in Bloomington, Illinois.

1994
The book Blue Dog (Rodrigue, Freundlich) published by Viking Press. Exhibition at The Time is Always Now SOHO Gallery, NYC.

1995
Exhibition at the Pensacola Museum of Art, Pensacola, Florida. Commissioned by New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival to paint Louis Armstrong. The book, George Rodrigue: A Cajun Artist (Rodrigue, Bradshaw) published by Viking Press.

1996
Exhibition at Union Station, Washington D.C. Commissioned by New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival to paint Pete Fountain. Commissioned by Neiman Marcus to design catalogue cover for The Book (Butterflies are Free).

1997
Exhibition at the Gwinett County Arts Museum, Atlanta, Georgia. Commissioned by the Democratic Inaugural Committee to paint President-elect Bill Clinton and Vice-President-elect Al Gore. Marries Wendy Wolfe.

1998
Becomes sole owner of Rodrigue Studio in New Orleans (formerly The Rodrigue Gallery of New Orleans) and Rodrigue Studio in Carmel (formerly Galerie Blue Dog). Commissioned by the New Orleans Jazz Club to create 50th anniversary poster. Commissioned by Neiman Marcus to design catalogue cover for The Book (Hawaiian Blues.)

1999
Book, Blue Dog Man (Rodrigue, Brokaw), published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang, NYC. 45-city artist tour. Commissioned by Neiman Marcus to design catalogue cover for The Book (The Millennium). George Rodrigue Museum opens at Acadian Village, Lafayette, Louisiana. Neiman Marcus, Michigan Avenue, sponsors three fiberglass Rodrigue cows during the Chicago Cow Parade.

2000
Commissioned by Young & Rubicam to create paintings for advertisements promoting Xerox Color Inkjet Printers (9 months). Book Blue Dog Christmas (Rodrigue, McAninch) published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang. 25-city artist tour. Painting Me, Myself, & I in Louisiana fronts contemporary art wing at New Orleans Museum of Art. Commissioned by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival to paint Al Hirt.

2001
Paints God Bless America in response to 9/11. Exhibition at Louisiana State Archives, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Book Blue Dog Love (Rodrigue, Rodrigue) published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang. Began painting in new studio in Carmel Valley, California.

2002
Exhibition at Opelousas Museum of Art, Opelousas, Louisiana. Exhibition at Uptown Park, Houston, Texas. Children's book Why is Blue Dog Blue? (Rodrigue) published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang. Receives CHILD Magazine Best Children's Book of the Year Award. Begins Hurricane series.

2003
Joins Advisory Board of the International Child Art Foundation. Paints Honesty to benefit ICAF. Commissioned by the Musical Arts Society of New Orleans to create poster for the 15th annual New Orleans International Piano Competition. Joins children from 100 countries and 50 states to create a peace mural on the National Mall in Washington D.C. during the International Child Art Festival. The Art of George Rodrigue (Danto, Lewis), a 40-year retrospective, published by Harry N. Abrams, NYC. 20-city artist/author tour. Honored as Outstanding Alum of the University of Louisiana, with baseball legend Ron Guidry.

2004
Paints official Louisiana Governor's portrait for the Inauguration of Governor Kathleen Blanco. Retrospective exhibition at Louisiana State Exhibit Museum in Shreveport, Louisiana. Retrospective exhibition at Pensacola Museum of Art in Pensacola, Florida. The Art of George Rodrigue wins a 2003 New York Book Show award for its jacket design. They All Ask for You chosen to represent New Orleans on the Smithsonian quilt commemorating the national tour of the musical OKLAHOMA. Inducted into the Louisiana "Order of Living Legends" by the Acadian Museum. Honored as Artist of the Year by the American Liver Foundation in Birmingham, Alabama. The Aioli Dinner and twelve paintings from the Rodrigue Xerox campaign join the permanent collection of the New Orleans Museum of Art. Group Exhibition at the Acadiana Center for the Arts, Lafayette, LA, Spirit of Place: Art from Acadiana.

2005
Special three-day (April 5-7) Rodrigue exhibition in the Great Hall of the New Orleans Museum of Art. Unveils Bodies series with a 3-week installation at Rodrigue Studio, New Orleans (April 21 - May 15). Opens Rodrigue Studio, Lafayette, as a temporary gallery location following Hurricane Katrina. Creates We Will Rise Again to benefit the Red Cross in response to Hurricane Katrina and the flooding of New Orleans. Rodrigue visits Tokyo for an exhibition of new works at the Blue Dog Gallery, celebrating ten years in Minato-ku. Opens additional Rodrigue Studio location in Carmel, CA at the corner of 6th Avenue and Dolores Street.

2006
Develops a campaign for New Orleans levee protection, sending a print to every member of Congress: To Stay Alive We Need Levee 5.. Rodrigue presents a check for $100,000 (raised from print sales for Katrina relief) to the New Orleans Museum of Art at its grand re-opening March 3; the Museum exhibits Rodrigue's painting We Will Rise Again Again, which he donates to their permanent collection. Creates the official artwork and poster for the 20th anniversary of the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival in New Orleans. Awarded the Southern Woman Magazine Spirit Award for contributions to the city of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Donates Cut Through theRed Tape image to the United Way for use in promoting their 2-1-1 dialing system, which seeks to eliminate the red tape of reaching human service agencies following disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. Receives the Humanitarian Award from the Southeast Louisiana Chapter of the Red Cross for money donated from sales of We Will Rise Again. Rodrigue's 10-foot, steel and aluminum 3-sided sculpture becomes a permanent part of the Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art, joining Robert Indiana's LOVE and Claes Oldenberg's SAFETY PIN in the contemporary garden. Receives the Lifetime Achievement Arts Award from the State of Louisiana at the Governor's Arts Awards in Baton Rouge. Joins with the New Orleans Saints to promote his print We Are Marching Again benefiting the New Orleans Museum of Art.

2007
Presents a lecture series at the Phoenix Art Museum. Group Exhibition, Paws and Reflect: Art of Canines, to be shown at seven museums in Bolivar, MO; Parker, OH; Canton, OH; Neenah, WI; Shreveport, LA; Kerrville, TN, and Spartenburg, SC. Exhibition at the Old Courthouse Museum, Louisiana State Museum, Natchitoches, Louisiana, George Rodrigue: Beyond Blue Dog, featuring the Saga of the Acadians, portraits from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's Flora Levy Lecture Series, and post-Katrina Blue Dog paintings from The Dream Series, June 8th - November 17th. Exhibition at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens Museum, Memphis TN, Blue Dog: The Art of George Rodrigue, featuring more than one hundred paintings and sculpture works spanning forty years, July 29th - October 14th. Joins Drew and Brittany Brees and the New Orleans Saints to raise funds for Blue Dog Relief and the Brees Dream Foundation with his portrait of Drew Brees. Donations from Blue Dog Relief surpass $1 million.

2008
Retrospective exhibition New Orleans Museum of Art, George Rodrigue's Louisiana: Forty Years of Cajuns, Blue Dogs, and Beyond Katrina. Publication of George Rodrigue Prints (Harry N. Abrams, New York), a catalogue raisonne. Release of 2006 vintage Amuse Bouche Wine, Napa Valley, featuring Rodrigue label artwork.




Louisiana's Official Bicentennial Poster
Poster created by high school junior Katie Atkins for our 2012 Art Contest