Richard Sexton

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Richard Sexton in 2014

Richard Sexton (born 1954 in Atlanta, Georgia) is an author, fine art and media photographer, teacher, and critic of the urban built environment based in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is best known for his architectural photography publications and exhibitions.


Sexton began photographing as an undergraduate at Emory University. After graduating from Emory in 1975, he moved to San Francisco and enrolled in classes at the San Francisco Art Institute.[1] Sexton's first photographic book project, American Style: Classic Product Design from Airstream to Zippo, was published by Chronicle Books in 1987. As book projects became a mainstay of his career, Sexton authored The Cottage Book, which documented the tradition of cottage living in the San Francisco area. He was featured in a 1989 New York Times article on the expanding cottage architecture trend.[2] Collaborating with architectural historian Randolph Delehanty, Sexton also authored In the Victorian Style, showcasing San Francisco's domestic Victorian architecture.

Sexton moved to New Orleans, Louisiana in 1991, where he worked with Delehanty on New Orleans: Elegance and Decadence, a photo essay with extended captions characterizing New Orleans’ rich history. The book has remained consistently in print since its first publishing.[3] In 1997, Sexton curated the exhibit "Sidney Bechet: A World of Jazz 1897-1997" for the Bechet Centennial Committee, which commemorated the centennial of jazz musician Sidney Bechet's birth.

Sexton's Terra Incognita monograph of Gulf Coast landscapes received critical acclaim, including a 2008 award from Louisiana Cultural Vistas magazine[4] and a review in the Village Voice.[5] Terra Incognita is accompanied by a traveling exhibit, which has been displayed at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Walter Anderson Museum of Art, and the Polk Museum of Art.

Additionally, Sexton's book New Roads and Old Rivers was named "The New Must-Have Coffee Table Book" in August 2012 by Southern Living's The Daily South blog.[6]

In February 2014, Sexton published his 12th book, Creole World: Photographs of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere. The book received favorable reviews in the Times-Picayune, Advocate and the Monroe, La. News-Star newspapers,[7][8][9] as well as in Garden & Gun magazine's Daily Shot blog.[10]

In August 2014, the New York Review of Books and the Wall Street Journal reviewed Creole World, noting the architectural and cultural similarities between the cities of New Orleans, Cartagena, Quito, Cap-Haitien and others.[11][12]

Sexton’s photographs are included in the collections at the Historic New Orleans Collection, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Polk Museum of Art, the LSU Museum of Art in the Shaw Center for the Arts, and others. His work has been frequently exhibited in the U.S. and published in Europe, and has also appeared in Smithsonian magazine, Preservation magazine, Southern Accents magazine, Photographer’s Forum, and View Camera.

In addition to his publishing career, Sexton occasionally teaches photography at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts and conducts independent workshops. He lectures frequently at conferences and events around the U.S.


  • Michael P. Smith Award for Documentary Photography, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, Feb. 2014[13]
  • Joseph Arrigo Book of the Year Award, New Orleans-Gulf South Booksellers Association, for Gardens of New Orleans: Exquisite Excess, by Lake Douglas and Jeannette Hardy, with photographs by Richard Sexton, 2001[14]
  • "50 People to Watch," New Orleans Magazine and WWL radio, New Orleans, LA 1994
  • Award of Merit for New Orleans: Elegance and Decadence, Rounce & Coffin Club, Los Angeles, CA 1994


  • American Style: Classic Product Design from Airstream to Zippo (1987)
  • The Cottage Book (1989)
  • In the Victorian Style, with Randolph Delehanty (1991)
  • New Orleans: Elegance and Decadence, with Randolph Delehanty (1993)
  • Parallel Utopias: The Quest for Community, with contributing essays by William Turnbull, Jr. and Ray Oldenburg (1995)
  • Vestiges of Grandeur: The Plantations of Louisiana's River Road (1999)
  • Gardens of New Orleans: Exquisite Excess (2000)
  • Rosemary Beach (2007)
  • Terra Incognita: Photographs of America's Third Coast (2007)
  • Destrehan: The Man, The House, The Legacy (2008)
  • New Roads and Old Rivers: Louisiana's Historic Pointe Coupee Parish (2012)

Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • The Highway of Temptation and Redemption: A Gothic Travelogue in Two Dimensions - The Ogden Museum of Southern Art
  • Terra Incognita: The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans; The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, WaterColor, Santa Rosa Beach, FL; Walter Anderson Museum, Ocean Springs, MS; South Arkansas Arts Center, El Dorado, AR; Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland, FL; Pensacola Museum of Art, Pensacola, FL
  • Languid Moments: Charleston, New Orleans, Havana: Rebekah Jacob Gallery
  • Creole World: Photographs of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere: The Historic New Orleans Collection


  1. ^ Serbin, Glen R. "Richard Sexton". Photographer's Forum Magazine. Photographer's Forum. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  2. ^ Lew, Julie (4 June 1989). "San Francisco's Cottage Industry: Big Boom in Small Spaces". The New York Times. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  3. ^ Bruno, R. Stephanie (7 Dec 2014). "Elegance and Decadence: The classic guide to New Orleans living turns 20". The Advocate. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  4. ^ New Orleans Press Club Awards. "Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities". Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  5. ^ Baker, R.C. (21 Aug 2007). "Rust Never Weeps - Recommendations by R.C. Baker". The Village Voice. Retrieved 16 January 2014.
  6. ^ Bierman, Lindsay. "The New Must-Have Coffee Table Book". Southern Living. Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  7. ^ Waddington, Chris (18 April 2014). "Richard Sexton connects New Orleans and Caribbean in 'Creole World' photo book". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  8. ^ Miller, Robin (27 April 2014). "Photographer set out for Latin America, was dazzled by New Orleans". The Advocate. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  9. ^ Coen, Chere (17 April 2014). "Photos connect NOLA, Latin American architecture". The News-Star. Retrieved 27 April 2014.
  10. ^ Hutchinson, Elizabeth (17 September 2014). "Inside Creole World". Daily Shot: The Garden & Gun Blog. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  11. ^ Rich, Nathaniel (22 August 2014). "Remnants of New Orleans". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 17 September 2014.
  12. ^ The Editors (11 July 2014). "Photo-Op: Mix Masters. Photographer Richard Sexton's "Creole World" is a study of interplay between the Old World and the New". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 17 September 2014.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  13. ^ Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (Feb 2014). "Michael P. Smith Award for Documentary Photography". Retrieved 12 February 2014.
  14. ^ Walker, Judy (4 June 2011). "From pleasure gardens to neutral grounds". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved 12 February 2014.

External links[edit]