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Catherine Kuhlman, Humanities Hero

The LEH congratulates and appreciates our February Humanities Hero, Catherine Kuhlman, of Covington, Louisiana.

“As the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ February Humanities Hero, I have been asked to describe the evolution of my interest in the humanities. My 13 years at St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Metairie stimulated a youthful curiosity, especially in history, literature and foreign languages. Then, I was fortunate to enjoy the luxury of a liberal arts education at Newcomb College, a privilege too few students can enjoy today.

My mother Vera Kirgis, an artist, had the greatest impact on me. She gave me a home filled with art, books, and music. Her most significant influence was her gift of the experience of travel which exposed me to many wonders of western civilization. When I was 15, she and I embarked on a “grand tour” of Europe – the Louvre, the Prado, the Alhambra, Venice, St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Nymphenburg Palace, just to name a few highlights.

I was taught by her example to support the humanities. For instance, she was an early member of the Louisiana Landmarks Society. I first became aware of LEH when I received an issue of Louisiana Cultural Vistas. Be it the restoration of Laura Plantation, a program in an elementary school, or recognition of the many historians, writers, and artists by publication, the good works of the LEH, I feel, are of crucial importance to our State, its culture and its citizens.

Many thanks to the LEH for honoring me.” And many thanks to you, Catherine!