This exhibit features some of the artwork of a distinguished Plaquemine resident, Virginia Campbell. Campbell was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1914 to Jacob L. Hortenstein and Carrie B. Schwing. However, after the untimely death of her mother in 1921, Campbell moved to Plaquemine to live with her maternal grandmother, Sarah Wimberley Schwing, while her father worked as a civil engineer on the Panama Canal.
After graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1934, Campbell worked on and off Broadway before moving to Hollywood in 1939, where she co-starred in a number of films, including Cecil B De Mille’s Unconquered (1947), Lubitsch and Preminger’s That Lady in Ermine (1948), and Home Town Story (1951).
In the 1950s, she switched careers and began to paint, first in watercolor, then working with gouache and oil. Her artwork was exhibited across Europe and she illustrated two children’s books, New Feathers for the Old Goose (1959) and Near Tragedy at the Winter Fall (1964).
Campbell died on her 102 birthday in 2016.