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Barthé, James Richmond (1901–1989)
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James Richmond Barthé was born in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, into a family of devout Roman Catholic Creoles. Barthé was an introverted child drawn to fairytales and day dreams, preferring copying figures in local newspapers and magazines like Physical Culture rather than his studies, which ended at age fourteen. At sixteen, Barthé left home to take a job as a houseboy for a well-heeled New Orleans family. While living in the midst of finery, his artistic models expanded to include the romantic and neoclassical nineteenth-century fine art in his employer’s collection.