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Lulu White, Storyville Madame

Hi all y’all!

I had an idea to paint mug shots of Storyville prostitutes. I painted Lulu White and enjoyed painting her. She was arrested many times for all manner of things to do with her brothel. She was the madame of Mahogany Hall.

Operating an Immoral house

Let me backtrack with the assumption you might not be up on New Orleans history. I am not patient with a lot of details, but I will give it a try.

Storyville was a part of New Orleans, lakeside of Basin Street, between 1897 and 1917 where it was legal to be a prostitute and run a brothel. Prostitution was so legal they had a Blue Book advertising what the different girls offered. Mahogany Hall was an upscale brothel, boasting of Octoroon (1/8th black) prostitutes.

Mahogany Hall is the first building on the right.
Mahogany Hall was the first building on the right.

Lulu seemed like a outgoing, self-made, woman. She was born of two slaves in Alabama, but re-invented herself. She told people she was born in the Caribbean.

Even though I love portraits and I love to paint women, mugshots are a little bit sad. A child born into slavery is also sad.  I am going to paint a prostitute or two from Storyville, because the women are beautiful, but I don’t think my heart can manage more than that. On the other hand, I don’t want these women to be forgotten.

Lulu White

This is Lulu White in 1920. It is a mugshot from one of her many arrests. I painted her with acrylic paint and charcoal pencil on 11 x 14 inch canvas. Her shawl was made with Liquitex Gloss Gel and a stencil. I put the gel on with a pallet knife through the holes in the stencil, lifting off the stencil carefully. Then, I let it dry over night. I painted the shawl with blue, orange and gold. (You can always message me for specific colors or more information in general.)

Lulu’s necklace is made to resemble clear glass beads, popular in the 1920’s.

I think she looks sad and annoyed.

Mahogany Hall Stomp for you, Miss Lulu.

Until next time,


Gator Girl




Posted in Uncategorized

QR Codes

Hi all y’all!

I hope your summer is heating up with lots of friends, fun and fabulousness. My sweet darlin’ and I just got back from Philadelphia where our recently graduated god-daughter is going to college in August. We are back in New Orleans for a week, then to California for a family reunion.

I wonder if I caught anyone’s attention with the title. Snooze? This blog is definitely for a limited audience.

You can make a code in 30 seconds at QR Code Monkey for free. QR Code is just a fancy name for a link. I made a QR Code to link to my website. You put these codes on anything you like… T-Shirts, business cards, gallery cards… You just don’t want to put it on a computer screen because you can use a regular link. QR Codes are easy to read with your phone. Download from any number of free QR Code Reader apps for iPhone or Android.


Once you have a QR Reader app, you can read a QR Code wherever you find one. Now, you will see them everywhere.

This is the back of my new card.



I used a coupon at to make my business cards. Moo is not as cheap as Vista Print, but much nicer. Here is a link if you want 10% off of your first order. I feel very good recommending Moo. The paper they use is lovely to touch. They have a fun website and the customer service is nice.

Until next time,

All my love,

Gator Girl