Collection uarterly - The Historic New Orleans
VOLUME X X X VI NUMBER 4 FALL 2019 The Historic New Orleans Collection uarterly INDUSTRIAL EVOLUTION: Landscapes of the Lower Mississippi
E All exhibitions are free unless otherwise noted. CURRENT Art of the City: Postmodern to Post-Katrina, presented by The Helis Foundation Through October 6 520 Royal Street Enigmatic Stream: Industrial Landscapes of the Lower Mississippi River Through April 5, 2020 520 Royal Street CONTINUING French Quarter Galleries 520 Royal Street Education Galleries 520 Royal Street Louisiana History Galleries 533 Royal Street Williams Residence Tour Architecture and Courtyard Tour 533 Royal Street Tuesday–Saturday, 10 and 11 a.m., 2 and 3 p.m.
Sunday, 11 a.m., 2 and 3 p.m. $5 admission; free for THNOC members Groups of five or more should call (504) 598-7145 to make reservations. Educational tours for school groups are available free of charge; please contact Rachel Gaudry, education coordinator, at (504) 556-7669 or email@example.com. UPCOMING Seeking an Open Life: Photographs of Lafcadio Hearn’s Japan October 10, 2019–January 5, 2020 410 Chartres Street The New Orleans Drawings of Gaston de Pontalba, 1848–1851 October 29, 2019–February 2, 2020 520 Royal Street Crescent City Sport: Stories of Courage and Change November 22, 2019–March 8, 2020 520 Royal Street For more information on any of the following events, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
STOOP STORIES Join Willie Birch, Hannah Chalew, and Krista Jurisich for the final installment of Stoop Stories. Inspired by the kind of neighborly conversations held on front porches across the city, these informal gallery talks feature artists whose work is on view in Art of the City: Postmodern to Post-Katrina, presented by The Helis Foundation. Saturday, September 14, 1–4 p.m.
520 Royal Street Free ENIGMATIC STREAM EXHIBITION OPENING AND BOOK SIGNING Photographer Richard Sexton will be on hand to sign books as The Collection celebrates the launch of its latest exhibition. Tuesday, September 17, 6–8 p.m. 520 Royal Street Free VICKSBURG LECTURE AND BOOK SIGNING Historian Donald L. Miller discusses and signs his new book, Vicksburg: Grant’s Campaign That Broke the Confederacy. This program is presented in collaboration with the National World War II Museum. Tuesday, October 29, 6–7:30 p.m. 410 Chartres Street Free. Reservations required; visit my.hnoc.org or call (504) 598-7146.
UNCORKED! A HISTORY OF WINE IN NEW ORLEANS The sixth installment of THNOC’s popular culinary symposium, this year’s event explores the history of importing, serving, and drinking wine in New Orleans. Presentations will be followed by a reception and wine tasting. Cheers! Saturday, November 2, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
410 Chartres Street $60 admission; $50 for students, teachers, and THNOC members. Registration required; visit my.hnoc.org or call (504) 598-7146. THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA FILM SCREENING THNOC’s annual Les Comédiens Français lecture series—dedicated to French language and culture—returns for its 17th installment with a screening of the 1925 silent classic The Phantom of the Opera. French pianist Pierre Queval will provide live musical accompaniment. Tuesday, November 5, 6–8 p.m. 520 Royal Street $15 admission; $5 for Founder and Merieult members; free for Caillot level and above. Reservations required; visit my.hnoc.org or call (504) 598-7146.
POP-UP HOLIDAY MARKET AND MEMBER APPRECIATION DAY Shop for the holidays as our newly expanded museum shop hosts a local holiday art market. Members receive 20 percent off all purchases! Sunday, December 1, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. 520 Royal Street Free 520 ROYAL STREET Seignouret-Brulatour Building and Tricentennial Wing Tuesday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sunday, 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
533 ROYAL STREET Williams Residence and Louisiana History Galleries Tuesday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sunday, 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. GENERAL HOURS 410 CHARTRES STREET Williams Research Center and Boyd Cruise Gallery Tuesday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
F ON THE COVER Fishing in the flooded Bonnet Carré Spillway with moored tankers in background, near Norco (detail) 2015 © Richard Sexton acquisition made possible by the G. Henry Pierson Jr. Photography Fund, 2015.0364.51 Contemporary photographs summon the spirit of Lafcadio Hearn, 19th-century citizen of the world.
Drawings by Gaston de Pontalba provide fresh perspectives on the antebellum city and surrounding region. A new exhibition and companion book unpack the enigma of industrial progress. Off-Site 10 A THNOC intern chronicles the evolution of wallpaper design and production. 12 Recently Retired In Memorium Staff News On the Job Focus on Philanthropy Donors Become a Member On the Scene 22 Acquisition Spotlight: A photograph album showcases the work of the earliest known woman to photographically record daily life in New Orleans.
Recent Additions When I think about The Historic New Orleans Collection—and that is something I do a lot—there are two things that always come to mind. The first is the remarkable opportunity this institution has to be an important part of countless lives. The second is the equally remarkable journey this institution has taken since its founding. From the personal collection of two preservation-minded individuals, The Collection has grown into a museum, research center, and publisher that is widely recognized as a leader in preserving and interpreting the history and culture of New Orleans and the region.
The story of the institution’s growth converges with the story of its potential in the person of Priscilla Lawrence, whose 21 years of leadership have placed THNOC in the position it is today.
Priscilla’s thoughtfulness, patience, generosity, and kindness have been the enabling forces behind so many successes. The opening of the new exhibition center is the latest and grandest accomplishment, but there are many more achievements to chronicle. Under Priscilla’s direction, THNOC restored and renovated several historic French Quarter properties, built a state-of-the-art collections storage facility on Conti Street, and acquired a large off-site storage center. Always focused on preserving the past for a brighter future, Priscilla supported the expansion of the education department, which now employs three full-time museum educators, offers an ever-growing online catalog of history curricula for teachers, and operates a classroom on Toulouse Street outfitted with up-to-date teaching technologies that can accommodate up to 60 students for on-site museum-learning experiences.
During Priscilla’s tenure, THNOC’s publishing program grew exponentially in its great variety of titles, subjects, and types of books, from encyclopedic tomes like Furnishing Louisiana: Creole and Acadian Furniture, 1735–1835 to biographies of musicians like Ernie K-Doe: The R&B Emperor of New Orleans. And the ever-busy programming schedule has diversified and expanded under Priscilla’s watch, with a broad range of exhibitions, lectures, performances, and experiences. Priscilla’s greatest legacy, though, is the staff of THNOC. Her leadership was the crucial tool that this incredible group of dedicated and hardworking professionals needed to build the institution that thrives today.
Priscilla has laid the foundation for many great things to come in the future. Thank you, Priscilla, for the journey and the opportunity! —DANIEL HAMMER
2 The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly Distant Relatives A photography exhibition applies 19th-century perspective to New Orleans’s sister city of Matsue, Japan. To mark the 25th anniversary of the sister city relationship between New Orleans and Matsue, Japan, and the 150th anniversary of the US arrival of renowned 19th-century journalist and author Lafcadio Hearn, The Historic New Orleans Collection is presenting Seeking an Open Life: Photographs of Lafcadio Hearn’s Japan. Opening October 10, at 410 Chartres Street, the exhibition features contemporary photographs of Japan’s southwestern Izumo district, home to the city of Matsue, where Hearn settled when he moved to Japan in 1890.
The artist, Everett Kennedy Brown, is an American who has lived in Japan for more than three decades.
Lafcadio Hearn (1850–1904) was born in Greece, raised in Ireland, and educated in England. He traveled extensively throughout his adult life and is largely considered a citizen of the world. But he is most associated with two locales: New Orleans and Japan. Hearn spent nearly a decade (1877–87) in New Orleans as a journalist with the Daily City Item and the Times-Democrat, chronicling the city’s Creole culture. When he left New Orleans, he sojourned for two years in the French West Indies before settling in Japan, a country he wrote about extensively and called home until his death. The writer initially resided in Matsue, where he met his wife, Koizumi Setsu.
Hearn eventually became a Japanese citizen, taking the name Koizumi Yakumo. Today, the Lafcadio EXHIBITION Seeking an Open Life: Photographs of Lafcadio Hearn’s Japan 410 Chartres Street October 10, 2019–January 5, 2020 Free A. Horan-Enya Festival participants 2019; collotype print from wetcollodion glass negative © Everett Kennedy Brown B. Shimane Peninsula coastline 2018; collotype print from wetcollodion glass negative © Everett Kennedy Brown W
Fall 2019 3 Hearn Memorial Museum in Matsue, which includes Hearn’s former residence, celebrates the writer’s life and work in Japan. The museum’s director, Bon Koizumi, is Hearn’s great-grandson. Brown’s photographs of landscapes and architecture in Matsue and the surrounding region are infused with the quiet mystery that first drew Hearn to the area, one steeped in folkloric culture and mythology. The prints’ physical characteristics and connection to Hearn are enhanced by two 19th-century processes used to produce the images: wet collodion and collotype. The wet-collodion process, which is used to create glass negatives, hasn’t been a mainstream technique since the last quarter of the 19th century.
The negatives have the capacity to produce extremely detailed images. The collotype process, which uses ink rather than darkroom chemistry to form prints from negatives, has all but vanished from the world of printmaking. The collotype process allows a master printer a wide range of manipulation in creating each hand-printed image. Complementing the photographs are three of Hearn’s books on Japan from the holdings of The Historic New Orleans Collection: Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan (1894), Kokoro: Hints and Echoes of Japanese Inner Life (1898), and Japan: An Attempt at Interpretation (1904).
Seeking an Open Life: Photographs of Lafcadio Hearn’s Japan is presented in collaboration with the Hearn Society of Japan, the City of Matsue, and Shoko Koizumi, project director of the Open Mind of Lafcadio Hearn Project and coordinator of the Lafcadio Hearn Memorial Museum, and in cooperation with the Japan Club of New Orleans and the Japan Society of New Orleans. Support was provided by the Embassy of Japan in the United States and Shimane Prefecture, Japan. Funding was provided by Toshiba International Foundation and the Japan World Exposition 1970 Commemorative Fund. —JOHN H. LAWRENCE C.
Local purification ritual on Shimane Peninsula 2018; collotype print from wetcollodion glass negative © Everett Kennedy Brown D. Shimane Peninsula pine tree 2018; collotype print from wetcollodion glass negative © Everett Kennedy Brown E. Island on Lake Shinji 2019; collotype print from wetcollodion glass negative © Everett Kennedy Brown C D E
4 The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly Drawing the City The artistic legacy of the Baroness de Pontalba’s son is on view this fall. As a Frenchman of the aristocratic class, Gaston de Pontalba (1821–1875) was well educated but not expected to work for a living. He earned a law degree in 1846 but never practiced. He hunted, traveled, read literature, and socialized with family and friends. Fortunately for New Orleans architecture and history buffs, one of Gaston’s avocations was drawing. When he visited New Orleans in the mid-19th century, it was with sketchbooks in hand. In some 120 drawings and prints, he visually documented the city and surrounding region, while also opening a small window onto the personal life of one of 19th-century New Orleans’s best-known characters, Micaëla Almonester, Baroness de Pontalba—Gaston’s mother.
The works of art, long housed in the Pontalba family château, Mont-l’Évêque, near Paris, are showcased in The New Orleans Drawings of Gaston de Pontalba, 1848–1851, opening October 29 at 520 Royal Street.
Gaston was the youngest son of the Baroness de Pontalba. He accompanied her to New Orleans in 1848, along with his brother Alfred and childhood friend Eugène-Joseph Napoléon Klein. The baroness, who grew up in the city, was returning to manage the construction of two monumental rows of townhouses on her properties flanking the Place A EXHIBITION The New Orleans Drawings of Gaston de Pontalba, 1848–1851 520 Royal Street October 29, 2019–February 2, 2020 Free d’Armes (renamed Jackson Square in 1851). The Pontalba traveling party departed Paris in February 1848 at the outbreak of revolution in France and made several stops along their way to New Orleans.
They toured the south of England in the spring and early summer, made their way to New York by steamer in August, and visited Boston in September. Throughout the journey, including onboard the ship, Gaston recorded what he saw: landscapes, cityscapes, and streetscapes; townspeople and fellow travelers; churches, public buildings, racetracks, and residences, from the high to the humble. The Pontalbas arrived in New Orleans in October and stayed for two and a half years, during which time Gaston created drawings of Tremé, the American Sector (today’s Central Business District), and the French Quarter, capturing not only A.
St. Charles Hotel 1848; pencil, watercolor, and gouache on paper by Gaston de Pontalba courtesy of the Baron de Pontalba B. Cabildo, St. Louis Cathedral, and Presbytère between October 1848 and February 1849; pencil and watercolor on paper by Gaston de Pontalba courtesy of the Baron de Pontalba W
Fall 2019 5 D C C. Eugène-Joseph Napoléon Klein 1850; pencil, watercolor, and gouache on paper by Gaston de Pontalba courtesy of the Baron de Pontalba D. Jenny Lind 1851; pencil and watercolor on paper by Gaston de Pontalba courtesy of Bernard de Pontalba E. St. Augustine Catholic Church in Faubourg Tremé 1849; pencil and watercolor on paper by Gaston de Pontalba courtesy of the Baron de Pontalba the Place d’Armes and his mother’s grand buildings, but also some of the less famous corners of the neighborhood. His oeuvre also includes extremely rare drawings of two plantations not far from the city, de La Croix and Derbigny, and depictions of Pascagoula, Mississippi, and Madisonville, Louisiana, where the Pontalbas lived during the two yellow fever seasons they spent in the region.
Gaston was a very able draftsman, with a good eye for composition and an obvious concern for accuracy in depicting the built environment. Though a few of his drawings have the telltale signs (slightly distorted outer edges) that he was utilizing one of the era’s popular mechanical optical aids, perhaps a camera lucida, the majority of his works seem to have been made without such a device. Detailed and insightful, his drawings enrich the visual documentation of the region, shedding fresh light on the architectural histories of many buildings.
Gaston did not depict people nearly as often as buildings and landscapes, but when he did, his friend Klein was his favorite subject. Among the exhibition’s gems is a series of humorous renderings of Klein during a visit to the country. Another highlight is a portrait of the 19th-century opera star Jenny Lind, who performed in New Orleans at the end of Gaston’s tenure and stayed in one of the baroness’s newly built townhouses. With the completion of the Pontalba buildings, the family departed for France in April 1851 and never returned to New Orleans. Gaston continued to create drawings, watercolors, and sculptures, including functional pieces cast in bronze.
A bronze clock he entered in the 1867 Exposition universelle won a prize. He also produced lithographs in large runs, suggesting that he may have had the intention of selling them.
The baroness, to whom Gaston was utterly devoted, died in 1874, and his lifelong friend Klein died the next year. Gaston soon followed. His works were recently rediscovered and organized by Pierre de Pontalba, son of the current Baron de Pontalba, who has generously lent them to The Historic New Orleans Collection for this exhibition. —HOWARD MARGOT E
6 The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly EXHIBITION Enigmatic Stream: Industrial Landscapes of the Lower Mississippi River 520 Royal Street September 17, 2019–April 5, 2020 Free River Giants Photographer Richard Sexton renders industrial landscapes at human scale in Enigmatic Stream.
I first photographed the landscape of the lower Mississippi River in the late 1990s for my book Vestiges of Grandeur: The Plantations of Louisiana’s River Road. Vestiges focused on the remains from an era when this section of the river, from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, was devoted to the production of sugar. Over the last century, this region has witnessed the growth of the oil and gas industry and petrochemical manufacturing. Today, agriculture and industry present a dissonant chorus along the wide highway of brown, languid water. I began photographing this linear industrial metropolis in the early 2000s, and that work is at the center of the exhibition Enigmatic Stream: Industrial Landscapes of the Lower Mississippi River, which opens September 17 at THNOC and has a companion book.
Oil refineries and petrochemical plants loom largest here, but there are also power plants, granaries, sugar refineries, bridges, levees, spillways, and more. Some of these sites are as old now as the principal houses of the plantations were when, in the early 20th century, artists and photographers first romanticized them as relics of a bygone era. Time has only intensified the myopia that frames plantation life as a pastoral idyll, given that human A. Holy Rosary Cemetery surrounded by Union Carbide petrochemical plant, Taft 2015 © Richard Sexton acquisition made possible by the G. Henry Pierson Jr.
Photography Fund, 2015.0364.53
- Fall 2019 7 NEW FROM THNOC Enigmatic Stream: Industrial Landscapes of the Lower Mississippi River by Richard Sexton softcover
- 9" x 12.5"
- 144 pp. 90 black-and-white images US $40
- UK £30 B slavery was its sustenance, and a comparable burden haunts today’s industrial landscape. The same plants that drive Louisiana’s economy cannot be disentangled from the consequences of global warming, toxic waste, and society’s unbridled consumption of vital, nonrenewable natural resources.
The subject proved challenging to photograph, and context was important.
I always tried to include the near bank within the frame to show the width of the river and to contrast with the primary subject on the opposing bank. The batture is typically a dense thicket of willows intertwined with low brush and vines, so it was a tedious process to find spots where the industrial landscape on the opposite bank was visible. I would also shoot across fields of cane stubble and through bare trees in winter to find vistas to the structures in the distance. I frequently photographed at twilight, or after nightfall, because the setting is more mysterious when it’s veiled in darkness.
The refineries and chemical plants glowed like Orwellian metropolises in the void of the rural night. I photographed in every conceivable condition—rain, fog, clear skies, and skies filled with exploding cumulus thunderheads. Nature, unpredictable and transient, contrasted with the relentless, steady toil of industry. The river itself was equally transient, sometimes calm and flowing within its banks, other times at flood stage and raging. Many photographers and journalists have focused on this landscape, and their depictions have been emotionally complex—dismay and condemnation intermingling with admiration and pride.
Few documentations have focused on this landscape as a historical and evolving one. Few have had enough emotional detachment from the subject to record it in an objective manner. There has been a lack of focus on the technological achievements and the engineering prowess of these sites, many of which resemble collaborations between Rube Goldberg and Dr. Frankenstein. The public at large seems B. View of Entergy’s Ninemile power plant in Westwego, from east bank levee in Carrollton, New Orleans 2014 © Richard Sexton acquisition made possible by the G. Henry Pierson Jr. Photography Fund, 2015.0364.79
8 The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly as perplexed as the documentarians. We are intellectually aware of heavy industry’s importance, are in awe of its power, and, at the same time, fear and loathe its existence. Such is the nature of enigmas. My life is reliant on this landscape, yet I take it for granted, as most everyone else does. But I can’t cast myself as a dispassionate witness. I am intrigued by the unrelenting human effort to mine the river’s resources in the face of floods, hurricanes, pestilence, civil war, and industrial disasters. I am also intrigued by the industrial design of this landscape, unfettered by aesthetic issues, artistic aspiration, or pretension—driven purely by function.
In its juxtaposition of elements, the landscape is filled with incongruity and mystery. Finally, I am always driven to subjects that are unrecognized, or unappreciated. When we think about American industry, we think largely in the past tense of the heyday of the steel mills of Pittsburgh, the auto assembly lines of Detroit, or the Kodak film and photography manufacturing plants of Rochester, New York. In the present tense, we think of the latest high-tech gadgets hailing from California’s Silicon Valley. Louisiana gets overlooked, even though the bustling corridor of heavy industry along its lower river rivals the greatest industrial juggernauts in the country, past or present.
The human exploitation of a capricious river and its fertile delta has precipitated an extraordinary industrial infrastructure, which has formed an equally extraordinary contrast with the rural landscape around it. With Enigmatic Stream, I have tried, as with all things I photograph, to portray it deliberately, purposefully, eloquently, and, above all else, honestly. —RICHARD SEXTON Adapted from the preface to Enigmatic Stream: Industrial Landscapes of the Lower Mississippi River (THNOC, 2019) C. Cow pasture with fertilizer plant under construction in background, near Donaldsonville 2015 © Richard Sexton acquisition made possible by the G.
Henry Pierson Jr. Photography Fund, 2015.0364.2 D. Support piers for the Huey P. Long Bridge, from east bank levee in Elmwood 2003 © Richard Sexton acquisition made possible by the G. Henry Pierson Jr. Photography Fund, 2015.0364.40
Fall 2019 9 OFF-SITE Bidding Farewell to Music Icons Our quarterly roundup of holdings that have appeared outside The Collection, either on loan to other institutions or reproduced in noteworthy media projects. The New Orleans African American Museum was provided 10 images to reproduce for display at its recently reopened facility on Governor Nicholls Street. Eureka Brass Band ca. 1960 by Ralston Crawford 1983.151 New Orleans music legend Dr. John (Malcolm John Rebennack Jr.) passed away June 6, 2019. The family of Dr. John was provided 18 photographs for use during his memorial services.
Dr. John 1973; gelatin silver print by Michael P. Smith © The Historic New Orleans Collection, 2007.0103.4.801 Renowned New Orleans musician, producer, and arranger Dave Bartholomew passed away June 23, 2019. The New York Times published a photograph of Bartholomew and Fats Domino from the Franck-Bertacci Collection with Bartholomew’s obituary. Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew at Cosimo Recording Studio negative, 1957; gelatin silver print, ca. 1995 by Franck-Bertacci Photographers 19184.108.40.2063 Earnestine Jenkins, professor of art history and visual culture studies at the University of Memphis, requested six drawings by 19th-century artist Alfred Rudolph Waud for her article “Alfred Waud and the Imaging of Freed People,” to be published in the Tennessee Historical Quarterly this fall.
A family ca. 1866; pencil and Chinese white by Alfred Rudolph Waud The L. Kemper and Leila Moore Williams Founders Collection, 1965.87 i, ii Laura and Neecie ca. 1871; pencil by Alfred Rudolph Waud The L. Kemper and Leila Moore Williams Founders Collection, 1965.90.288.1 Dr. John in Studio (Crawfish Fiesta Session for Professor Longhair) 1979; gelatin silver print by Michael P. Smith © The Historic New Orleans Collection, 2007.0103.4.845 Dr. John with the Meters (Professor Longhair Fire Benefit) 1974; gelatin silver print by Michael P. Smith © The Historic New Orleans Collection, 2007.0103.4.813
10 The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly The Writing on the Wall A decorative arts intern from the master of preservation studies program at Tulane School of Architecture explores THNOC’s 19th-century wallpaper collection. In fall 2018 The Historic New Orleans Collection completed the cataloging of its significant collection of 19th-century wallpapers. Comprising approximately 200 wallpaper fragments, partial border rolls, and fragments from bandboxes, the study collection affords a fascinating glance into the evolution of taste, design, and printing technology experienced by the wallpaper industry throughout the 19th century in Europe and the United States.
THNOC acquired the majority of the wallpaper in 2015 from the Hermann-Grima and Gallier Historic Houses, which had amassed the collection in the early 1970s as part of an effort funded by the Ella West Freeman Foundation to further the study of 19th-century decorative arts. THNOC built upon the 2015 acquisition with wallpaper discovered in A. High border of the Jardin d’hiver pattern 1853; block-printed paper by Jules Desfossé B. Trellis pattern wallpaper designed in 1862; block-printed paper by William Morris C. Wallpaper fragment with trompe l’oeil drapery discovered in the Seignouret-Brulatour Building ca.
1825; block-printed and flocked paper by Joseph Dufour et Cie.
situ—and carefully removed and preserved—during the extensive restoration of the 1816 Seignouret-Brulatour Building. Among the many fragments in the collection are English wallpapers with patterns on gilt-embossed grounds emulating the look of leather, French flocked wallpapers with bands of foliate scrolls, gilded patterns imitating the exquisite architectural details of intricate moldings, and vividly rendered blooming bouquets and budding roses in vibrant crimson hues. Of note is a large fragment of the high border of the 1853 Jardin d’hiver scenic pattern by esteemed French wallpaper manufacturer Jules Desfossé.
Other highlights include a sizable inventory of William Morris’s distinctive natural pattern designs of the arts and crafts movement and a Gothic revival–style flocked wallpaper designed by A. W. N. Pugin for the Queen’s Robing Room at the Houses of Parliament.
Three of the fragments discovered in the Seignouret-Brulatour Building illustrate the taste and appreciation for comfort and status of François Seignouret, the wine merchant and furniture maker who had the building constructed for his residence and business. The wallpapers are the work of French wallpaper designer Joseph Dufour, a celebrated artisan in Paris in the early 19th century. By choosing to adorn his walls with Dufour designs, Seignouret expressed his aesthetic sense, but also communicated his social and financial status as a merchant whose business stretched from New Orleans to Bordeaux, France.
These historically important wallpapers also allowed THNOC curators to determine the Seignouret family’s use for each room in the residence. In addition to chronicling design trends, human creativity, and societal tastes, the collection traces the evolution of papermaking and wallpaper printing throughout the 19th century. Early in the century, wallpaper was hand painted, stenciled, flocked, or hand printed with carved wooden blocks on handmade sheets of paper glued together to create a roll. The development of seamless paper and machine-printing technology in the 1830s transformed wallpaper from a handmade luxury to a massproduced product affordable to a newly emerging middle class.
THNOC’s wallpaper collection reflects the industry’s progression with a variety of machine-printed wallpapers, recognizable by the thin-bodied pigments used and the visible vertical streaks created by the printing rollers. During the last quarter of the century, the introduction of wood pulp–based paper and new printing technologies rendered wallpaper so affordable that it became the most common form of mural adornment. As the American wallpaper industry grew, patterns were often drawn from the elegant designs of Europe. Inexpensively produced wallpaper became an integral part of 19th-century American popular culture.
THNOC continues to expand the wallpaper collection with fragments, often several layers thick, acquired from various historic homes throughout New Orleans. Wallpapers are storytellers—what better way to uncover the past than through ingeniously revealing colored pattern designs. —ISABELLE DISSARD-COOPER C
12 The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly RECENTLY RETIRED Parting Words Priscilla Lawrence, who retired in June after nearly four decades with The Historic New Orleans Collection, bids farewell. A B With 39 years at The Historic New Orleans behind me, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to all who have supported this institution for all these years. Fresh from completing graduate coursework in the Newcomb art history program at Tulane University, I joined the staff of The Collection in 1980 as assistant registrar, eventually becoming collections manager. The early days of my employment were enthralling.
Learning the profession of caring for museum collections was an exciting pursuit. Few in a museum have as much active hands-on contact with rare and precious objects as the registrars. I was hooked!
When, in 1998, the board of directors asked if I would serve as acting director, I jumped at the chance to share the ideas for the future that I had accumulated along the way, and I was grateful A. Priscilla O’Reilly joined the staff of The Collection in 1980 as assistant registrar. B. Priscilla Lawrence (right) with John H. Lawrence and former staffer Susan Cole. John was curator of photography when Priscilla began working at THNOC. The two married in 1989. to eventually accept the appointment as executive director. But I never would have done so without the knowledge that I was working with extraordinary people, all of whom had the passion, talent, and expertise to help lead the institution toward a bright future.
Their commitment to excellence and teamwork is unsurpassed.
Now, after completing the development of our new exhibition center, our longtime dream, I am delighted to back away from the helm of this still-growing museum, research center, and publisher and commit its future to our exceptional board of directors,
Fall 2019 13 C D capable new president and CEO Daniel Hammer, and valued staff members—my colleagues—who now number around 150 (a far cry from the 30 or so when I started). I thank all of you. My thanks also go to our donors—monetary supporters, givers of objects and collections, and volunteers of precious time.
And thank you to those who support The Collection by visiting the exhibitions, attending programs, shopping in The Shop, using the collections for research, and reading the Quarterly and other publications. I look forward to joining you in these roles. ALL of you have my undying admiration and gratitude! —PRISCILLA LAWRENCE E C. Lawrence became acting director of The Historic New Orleans Collection in 1998, executive director in 2000, and president and CEO in 2018.
D. During Lawrence’s tenure, the size of THNOC's staff—pictured here in March in the Brulatour courtyard—increased significantly. E. At Lawrence’s retirement party on June 25, the Williams Residence courtyard was renamed the Priscilla Lawrence Courtyard, and a proclamation from the City of New Orleans commemorated the occasion.
14 The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly IN MEMORIAM Johnnie Harrell It is with heavy hearts that the staff members of The Historic New Orleans Collection mourn the loss of Johnnie Harrell, who passed away on May 10, 2019, at the age of 80.
Harrell came out of retirement to join the maintenance team in September 2002 and quickly became a leader in the department and across the institution. He will long be remembered for his smile, joyful personality, sense of humor, impeccable dress, dependability, and dedication to his work, his family, his church community—and the Saints. “Johnnie was a people person,” said Geneva Brice, another longtime member of the maintenance staff. “There wasn’t anyone that he didn’t get along with.” Mentored by Larry Falgoust, The Collection’s master the ins and outs of the buildings and how to take care of them the right way,” said colleague Norris Grimes.
Johnnie was the heart of the maintenance department.” His expertise regarding THNOC properties and his concern for their care were unparalleled. According to Tyler Jones, facilities technician, the regular response to any building-related question was “Ask Johnnie.” Harrell’s direct communication style, always mixed with a little humor, was valued by all. “I liked his straightforward, no-nonsense approach,” said Grimes. When Harrell was training a new staff member on the endof-day closing procedures, he would often leave a door unlocked or a light on to test the trainee. “Johnnie was so meticulous in every aspect of his life, from the way he dressed to the manner in which he approached dayto-day tasks,” said Kathy Slimp Liebaert, manager of administrative services.
Born and raised in New Orleans, Harrell was a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School and studied at Xavier University of Louisiana. He worked for 30 years at the printing company Century Graphics. A devoted Baptist, Harrell tirelessly served his church, the First African Baptist Church, as chairman of the trustee board and as an active member of the choir. Harrell’s powerful baritone voice carpenter who retired in 2013, Harrell became a font of institutional knowledge, which he readily tapped in training new members of the maintenance team. “I knew that Johnnie would be a role model for the younger members of the department,” said Joan Holmes, maintenance supervisor and a close friend of Harrell’s, who recommended him for the position.
Johnnie taught me A B A. Harrell (left) in a Just Steppin’ second line parade December 15, 1991 by Michael P. Smith © The Historic New Orleans Collection, 2007.0103.1 B. Harrell dances in the 533 Royal Street courtyard during a 2004 reception.
Fall 2019 15 STAFF NEWS Changes Daniel Hammer is now president and CEO. Bentley James is now security dispatcher. Leidy Lemoine, manuscripts cataloger, left The Collection in June to pursue a degree in nursing. Lauren Noel, marketing associate, left The Collection in July for a new position at the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. Cora Noorda, executive assistant, retired in April. New Staff Maria Degtiarenko, photography assistant. Morgan Dowdy and Madison Hazen, visitor services assistants. Charlotte Jarreau, executive assistant. Keionna Jordan, Cornell Rucker, and Anthony Styles, maintenance assistants.
Brandon Gautier, Angela Larson, Jenna Lloyd, Michael Mae, John Shields, Lauren Tarentino, and Alexandra Tighe, volunteers. Emily Buttitta (Tulane University) and Timia Webb (KIPP Renaissance High School), summer interns in the education department. Erica Halpern (University of Illinois), spring/summer intern in records management. Andrew Cerise (Tulane University) and Sirine Dutot (École du Louvre), summer interns in the curatorial department. Awards Guidebooks to Sin: The Blue Books of Storyville, New Orleans, by Senior Librarian / Rare Books Curator Pamela D. Arceneaux, received the 34th annual Mary Ellen of education, presented “Grab a Brush! Collaborative Painting in Sensory-Friendly Programming” at the inaugural Museum Innovation Forum held in New Orleans in May.
Publications Alfred E. Lemmon, director of the Williams Research Center, published two articles in La Nouvelle-Orleans, 1718–2018 (Paris: Academie des sciences d’outre-mer, 2019). AAM Annual Meeting Learning Excursions In May, New Orleans hosted the 2019 American Alliance of Museums (AAM) annual meeting. Daniel Hammer served as co-chair of the Learning Excursions committee. He was assisted in this capacity by Amanda McFillen, associate director of museum programs, and Elizabeth Ogden, special projects coordinator. Together, they spearheaded an effort to broaden and diversify the pool of organizations offering excursions.
Their outreach resulted in nearly 30 excursions in the city and surrounding region, including three at THNOC. Curator Eric Seiferth, Head of Visitor Services Lori Boyer, and Curator of Education Jenny Schwartzberg organized these sessions, with the support of Lindsey Barnes, Malinda Blevins, Mary M. Garsaud, Rachel Gaudry, Andy Forester, Jennifer Ghabrial, Dale Gunnoe, John H. Lawrence, Alfred E. Lemmon, Kendric Perkins, and Anne Robichaux. Additionally, Ogden vetted applicants for AAM’s newly established local scholarship for emerging museum professionals and museum-focused students. LoPresti Scholarly Publication Award from the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA), given for excellence in art publication.
Art of the City: Postmodern to Post-Katrina, presented by The Helis Foundation, received two awards from the 2019 Southeastern Museums Conference Publications Competition. The exhibition campaign was awarded a gold medal in the Campaign category. The exhibition brochure received an honorable mention in the Gallery Guides category. In the Community Pamela D. Arceneaux attended the 30th annual Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration, where she presented a lecture was adored by the congregation—and by those THNOC colleagues who were lucky enough to hear him sing. Harrell was also a member of several second line clubs throughout his life, including Young Men Olympian Jr., the Jolly Bunch, the Social Steppers, and Just Steppin’.
Johnnie loved jazz,” said Holmes. As neighbors in Hollygrove, Holmes and Harrell and their spouses would regularly go to Club Gemini on Sunday afternoons to hear jazz. Harrell and his wife, Adrienne, lost their house in Hollygrove to Hurricane Katrina and eventually resettled in LaPlace, approximately 30 miles west of New Orleans. He commuted daily on Airline Highway, never by interstate, and was always the first to arrive at The Collection each morning, around 6 a.m.
Johnnie was always smiling, always laughing. He could find humor in all kinds of things,” said Slimp Liebaert. Chiding colleagues with nicknames he assigned them, Harrell loved to engage in playful banter. “And he loved his Saints,” said Slimp Liebaert. “He always came dressed in Saints gear on the Fridays before games.” His warm spirit and concern for others touched many lives. “Johnnie was a kind, loving person,” said Brice. “He was so easy to talk to. He always made you feel comfortable.” Harrell is survived by his wife of 29 years, two daughters—Marie Williams and Denise Brasley—two grandchildren, and six greatgrandchildren.
MARY M. GARSAUD on Guidebooks to Sin. In addition, Arceneaux makes a fanciful appearance in the 2018 children’s book The Mermaids of New Orleans, by Sally Asher and Melissa Vandiver. One of many local figures depicted, Arceneaux’s mermaid rides a streetcar reading—what else—a Storyville blue book. Editor Molly Reid Cleaver presented her master’s thesis on the storytelling of Danny Barker at two events, January’s Danny Barker Banjo and Guitar Festival and the annual conference of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music, held in New Orleans in March.
Rachel Gaudry, education coordinator, and Jenny Schwartzberg, curator
16 The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly In addition to student field trips, the education department develops programs for family groups and individuals with sensory needs. At our inaugural sensoryfriendly family day, cohosted with Preservation Hall, I designed a large paintby-numbers portrait of jazz musician Danny Barker. Guests came together to complete the portrait, creating a dynamic, collaborative work of art that celebrates a jazz legend as well as the artistic talents of the event participants.
Visual art is a powerful tool for young visitors, allowing them a space to use their imaginations and contribute their perspectives on historical events. By offering artistic opportunities, I hope to help students see themselves in the narratives we share at THNOC and build a lifelong appreciation of museums as places to explore, learn, and create. —RACHEL GAUDRY ON THE JOB Rachel Gaudry POSITION: Education coordinator, on staff since 2018 ASSIGNMENT: Use visual art to engage students with history Museums can be challenging places for young visitors. There are many rules, things that can’t be touched, and people and events that seem so long ago.
As education coordinator, my role is to create bridges connecting students to our exhibitions and collections. For each field trip group that visits THNOC, I try to design experiences that are informative, memorable, and—most important—personal. To do this, I infuse history with art. My background as a visual artist greatly influences how I approach informal education. I recently developed a program that explores the Chitimacha tribe of Louisiana and the importance of oral tradition. After presenting the culture and history of the Chitimacha, I read aloud “The Legend of Bayou Teche,” an ancient tribal story.
The legend, which features an epic battle between an enormous venomous snake and brave Chitimacha warriors, provides an origin story for the Bayou Teche waterway. Students are then invited to draw their interpretation of the legend. Through their illustrations, they demonstrate their understanding of the story and share their unique perspectives.
My favorite art activity to do with students is connected to Marc-Antoine A. Chitimacha warriors battle an enormous snake in one student’s interpretation of “The Legend of Bayou Teche.” B. Participants in the sensory-friendly family day paint a portrait of jazz legend Danny Barker. Caillot, a young man who came to Louisiana in 1729 to serve as a clerk for the French Company of the Indies. After returning to France in 1731, he documented his experiences in a book-length manuscript, which THNOC acquired in 2004. His fascination with local fauna is evident in his watercolor illustrations and vivid descriptions of unfamiliar creatures such as jellyfish, opossums, and skunks.
After introducing Caillot, I love to read his animal descriptions and ask students to draw what they think he is describing. It’s a great deal of fun! Most importantly, it helps them connect with a young man who lived in New Orleans nearly 300 years ago. A B
Fall 2019 17 “The French Quarter is one of the best neighborhoods in the nation. It needs stewards to keep it functioning as a neighborhood, which is when it’s at its best,” said Nick Detrich. This sentiment compelled the renowned bartender and restaurateur to select the French Quarter as the home for his two new restaurant/bars, Manolito and Jewel of the South, and provided an impetus for Detrich and his wife, Kate Benson, to become supporters of The Historic New Orleans Collection. Detrich and Benson are charter members of The Collection’s Caillot Circle, a membership group for young professionals, and they’ve generously provided specialty cocktails for Caillot Circle events and other THNOC events as well.
As members of this new group, it’s been fun navigating what people are interested in and what is going to resonate with other young professionals,” said Benson. “We feel a part of the future of The Historic New Orleans Collection.” A Dallas native, Benson earned a master’s degree in history from Tulane University—and when she secured her first job after school, she knew exactly which arts organization would receive her first donation. “I had always really enjoyed visiting The Collection, and when I finally had the means to support a nonprofit, I selected The Collection,” said Benson. After several years in the field of nonprofit finance, she is now working on opening a small wine shop specializing in natural wines and wines made by women or from companies run by women.
Detrich grew up near Bloomington, Indiana, and studied English at Indiana University. After college, he lived in a collective art gallery and worked as an independent show promoter, booking touring bands for different clubs nationally and internationally—a career that prepared him for his current endeavors. “Booking shows is very much about curating an experience, as is opening a restaurant,” said Detrich. Drawn to bartending by his love of stories and storytelling, he designed Manolito to honor traditional Cuban bartenders, cantineros. “The style of bartending in Cuba is texture and process driven rather than results driven, as in bars in the United States,” said Detrich.
Jewel of the South, meanwhile, is named after a mid-19th-century establishment on Gravier Street opened FOCUS ON PHILANTHROPY Kate Benson and Nick Detrich by Joseph Santini, an Italian immigrant who served as the bartender at the St. Charles Hotel for many years. In its decor and cocktail menu, Jewel of the South harks back to the golden age of bars in New Orleans, the 1850s and ’60s, which is earlier than the national golden age, the 1880s. “I’ve visited The Collection’s Williams Research Center when researching restaurant concepts,” said Detrich. “The holdings are a treasure trove.” Two history buffs with entrepreneurial spirits, Detrich and Benson met in 2010—at a bar, of course.
For their first date they attended a vegan food festival, as they were both vegans throughout their early adulthood. “About two weeks before our wedding, I started eating meat again,” said Detrich. The couple married in 2011 and resided for several years in the French Quarter. Although they now live in Algiers Point, they remain devoted to the city’s original neighborhood. Benson and Detrich recently participated in the opening festivities for The Collection’s new exhibition center, as both attendees and food and drink purveyors. “The exhibitions in the new center are among the most impressive exhibitions I’ve seen in New Orleans,” said Detrich.
I was blown away by the French Quarter Galleries,” said Benson. “The Collection is a very thoughtful organization operated by a vibrant group of people. It’s clear that much effort goes into making sure that things are done right.” —MARY M. GARSAUD
18 The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly Pat and Fred Smith, whose generous donation helped to initiate our capital campaign Eugenia Foster Adams Libby and Mark Adams Patrick M. Ahern Chris Alderman Dr. G. Jerome and Linda F. Alesi Robyn Andermann and Lance Paddock AOS Interior Environments Dr. and Mrs. Robert L. Applebaum Mrs. Paul L. Arceneaux Judith Arnette Barbara Arras Sally Asher Asociación Bernardo de Gálvez, Málaga Laura Avery Tiki L. Axelrod Clinton I. Bagley Carolyn Bain Judy Bajoie Craig Ball Sue Ann Balmer Beverly W. Barker and John B. McNamara Björn Bärnheim William Barry Jr.
Mary and Harold Bartholomew Laura Butler Bayon and Lucile Bayon Hume Laura Butler Bayon, Lucile Bayon Hume, and Ormonde Butler Landry Aimée and Michael Bell Dianne Bellas Jack Belsom Emanuel V. Benjamin III Patricia Benoit Myrna B. Bergeron Mr. and Mrs. Stephen J. Bernard Benay Bernstein Crystal Berry Jenny and Danny Bess Mr. and Mrs. Sydney J. Besthoff III Alvin Y. Bethard Drew Bevolo Lila and Ernest B. Beyer BH Purge 2 LLC Dr. and Mrs. Henry J. Bienert Jr.
Eric R. Bissel Black Gold Legacy Lydia Blackmore Rosalind Blackstar Foster Blair Casimier J. Blanda Renee Dent Blankenship Jessica and Wilson Blum Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bonner Jr. Isabelle and Lester Bourg Leslie Lambour Bouterie Dr. Regina and Randall Bracy Mrs. Philip Breitmeyer II The Honorable Peter Scott Bridges and Mary Jane Bridges Margaret Brown Gay B. Browning Patrick M. Burke Mr. and Mrs. Frank Burnside Cynthia F. and Edward C. Bush Amelia M. and Neil C. Cagle Cahn Family Foundation Inc. Leslie and William Capo Marian F. Cardinale Colleen and Randy Carmichael Diane Laizer Carney Suzanne Carper Margaret and James D.
Carriere Annamarie and David Carroll Karen N. Carroll J. Donald Celentano Rodolphe Chamonal Lindsay Chapman Mr. and Mrs. Judson R. Chase Edmund H. Christy Sarah Churney Rosemary Ciaccio Kathryn A. Clark and Daniel J. Rich Loretta Capdevielle Clark Stephen W. Clayton Joanne and Dick Cole Janie and Chet Coles Colloqate Design Blanche M. Comiskey Janet D. Conover Elizabeth and Lynton G. Cook Melissa Perrett Cook Avery Corenswet Shirley Trusty Corey Julie and Roger Cornwell Phyllis Lawton Cosentino Christine Costley Mark Cotten Jessica Cristina Angela Crowder Rita Curry-Pittman Kari Dahl W. Page Dame III Danbury Railway Museum Dr.
Anna Davis Jan E. Davis Linda Dawson Kathleen de Armas The Decorative Arts Trust Dr. Richard Deichmann De Lamaze family Gary G. de Leaumont Pat Dennehey Sandy and Hayden S. Dent Suellen de Russy Maureen Reed Detweiler Diana Helis Henry and Adrienne Helis Malvin Art Funds of The Helis Foundation Carlisa Dicosola Suzanne DiMaggio Isabelle Dissard-Cooper Ronald Domin DONORS April–June 2019 The Historic New Orleans Collection is honored to recognize and thank the following individuals and organizations for their financial and material donations.
Mary L. Dougherty and Craig W. Murray Judith and Jeffrey Doussan Elizabeth Downing Margaret M. Dziedzic and James Marunowski Dr. Jay D. Edwards Gary Eldredge Mr. and Mrs. Stanley E. Ellington Jr. Candyce T.Eoff and Richard D. Kelly Estate of Mary Louise Christovich Patricia Everton Sonny Faggart Dr. Ina J. Fandrich Jeffrey Faughnan and Bill Rosenbaum Blaire Fernandez and Mike Katz Sheila Ferran Natalie Fielding Tim L. Fields Sevilla W. Finley Marlive E. Fitzpatrick Carol and Mike Fitzwilliam Helen Flammer and Raúl Fonte Charlotte Fontenot Danny Ford Mr. and Mrs. William H. Forman Jr.
and Richard W. Freeman Jr. Fran Friedman Mr. and Mrs. Richard S. Friedman Cynthia and Dominique Frizzell Dr. Phillip F. Fuselier and Anthony Terranova Jackson R. Galloway Jacqueline F. Gamble Anne M. and Richard Garrett Dr. Gavin M. Gassen Mitchell Gaudet Lisa and Charles Gelé Tabatha George and Charlie Marts Mr. and Mrs. John T. Gibbs Shirley and Allen “A. J.” Gibbs Ann and George Dale Gibson Jan Gilbert and Kevin McCaffrey Dr. Henry Wade Giles Jr. Madeline R. and Clave E. Gill Dr. Janet Gillard and Mark H. Ellis Michael Godzinski Lucille M. Golden Cindy L. Gomez Lori and Philip Gordillo Bill Grady Della Graham Rob Grier Ashley G.
Griffon Emma Gross Joan Guccione Amy L. and Jeff Gui Kim and George Haddow Thomas George Halko Tonja Hall Herb Hamilton Dr. William and Suzanne Hammel Melanie Hanley Mr. and Mrs. Harry S. Hardin III Julie M. Hardin and Gabrielle Lafon Kathy Harrell Odom B. Heebe Jr. Nita Hemeter Polly and Dan Henderson Maclyn Le Bourgeois Hickey Earl J. Higgins Dodge Hobson and H. Ivens Robinson Cindy Hogan April Holthaus Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Holzheimer Robert F. Hopper Kevin Horne Susan K. Hoskins Alvin Hotard Terry Hunt and Dick Molpus Rob Hunter Jean S. Hyman Iberdrola Elizabeth C. Ingram Amy A. Jacobs Elizabeth Ogden Janke Julie and Drew Jardine Nadejda D.
Jenkins Rosalind Jenkins and Peter A. Wilson Jr.
Jenny Johnson Family Foundation Inc. Beverly Guidry Jiménez Jean Johnson and Chip DeWitt Jenny Johnson and Susanne Scovern Esther H. Jordan Vaughn M. Jordan JPMorgan Chase and Company Jeanne and Mark Juneau Krista Jurisich Dr. Margie Kahn and David Graham Courtney M. Kane John R. Kattengell Keil’s Antiques Inc. Elizabeth H. Killeen