Adalié Brent (1920–1993) was the first director of the Louisiana Arts and Science Center, now the Louisiana Art & Science Museum. She guided the institution for sixteen years, from 1963 until her retirement in 1979. In that time, she worked tirelessly for the Museum and local artistic community, elevating the cultural landscape of the capital city through her passionate work and artistic endeavors. Her work can be seen throughout Baton Rouge in secular and religious settings alike, a testament to her legacy in the city.
Brent was an artist as well as a community leader. She was a painter, graphic designer, illustrator, and worked in a variety of mediums including stained glass, textiles, murals, and jewelry. She attended the University of California, Los Angeles where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Art Education. After graduating, she and her husband settled in Baton Rouge, where she worked as an art instructor at Louisiana State University and Saint Joseph’s Academy before becoming the director of the LASC.
Brent is best remembered for her paintings, illustrations, and work in stained glass design. She preferred not to name her artistic style, instead referring to it as timeless. In her painted works, such as Girl with Red Hair, Brent presents questions, often without answers. When discussing the meaning of her images, Brent stated, “If I were a poetess or a writer, I would not have to paint, but since I do paint, why should I have to talk about it?”
Adalié Brent, Girl with Red Hair, date unknown. Oil on canvas, 30 3/4 x 22 3/4 inches. Puchased from the artist. Louisiana Art & Science Museum Collection, 1992.003.001
Adalié Brent produced an illustrated children’s book with her daughter Joanna Brent Leake in 1971. The book, A Child Likes, outlines the many daily occurrences that bring children joy. Adalié illustrated the publication and Joanna wrote the accompanying text.