The Historic New Orleans Quarterly Vol. XXXII Number 4

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The Historic New Orleans Quarterly Vol. XXXII Number 4
The Historic New Orleans
Collection Quarterly
VOLUME X X XII
N U M B ER 4
FA L L 2 0 15
R OLL AND GOLD EN: Art of Recovery
EV ENT C A L ENDA R
E XHIBITIONS & TOURS
CONCER T S IN THE CO UR T YAR D
All exhibitions are free unless noted otherwise.
The fall concert series will feature Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue (September),
Banu Gibson (October), and Little Freddie King (November).
CURRENT
Fridays, September 18, October 16, and November 20, 6–8 p.m.; doors open at 5:30 p.m.
533 Royal Street
$10 admission; free for THNOC members
S CREENING OF ALL THE KING’ S MEN
Join us for a free screening of this 1949 classic as part of our programming for the
exhibition From Winnfield to Washington: The Life and Career of Huey P. Long. One of
the show’s curators, Amanda McFillen, will introduce the film.
Saturday, September 19, 2–4 p.m.
Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres Street
Free
From Winnfield to Washington: The Life and
Career of Huey P. Long
Through October 11, 2015
Williams Gallery, 533 Royal Street
It’s Only Natural: Flora and Fauna in Louisiana
Decorative Arts
Through November 28, 2015
Boyd Cruise Gallery, 410 Chartres Street
Curators will lead walk-throughs of the exhibition
every Tuesday, noon–1 p.m., through November 24.
Join photographer David G. Spielman for a fascinating discussion about THNOC’s latest
title, The Katrina Decade: Images of an Altered City. Lunch will be provided. All participants
are expected to have read the book prior to the meeting.
The Katrina Decade: Images of an Altered City
Through January 9, 2016
Laura Simon Nelson Galleries,
400 Chartres Street
Friday, September 25, and Saturday, September 26, noon–2 p.m.
533 Royal Street
$15 for those who register before September 19, $25 for those who register September 19 or
later. Registration is required. Please call (504) 523-4662 or email [email protected]
Rolland Golden’s Hurricane Katrina Series:
A Selection
Through January 16, 2016
Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres Street
FINE PRINT B O OK CLUB SE SSIONS
TE X TILE D O CUMENTARY S CREENING
Coton Jaune—Acadian Brown Cotton: A Cajun Love Story documents the history of
handspun Acadian cotton blankets and the women who made them. After the screening,
the filmmakers and other scholars will lead a discussion of Acadian weaving traditions.
Saturday, October 17, 9:30 a.m.–noon
Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres Street
Free; reservations are recommended; please contact [email protected] or (504) 523-4662.
LE S COMÉ D IENS FR ANÇ AIS LEC TURE
In commemoration of Louis XIV on the 300th anniversary of his death, this annual event
will take the form of a musical journey honoring the Sun King. Narrated by THNOC curator
Howard Margot, the concert will feature musicians Daniel Lelchuk, Joseph Meyer, Jaren
Philleo of Lyrica Baroque, and harpsichordist Pierre Queval.
Monday, November 16, 6–7:30 p.m.
Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres Street
Free; reservations are required; please call (504) 523-4662.
LEC TURE AND B O O K SIGNING
Nicholas J. Meis will discuss his book New Orleans Hurricanes from the Start, coauthored
with David F. Bastian, which examines the development and effects of major storms
throughout New Orleans history. This event is being presented in conjunction with the
exhibition The Katrina Decade: Images of an Altered City.
Saturday, November 21, 2–4 p.m.
533 Royal Street
Free
PERMANENT
Louisiana History Galleries
533 Royal Street
Tuesday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Sunday, 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
The Williams Residence Tour
THNOC Architectural 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 per person
Groups of eight or more should call (504) 598-7145
for reservations or visit www.hnoc.org.
UP COMING
An Architect and His City: Henry Howard’s
New Orleans, 1837–1884
November 18, 2015–April 3, 2016
Williams Gallery, 533 Royal Street
At Home and at War: New Orleans, 1914–1919
December 9, 2015–May 7, 2016
Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres Street
GENER AL HO UR S
533 Royal Street Williams Gallery, Louisiana History Galleries, Shop, and Tours
Tuesday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sunday, 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
400 and 410 Chartres Street Williams Research Center, Boyd Cruise Gallery, and Laura Simon Nelson Galleries
Tuesday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
D The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly
ON THE COVER:
The Spirit Returns
2007; acrylic on canvas
by Rolland Golden, painter
The Historic New Orleans Collection,
acquisition made possible by the Diana Helis
Henry Art Fund of The Helis Foundation,
2008.0109.11; joint ownership with the New
Orleans Museum of Art, the Sydney and Walda
Besthoff Fund, 2007.113.10
CONTENTS
O N V I E W/ 2
Two exhibitions chronicle the aftermath of
Hurricane Katrina in different ways.
FROM THE DIR ECTOR
An Architect and His City sketches a
portrait of New Orleans during the highs
and lows of the mid-19th century.
Off-Site
One of the great things about working at a place like The Collection is our variety of
activity. Exhibitions close and events come and go, but the horizon is always full with
new content and fresh ideas. In July we said goodbye to one of our most affecting
exhibitions, Purchased Lives: New Orleans and the Domestic Slave Trade, 1808–1865.
The show garnered critical acclaim, national-news coverage, and our third-highest
attendance total ever. More than 1,000 visitors came to see it in its final weekend alone,
and the comments we received in the exhibition guest book were truly humbling.
As we said goodbye to Purchased Lives, though, we were busy preparing for three new
exhibitions that opened in late summer. Two of them deal with Hurricane Katrina and
its aftermath, one through the documentary photographs of David G. Spielman. The
other features paintings by artist Rolland Golden that we acquired after the storm with
assistance from The Helis Foundation. And, for the first time ever, we mounted a decorative arts exhibition in conjunction with our annual New Orleans Antiques Forum. It’s
Only Natural: Flora and Fauna in Louisiana Decorative Arts marks the first multidisciplinary decorative arts show drawn entirely from our own collections, as well as the first
exhibition by our curator of decorative arts, Lydia Blackmore. The Antiques Forum
sold out completely, and we always enjoy bringing together such excellent speakers with
an enthusiastic audience.
Though we create a steady stream of events, exhibitions, and publications, some
parts of our operation are simply irreplaceable. At the end of June we said goodbye to
Senior Curator/Historian John T. Magill, who, in addition to serving as resident expert
on myriad aspects of New Orleans history, formed a huge part of our institutional
memory. I wish John an excellent retirement and thank him on behalf of the entire staff
for being an invaluable colleague and friend for so many years. —PRISCILLA LAWRENCE
E DUC AT ION/ 7
A suite of new lesson plans connects New
Orleans to its Spanish heritage.
R E SOU RC E S/8
THNOC to launch a new digital collection
of needlework textiles.
C O M M U N I T Y / 10
On the Job
Staff News
Recently Retired
Become a Member
On the Scene
Focus on Philanthropy
Donors
A C Q U I S I T I O N S / 18 Acquisition Spotlight: an 18th-century
manuscript exposes France’s contingency
plans for Quebec.
Recent Additions
ON V IEW
Disaster Response
E X HIB ITI O N
The Katrina Decade: Images
of an Altered City
Two shows at The Collection capture artistic and documentary views of
the 2005 levee breaches’ aftermath.
Through January 9, 2016
Laura Simon Nelson Galleries,
400 Chartres Street
As New Orleans and the Gulf region observed, in August, the 10th anniversary of
Hurricane Katrina and the floods that followed, The Collection mounted two exhibitions that examine the aftermath of the disaster in strikingly different ways. The Katrina
Decade: Images of an Altered City features stark black-and-white photographs, by David
G. Spielman, of houses, lots, and structures affected by the storm. Rolland Golden’s
Hurricane Katrina Series: A Selection presents colorful, expressive artworks from one of
the region’s most acclaimed contemporary painters. Whereas Spielman strives for objectivity and verisimilitude in his images, Golden’s paintings mine the teeming pathos and
vulnerability of the city as it struggled to recover.
“They’re both based on observation, but David’s work is, certainly by perception
and by his own statements, designed to be neutral,” said John H. Lawrence, director of
museum programs. “Rolland Golden’s pictures put you in the scene, as it were. Golden
was almost like a painting machine following Hurricane Katrina. The subject and the
Free
E X HIB ITI O N
Rolland Golden’s Hurricane
Katrina Series: A Selection
Through January 16, 2016
Williams Research Center,
410 Chartres Street
Free
A
B
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The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly
D
C
recording of his feelings about it are just an incredible expression of his energy as an
artist and his feelings about what happened.”
The Katrina Decade grew out of Spielman’s book of the same name, which
THNOC published in July, and the Golden paintings’ acquisition was made possible
by the Diana Helis Henry Art Fund of The Helis Foundation. THNOC shares joint
ownership of the works with the New Orleans Museum of Art. One of the paintings was a gift to the two institutions from the artist. Together, the two exhibitions
represent the duality of recovery, one experienced by many residents as they worked
to resolve myriad practical problems while carrying heavy emotional burdens.
“What [Spielman’s] images can tell us is that although a tremendous amount of
recovery has happened in the last 10 years, there is still a lot to go,” Lawrence said.
“With Golden’s work, people can react to them in a very wide range of feelings and
emotions.” —MOLLY REID
A. Elysian Fields, Land of the Gods
2006; acrylic on canvas
by Rolland Golden, painter
acquisition made possible by the Diana Helis
Henry Art Fund of The Helis Foundation,
2008.0109.5; joint ownership with the New
Orleans Museum of Art, the Sydney and Walda
Besthoff Fund, 2007.113.5
B. Death by Drowning
2007; oil on canvas
by Rolland Golden, painter
gift of Mr. and Mrs. Rolland Golden,
2008.0109.14; joint ownership with the New
Orleans Museum of Art, 2007.119
C. West Bank, 2014
photograph
by David G. Spielman
2015.0225.13
D. Seventh Ward, 2011
photograph
by David G. Spielman
2015.0225.17
E. Helicopter Hands
2006; acrylic on canvas
by Rolland Golden, painter
acquisition made possible by the Diana Helis
Henry Art Fund of The Helis Foundation,
2008.0109.8; joint ownership with the New
Orleans Museum of Art, the Sydney and Walda
Besthoff Fund, 2007.113.8
E
Fall 2015 3
ON V IEW
Growing Up Together
In An Architect and His City, THNOC traces the development of Henry Howard’s
career alongside the bustling expansion of New Orleans during the 19th century.
A
E XHIB ITI ON
An Architect and His City: Henry
Howard’s New Orleans, 1837–1884
November 18, 2015–April 3, 2016
Williams Gallery, 533 Royal Street
Free
NE W FR OM THNO C
Henry Howard: Louisiana’s Architect
by Robert S. Brantley with Victor
McGee; photographs by Robert S.
Brantley and Jan White Brantley
The Historic New Orleans Collection
and Princeton Architectural Press, 2015
$60, hardcover, 8.9 × 12 inches, 352
pages, 330 color images
ISBN: 978-1-61689-278-4
Now available at The Shop at
The Collection, www.hnoc.org/shop,
and local booksellers
4
The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly
One of the 19th century’s most prolific architects, Henry Howard (1818–1884)—designer
of iconic buildings such as the Pontalba buildings flanking Jackson Square and the plantations Madewood and Nottoway—called New Orleans home for nearly 50 years. During
this time, the Irish native established his career, left an indelible mark on the landscape of
Louisiana, and witnessed the growth of one of America’s greatest cities. The Historic New
Orleans Collection will examine New Orleans as experienced by Howard in its upcoming
exhibition An Architect and His City: Henry Howard’s New Orleans, 1837–1884, which
opens November 18 at THNOC’s Williams Gallery.
When Howard arrived in New Orleans in 1837, the city was the third-largest in America
and facing an economic crisis and a yellow fever epidemic. Over the next several decades,
from the boom of the antebellum years through the upheaval of the Civil War and
Reconstruction, Howard’s fortunes paralleled those of his city.
“Howard’s career coincided with a period of great change for both New Orleans and the
design profession in which he worked,” explained John H. Lawrence, director of museum
programs. “You have the consolidation of New Orleans’s various municipalities occurring
in 1852. From 1836 until 1852, there was a single mayor but three different councils, one
for each municipality. After consolidation, there was only one council.”
The city also grew, with the upriver annexations of the City of Lafayette, Jefferson City,
Carrollton, and across the river to Algiers. With such an increase in size, the city provided
plenty of opportunities for builders and designers. One section of the exhibition will
display tools of Howard’s trade, such as building manuals and design guides. Howard was
one of the first professionals to operate solely in the arena of design, rather than serving
as contractor as well as architect. As Lawrence explained, at that time, “the profession of
architect as we understand it today was only just coming into being in the United States.”
A. Canal Street, north side [700 block] (detail)
1873; architectural elevation
by Marie Adrien Persac, delineator
1958.78.1.6
B. St. Charles Hotel
1850; pencil and watercolor
bequest of Boyd Cruise and Harold Schilke,
1989.79.344
C. Lafayette Square, New Orleans, Louisiana
between 1825 and 1899; wood engraving
gift of Harold Schilke and Boyd Cruise, 1959.159.1
D. The Cotton Exchange
1873; wood engraving
by John William Orr, draftsman
1974.25.3.204
B
A companion to the new book Henry Howard: Louisiana’s Architect (THNOC and
Princeton Architectural Press, 2015), this exhibition will give special consideration to
the city’s architecture, urban growth, and municipal improvements. Featured items
will include maps, rare books, and manuscripts, as well as contemporary photographs
by Robert S. Brantley, the architectural photographer and author of the newly released
Howard book. —TERESA DEVLIN
C
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Fall 2015 5
ON V IEW
OFF -SITE
The Portage’s Progress
The following are holdings that have appeared outside The Collection, either
on loan to other institutions or reproduced in noteworthy media projects.
Louis McFaul selected 13 THNOC images for an
exhibition tracing the history of the Carondelet
Canal, which replaced New Orleans’s founding portage route from the bayou to the river.
The canal was filled in by the mid-1930s. The
Pitot House is mounting the show, which runs
through mid-October 2015, to commemorate
the in-progress Lafitte Greenway, a bicycle and
pedestrian path on the former site of the canal.
Spanish Fort bath house
1923; photograph
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
The Charles L. Franck Studio Collection at The
Historic New Orleans Collection, 1979.325.6367
Author Carol McMichael Reese will include six images from THNOC’s Charles L. Franck Studio Collection
in her book Longue Vue House and Gardens: The Architecture, Interiors, and Gardens of New Orleans’ Most
Celebrated Estate (Skira, 2015), to be released this November.
Dillard University refectory
photograph
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
The Charles L. Franck Studio Collection at The
Historic New Orleans Collection, 1979.325.1923
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The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly
The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) and
Louisiana State Museum borrowed one work
from The Collection for the exhibition Pierre
Joseph Landry: Patriot, Planter, Sculptor, on view
at NOMA October 16, 2015–March 20, 2016.
Seaman’s Allegory
ca. 1834; carved wood
by Pierre Joseph Landry, sculptor
1950.34
Operating room in Flint-Goodridge Hospital
1932; photograph
by Charles L. Franck Photographers
The Charles L. Franck Studio Collection at The
Historic New Orleans Collection, 1979.325.1033
Bruce E. Baker and Barbara Hahn reproduced
four THNOC images for their book The Cotton
Kings: Capitalism and Corruption in Turn-of-theCentury New York and New Orleans (Oxford
University Press, 2015), due out this October.
By Dawn’s Early Light: Jewish Contributions to
American Culture from the Nation’s Founding
to the Civil War, an upcoming exhibition at the
Princeton University Art Museum, will feature
three objects from THNOC’s holdings. The
show will be on view February 12–June 5, 2016,
in Princeton, New Jersey.
Steamboat loaded with cotton
from The Picayune’s Guide to New Orleans
New Orleans: Picayune Job Print, 1904
97-381-RL
Locket with photo of Louis Moreau Gottschalk
(detail)
between 1867 and 1869
1979.144.1
E DUC AT ION
Tracing the Spanish Tinge
For the ninth year, THNOC and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra are working
together to connect educators and students to Louisiana’s musical history.
This past February, the ninth installment of Musical Louisiana: America’s Cultural
Heritage, The Collection’s annual concert series with the Louisiana Philharmonic
Orchestra, investigated the centuries-old musical and cultural connections between New
Orleans, Spain, and Spanish-speaking places in the Americas. Following the concert,
the education departments of THNOC and LPO began the work of turning the concert
material into resources for teachers and students, something they have done since Musical
Louisiana’s inception in 2007. Taking inspiration from the detailed program notes, written by Williams Research Center Director Alfred E. Lemmon, as well as from the music
itself, the two institutions produced a two-part bundle of lessons that “examine New
Orleans and the Spanish world through different disciplines, with music, history, and
culture creating an enriching opportunity for experiential learning and listening,” said
THNOC Curator of Education Daphne L. Derven.
Geared toward seventh- to ninth-grade students—though easily adaptable to other
levels—the “New Orleans and the Spanish World” lessons, six in all, offer different
points of entry for educators based on the dominant subject matter: some of the lessons
are more music-focused, whereas others are more applicable to social studies and history
classes. Regardless, all the lessons are designed for flexible use, so that a music teacher can
feel confident using the more history-focused plan, and vice versa.
THNOC’s contribution examines the history of Louisiana as a former Spanish colony
and New Orleans’s relationship with its neighbors in the Americas. In creating LPO’s
portion of the guide, Amanda Wuerstlin, director of education and community engagement for LPO, drew from the music performed
at the concert. In the lesson focusing on Hector
Berlioz’s Roman Carnival, students are directed
to create a “listening map” that diagrams the
piece’s many changes in mood, tempo, instrumentation, and dynamics. The lesson involving
“El Choclo (Tango Criollo)” by Ángel Villoldo
teaches students to recognize and perform the
distinctive habanera rhythmic pattern.
The lesson plans are available on the education pages of THNOC’s and LPO’s websites,
and their release coincided with the start
of the fall semester, giving teachers time to
incorporate the material into their curricula.
In addition, an educator workshop scheduled
for Saturday, October 3, at the Wdilliams
Research Center will allow THNOC and LPO
to share their lessons with area educators in
greater detail. —ERIC SEIFERTH
A
A. Mexican Music
1889; sheet music
Junius Hart, publisher
86-1724-RL
B. The Tango
ca. 1947; watercolor-on-paper float design
by Alice Peak Reiss, designer
gift of School of Design, 1996.67.12
B
Fall 2015 7
R ESOURCES
Points of Interest
Forthcoming digital collection of needlework images includes the oldest known
sampler in Louisiana history.
A
A. Sampler (detail)
1815; embroidery
by Pauline Fortier Sarpy
gift of the Leon Sarpy family, 2004.0030
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The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly
Scholars, collectors, and fans of women’s textile arts will soon have the ability to study,
from the comfort of their homes, The Historic New Orleans Collection’s rich variety of
needlework samplers, landscapes, and figure compositions, collected primarily by THNOC
cofounder Leila Williams between 1935 and 1965. A group of more than 40 needlework
pieces, dating from the 18th through early 20th centuries and including the earliest known
Louisiana sampler still in existence, has recently been digitized, and the images will be
made publicly available on THNOC’s website.
Needlework presents special challenges for
digitizing. “People need to be able to see individual stitches and the details,” said Melissa
Carrier, the THNOC photographer who
digitized the majority of the collection, “so you
have to get it just right.” Those who think of
embroidery as essentially a two-dimensional art
are mistaken: one mixed-media piece—a favorite
of both Carrier and of Decorative Arts Curator
Lydia Blackmore, who initiated the digitization project—boasts nubbly three-dimensional
tree trunks and leafy branches, fashioned from
chenille, which rise an inch above a landscape
featuring two figures rendered in stitches and
watercolor on silk. The figures gaze upon a paper
cupid attached to the silk. “It’s like a shadowbox,” Carrier said of the early-19th-century piece.
“It’s ahead of its time.”
The three-dimensional pastoral scene, like
many works in the collection, sits in a frame
under glass and cannot be scanned but must be
photographed in situ. “Shooting through glass is
hard,” said Carrier, who used a Hasselblad H4D
camera. “Glass has warps, bubbles, scratches,
shadows, and reflections,” which obscure the fine
stitches crucial to understanding and appreciating needlework. Many pieces are too large to
capture in one photograph, and Carrier was sometimes required to take and merge as many
as four images.
“Most of these works were made to be framed,” Blackmore explained. “The frame and
the embroidery are one object—you can’t separate them.” The pieces are usually anonymous, and curators can only guess where and when a work was made based on its subject
and style. “We need to have pictures of the back, too,” Blackmore said. “Most of these are
likely in their original frames. Sometimes there are notes about the title or shop [where it
was sold]—or sometimes wallpaper or newspaper on the back—that tell more about its past
than we can tell from the front.”
The earliest known sampler made in Louisiana is neither framed nor anonymous: the
artist helpfully stitched her name, the date, and her age: Pauline Fortier (later Sarpy), at the
Convent of New Orleans, December 8, 1815, age 10 years. Created as part of her education
at the Ursuline Convent School, the sampler was discovered folded up in a family armoire.
B. Pastoral scene with chenille trees
between 1800 and 1830; embroidery
The L. Kemper and Leila Moore Williams Founders
Collection, 1973.31
C. Children at play
mid-19th century; embroidery
The L. Kemper and Leila Moore Williams Founders
Collection, 1973.70
B
Birds, keys, and other subjects typical of samplers share the field with items more specific to
her convent education: a ladder, an incense burner, altars, and a cross.
While the pieces in Leila Williams’s collection tend to be representative of the genre—
florals, pastoral scenes, and allegorical figures—Blackmore said she found herself drawn to
those more out of the ordinary, such as a mid-19th-century interior
scene in which two girls tickle a sleeping boy’s nose with a feather.
A rendition of a curious abstract painting, atypical for its era, hangs
on the wall above the children and invites the viewer to wonder
what it depicts.
Carrier enjoyed working with the mixed-media pieces, both for
their aesthetic qualities and for the challenge they presented. “The
hard ones were fun, like figuring out a puzzle,” she said. The most
difficult piece to digitize was an allegorical scene with four women
dressed from different centuries. “The thread is so fine,” Carrier
explained. “I had to get the camera really close to get things like the
cheekbones and the jewelry, the detail of the sandals. The woman
is breastfeeding, maybe? I had to go back and do it again—I wasn’t
happy the first time.”
A needlepoint depiction of a beggar, created in 19th-century
New Orleans, presented a 21st-century problem: the thick worsted
wool used to create the stitches resulted in squares that behave like
pixels when the image is rendered digitally. The result was a disruptive moiré pattern in the image. The solution was to take several
photographs at very close range and merge them.
The embroidery project was “different from what I’m accustomed
to shooting,” Carrier said, pulling up an elaborate 19th-century
landscape on her monitor. “Look at the texture. Someone went to
all that trouble to make the side of a cliff—you want people to be
able to appreciate all that work.” —THNOC STAFF
C
Fall 2015 9
COMMUNIT Y
ON THE JOB
Amanda McFillen
POSITION: Associate director of museum programs, on staff since 2007
ASSIGNMENT: Co-curate the exhibition From Winnfield to Washington: The Life and Career of
Huey P. Long
A. Bloody Sunday—Sept. 8, 1935
February 14, 1994; ink cartoon
by Preston Allen “Pap” Dean
The Anna Wynne Watt and Michael D.
Wynne Jr. Collection, 2013.0027.2.172
B. Revolver belonging to George McQuiston
steel, wood
The Anna Wynne Watt and Michael D.
Wynne Jr. Collection, 2013.0310.2.2
C. “Long Shot, Assailant Slain”
from the New Orleans Times-Picayune
September 7, 1975; facsimile reproduction of
September 9, 1935, edition
The Anna Wynne Watt and Michael D.
Wynne Jr. Collection, 2013.0027.2.163
As someone who loves our region’s history,
I enjoy my role as associate director of
museum programs, because I continually
learn more about the people, places, and
events that shaped New Orleans and the
Gulf South. My role includes exhibition
A
10 The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly
and programming work: I help organize
our annual Williams Research Center
Symposium, film screenings, lectures, field
trips, book signings, and more, and I also
help curate exhibitions from time to time.
This past year I had the chance to
work on the exhibition From Winnfield to
Washington: The Life and Career of Huey P.
Long with my two fellow curators, John H.
Lawrence, director of museum programs,
and Matt Farah, museum programs
assistant. First we decided how we would
organize the exhibition as a team. Since we
knew we wanted to focus on Huey Long’s
life from childhood through his death, and
not just on his 17-year political career, we
divided the exhibition into three sections.
John curated the section on Long’s early
life, Matt covered his political career, and
I curated the part that dealt with his death
and legacy.
I began researching and surveying our
holdings to see what kinds of material—
objects, photographs, paper ephemera—we
had related to Long. Thanks to recent
donations, we have some wonderful new
material, such as a great candid photograph
of Long sitting in the amphitheater of his
S TAFF NE WS
beloved Louisiana State
University, and a revolver
and suit jacket that belonged
to Long’s bodyguard George McQuiston.
We borrowed several items from Tulane
University, the University of New Orleans,
and Louisiana State University, including
a Share the Wealth Society enrollment
card and a handwritten death threat. I also
contacted the WPA Film Library and was
able to obtain four short newsreel clips that
feature Long at various public events. I’m
happy that we were able to feature these
clips in the exhibition because he was a very
powerful speaker, and it’s easy to see why
people were drawn to him and why he was
so successful in gathering public support.
Once John, Matt, and I had chosen
our objects for the exhibition, we worked
with our registration and preparation
departments to design the installation
and coordinate the movement of artifacts
within the museum. The preparation
department uses software that allows us
to create 3-D models of our galleries and
our objects so that we can work together to
plan the layout well in advance.
Once our text panels were written we
sent them to editors in our publications
department to be reviewed. The most
important qualities that we want in our
written text are accuracy, brevity, and
consistency in style. Our editors reviewed
the labels and gave us feedback, and we
worked together until the text panels
and labels were ready to be printed for
the exhibition.
Finally, once the exhibition was
mounted, John, Matt, and I met with our
docent staff to walk through the exhibition
and answer any questions they had about
the objects in the show. The docents begin
learning about each exhibition long before
it opens to the public, so that they are very
familiar with the topic and able to answer
any question a visitor might have.
New Staff
Christopher L. Deris, associate
preparator. Dale Gunnoe, head
preparator. Karyn Murphy, development associate. Jenny Schwartzberg,
education coordinator. Heather M.
Szafran, reference assistant. Eric
Tallman, security manager.
B
I also planned
programming for
the general public
that related to the
exhibition. On July
12 we screened the
documentary 61 Bullets, which explores
the circumstances and aftermath of Long’s
death, and held a panel discussion with
the filmmaker, Yvonne Boudreaux, as well
as two of the film interviewees, Michael
Wynne and Alecia Long. On September 19
we’ll screen the 1949 classic based on Long’s
career, All the King’s Men.
From Winnfield to Washington will be on
display through October 11, and I hope
you can come to The Historic New Orleans
Collection to see it. Creating an exhibition
goes far beyond the work of a curator, or
curators. It’s truly a team effort. —AMANDA
Changes
Susan Eberle is now collections
processor. Matt Farah is now
museum programs assistant.
Robert R. Gates III is now associate
preparator. Kara B. LeBeouf is
now associate preparator.
Publications
Erin M. Greenwald published a
review of Brett Rushforth’s Bonds
of Alliance: Indigenous and Atlantic
Slaveries in New France in Louisiana
History 56.2 (spring 2015).
Robert Ticknor, reference assistant,
has taken up responsibility for writing
the history feature in French Quarterly
magazine. For years, the articles were
written by Senior Curator/Historian
John T. Magill, who recently retired.
MCFILLEN
Honors
In May 2015, Lauren Noel, marketing associate, earned a master of arts
degree in English, with a concentration in professional writing, from the
University of New Orleans
C
Listening on the Edge: Oral History
in the Aftermath of Crisis (Oxford
University Press, 2014), co-edited by
Senior Curator/Oral Historian
Mark Cave and Stephen Sloan of
Baylor University, was awarded the
Oral History Association’s 2015
Book Award. Cave wrote the introduction, as well as a chapter related
to The Collection’s oral history efforts
following Hurricane Katrina.
Fall 2015 11
COMMUNIT Y
a bachelor’s degree in 1969, he pursued a
master’s degree, also at UNO. Magill credits
Professor Joseph Tregle for encouraging him
to study New Orleans history.
“I’ve always loved the histories of cities,”
he said. “From the time I was a kid, I loved
the history of San Francisco and other
major cities like London and New York,
as well as Honolulu, where my great-aunt
lived, and Auckland, New Zealand, where
my mother was from. What interested
me about New Orleans was not its overall
history but how it grew and developed.”
Magill’s longtime colleague and friend
Pamela D. Arceneaux, senior librarian/
rare-books curator, elaborated on Magill’s
fascination with the development of urban
infrastructure: “John has a real interest in
sewerage, paving, drainage—you know, the
yucky, unglamorous stuff—how buildings
are built, how they are serviced, the develRECENTLY RE TIRE D
opment of electricity, the transferral from
kerosene lamps to gas to electric power.”
Magill was hired as a curatorial cataloger
For the past 30 years, “Ask John Magill” has by The Historic New Orleans Collection
been the default response among THNOC
in 1982, specializing in the cataloging of
staff members to queries about New
photographs. Because of his familiarity with
Orleans history. “John’s vast knowledge and the urban development of the city, as well
instant recall of much of the city’s history
as a burgeoning interest in fashion history,
is matched only by the wide range of his
he became adept at identifying the dates
interests: urban history, population moveof photographs by sight. At his retirement
ments and census counts, city infrastructure party, Judith H. Bonner, senior curator,
(both above and below ground), the growth reminisced about this distinctive skill: “If
of retailing, neighborhood development,
I showed a photo to John and said, ‘This
Mardi Gras, plagues, and disasters, to cite
street scene is dated 1916,’ he would say,
just a few,” said John H. Lawrence, director ‘No, that can’t be 1916; the air-conditioning
of museum programs. So, when the staff
unit didn’t go on top of that building
bid a happy retirement to Magill in June, it
until 1917.’”
was with gratitude for his many years as an
From his first days at THNOC, Magill
invaluable resource to both the public and
immersed himself in The Collection’s
his colleagues.
holdings. “There was no such thing as a
Born in New Orleans, Magill was raised
computer when I arrived here; we barely
in California. When his father retired from
had a card catalog,” he said. “I’d play
the United States Navy, the family moved
guessing games with the photography
back to New Orleans in the early 1960s,
holdings: could I identify the picture withand Magill entered business school at the
out looking at the back? And progressively
University of New Orleans (then LSUNO).
I became more knowledgeable about our
“I wanted to go into advertising, but I strug- curatorial holdings.”
gled in my business courses,” Magill recalled.
Magill’s colleagues and the larger
“My advisor pointed out, ‘You do really well community quickly came to appreciate
in these history courses, of which you’re
this knowledge. “Sharing what he knows
taking too many.’ So, I dropped out of busi- is one of John’s most admirable qualities,”
ness and went into history.” After receiving
Lawrence said. “His sharing has occurred
John T. Magill
12 The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly
throughout his THNOC career, in gallery
talks; television, radio, and internet appearances; book clubs; professional meetings;
and almost every other type of gathering
that brings people together for the appreciation of Louisiana’s history.”
As Magill rose through the ranks—from
cataloger, to head of the Williams Research
Center’s Reading Room, to senior curator/
historian—he built lasting friendships with
his colleagues. “I don’t know anyone who
doesn’t like John,” said Arceneaux. Maclyn
Le Bourgeois Hickey, curatorial conservation coordinator, remembers her first
encounter with Magill fondly: “The day I
met John Magill, July 21, 1987, is the day he
became my friend, and so he remains.”
Magill’s retirement promises to be filled
with academic and personal enrichment. He
will continue to serve as a researcher for the
Carnival organization Mystick Club and
will become the historian for a local social
club. He has several writing projects in the
works and one dream book project: a history
of New Orleans from 1880 into the 1930s.
“I feel that is when the New Orleans that
we know today was really evolving,” he said.
His colleagues have plans for him as well:
“His daily presence at The Historic New
Orleans Collection will be sorely missed,”
said Erin M. Greenwald, curator/historian.
“I wish him the best of luck in this next
phase of life and look forward to a continued friendship punctuated by long lunches
at local restaurants.” —MARY M. GARSAUD
John T. Magill and longtime colleague Pamela D.
Arceneaux, senior librarian / rare-books curator, clink
glasses at Magill’s retirement party in June.
Participants in the New Orleans Antiques Forum’s preconference tour explored the picturesque Hilaire Lancon House, located on Bayou Teche in Franklin, Louisiana.
MEMB ER SHIP LE VEL S
Founder Individual $35
Founder Family
$65 Full membership benefits
Family memberships are for one or two
adults and any children under 18 all residing
in a single household, or for one member
and a guest.
Merieult Society
$100
Full membership benefits plus:
• a special gift
Mahalia Society
$250
Full membership benefits plus:
• a special gift
• private, guided tours (by appointment)
Become a Member
B ENEFIT S OF MEMB ER SHIP
All members of The Collection enjoy the following benefits for one full year:
• complimentary admission to all permanent tours and rotating exhibitions
• special invitations to events, trips, receptions, and exhibition previews
• complimentary admission to the Concerts in the Courtyard series
• a 10 percent discount at The Shop at The Collection
• a subscription to The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly
HOW TO JOIN
Visit www.hnoc.org and click the Support Us link or complete the enclosed envelope and return
it with your gift.
Jackson Society
$500
Full membership benefits plus:
• a special gift
• private, guided tours (by appointment)
• free admission to all evening lectures
Laussat Society
$1,000
Full membership benefits plus:
• a special gift
• private, guided tours (by appointment)
• free admission to all evening lectures
• invitation to annual gala
Bienville Circle
$5,000
Full membership benefits plus:
• a special gift
• private, guided tours (by appointment)
• free admission to all evening lectures
• invitation to annual gala
• lunch with the executive director
Jack Pruitt, Janine Skerry,
and Tom Savage at
the 2015 New Orleans
Antiques Forum
NOR TH AMERI C AN RECIPRO C AL MUSEUM PRO GR AM
Members of the Merieult, Mahalia, Jackson, and Laussat Societies and the Bienville Circle receive
reciprocal benefits at other leading museums through the North American Reciprocal Museum (NARM)
program. These benefits include free member admission, discounts on concert and lecture tickets, and
discounts at the shops of participating museums. Visit www.narmassociation.org for more information.
Fall 2015 13
COMMUNIT Y
A
B
I
Henry Howard Launch
C
D
ON THE S CENE
On June 9, The Collection celebrated the release of
Henry Howard: Louisiana’s Architect, copublished
with Princeton Architectural Press.
I. Dorothy Ball and author/photographer Robert S.
Brantley
J. John Adcock, Mercedes Montagnes, Robin
Riedlinger, and Tootsie Burk
Forum Fans and
Heralding Howard
K. Will Widmer and Jeanne Firth
L. Tana Coman, John Menszer, and M. L. Eichhorn
Antiques Forum
Over four days in late July/early August, decorative arts lovers gathered for the 2015 New Orleans
Antiques Forum.
E
A. Anne and Ron Pincus
B. Paul Leaman and Marilyn Dittmann
C. Hunt Slonem and Annette Blaugrund
C
D. Ellen Denker and Bradley Brooks
E. Nanette Shapiro and Neal Alford
F. Beth Carver Wees, Michelle Erickson, and Rob
Hunter
G. Keil Moss, Andrée Moss, and Ceil and Tom
McGehee
J
F
H. Katie McKinney, Jennifer Rebuck, Caryne
Eskridge, Hannah Boettcher, and Philippe Halbert
14 The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly
G
K
H
L
FO CUS ON PHIL ANTHROPY
Jeanne Williams
Jeanne Williams’s family tree is like a
magnificent live oak, one she’s explored
with tireless curiosity and prideful ownership. She knows, for instance, that her
ancestor Louis de la Ronde accompanied
Iberville on his 1699 voyage up the mouth
of the Mississippi River—it says so in
Iberville’s own journal from the expedition.
In the parlor of her uptown New Orleans
home are impressionist paintings by her
great-great-aunts, Emilie and Marie de
Hoâ LeBlanc, who were among the first
Newcomb Pottery artists and whose faces
and hands were immortalized in plaster by
Ellsworth or William Woodward (only the
signature “Woodward” is inscribed on the
back). In The Collection’s Counting House
hang the two oldest known portraits of
French colonists in Louisiana history, her
relatives Pierre Denis and Marie Madeleine
Broutin de la Ronde. Williams’s love of
family and history suffuses her work, home,
and recreation; she sees herself as a bearer
of the knowledge gathered and preserved by
previous generations.
“Learning my roots, for me it’s a very
visceral thing,” Williams said. “I feel
attached to the earth, I feel that history, and
I think it’s my purpose to carry that on.”
Williams’s affection for history and
genealogy started in childhood. One of
14 children—she’s number seven—she
was born in New Orleans and grew up
primarily in the Carrollton neighborhood.
Her paternal grandmother, Fabiola Pilié,
lived one block away, and she was a font of
genealogical knowledge. “I grew up with the
history of my family,” Williams said. “My
grandmother would share stories with me,
and I absolutely loved it.”
Pilié gave her children carefully
researched family trees, written out in a
tabular format with generations extending
left to right. There, one can see the names
of Ignace Broutin, who came to Louisiana
in 1725 as a royal surveyor and designed
the original Ursuline Convent, and Pierre
Denis de la Ronde, fils, one of the signers of
Louisiana’s first constitution.
Williams’s pride in the de la Ronde branch
of the family led to a formative experience following her graduation from Loyola
University, where she majored in history
and education. Knowing that she wanted to
become fluent in French, she decided to learn
the language in the country itself, in the
town of her de la Ronde ancestors, Tours. She
arrived with little more than “the name of a
school where foreigners could learn French,”
and, after staying in a hostel for a while, met
an older couple, Jean and Ginette Blanc,
who, though extremely formal in manner,
instantly felt like family. “From the first
moment, it was a match made in heaven,”
said Williams, who still keeps in touch with
Jean, as Ginette has passed on.
The experience prompted Williams to
become a tour guide when she returned to
New Orleans. “I came from Europe really
wanting to learn more about my city and
state,” she said.
Her love of history abided through the
busy years of getting married, moving to
Hawaii, Washington, DC, and back home
to New Orleans, and raising four children—
Emilie, 34, Conrad, 33, Courtney, 29, and
David, 27, all of whom she discusses with
the same excitement and pride she has for
her forebears. Williams has been and is still
active in many historical and literary organizations, including the Daughters of 1812,
which has commemorated the Battle of New
Orleans with a wreath-laying ceremony for
over a century, most recently this January,
with British diplomats in tow for the 200th
anniversary of the battle. “I was one of the
youngest when I joined [the Daughters],
but I loved it because I love learning,” she
said. “Every meeting I went to, I’d learn
something about my family history or New
Orleans history.”
Williams brought her zeal for learning to The Collection when she became
a volunteer, in 2006. Common Routes: St.
Domingue–Louisiana was her first exhibition, and she quickly fell in love with
the institution. “I love working with The
Collection,” she said. “The people are
wonderful. They do everything first class,
and they are exceptionally good stewards of
everything they have responsibility for.”
“History is a series of links in a chain,” she
said. “It’s important that someone in each
generation makes sure that the chain isn’t
broken.” —MOLLY REID
Plaster casts of Williams’s great-great-aunts, Newcomb artists Emilie and Marie de Hoâ LeBlanc
Fall 2015 15
COMMUNIT Y
D ONOR S
April–June 2015
The Historic New Orleans Collection is honored to recognize and
thank the following individuals and organizations for their financial
and material donations.
Jane Adams
Jackie Brice
Marie Louise de la Vergne
Samson Alexander
Dr. Andrea Starrett Brown
Susan B. Deckert
Anonymous
Elizabeth and Kemper Williams
Brown
Patricia C. Denechaud
Dr. E. Ramon Arango
Pamela D. Arceneaux
Jeanne M. Ardoin
Geraldine P. Aucoin
Jacqueline Provosty Avegno
Tiki and Arthur J. Axelrod
Jenny Bagert and Dave Sobel
Clinton Bagley
Karan Bailey
Judy Bajoie
Baptist Community Ministries
Björn Bärnheim
Jeanette and Robert Barras
Baskerville
Lawrence E. Batiste
Joan W. and Roland Becnel
Deena S. Bedigian
Judge Peter Beer
Col. and Mrs. Joseph Bekeris
Aimée and Michael Bell
Marjorie P. Belou
Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel V.
Benjamin III
Susan and Stephen Bensinger
Myrna B. Bergeron
Cheryl M. and Dixon B. Betz
Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Beyer
Kellie Martin Bieber
Christopher G. Bird
Eric R. Bissel
Stanley Blackstone
C. J. Blanda
Drs. Erin Boh and Corky Willhite
Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bonner Jr.
Alice Robichaux Bonneval
William E. Borah
Isabelle and Lester Bourg
Angela Bowlin
Nina Bozak
Mrs. Philip Breitmeyer II
Mr. and Mrs. Robert N. Bruce Jr.
Kathleen L. and Richard A.
Derbes
Frances M. and John M. Bruton
Ana-Maria C. Dobrescu
Tootsie Burk
Linda Donnels
Mike Cafferata and Mark Monte
Nancy Donnes
Amelia M. and Neil C. Cagle
Judith S. and Jeffrey R. Doussan
Cahn Family Foundation Inc.
Elizabeth A. Drescher
Donna Kay Campbell
Shirley G. Cannon
Margaret M. Dziedzic and James
Marunowski
M. Nell Carmichael
Garrity Print Solutions, A Harvey
Company
Hotel Monteleone
Karen Walk Geisert and Gene
Geisert
Mr. and Mrs. R. Andrew Jardine
Patricia and Jeremy Gelbwaks
Melissa A. Gibbs
Jean M. and James H. Gibert
George D. Gibson
Henry W. Giles Jr.
Virginia C. Goodwin and Tim
Gilbride
Judge and Mrs. Henley A. Hunter
Michael S. Jones
George E. Jordan
Madeline and David Jorgensen
Peter Colt Josephs
Jeanne and Mark Juneau
Evie M. and A. Keith Katz
Dr. Nina M. Kelly
Mr. and Mrs. Pat Gootee
Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Killeen
Priscilla and Nathan Gordon
Nancy Kirkeby
Marianne Green
Kristine Kolva-Bartleson
Janice Donaldson Grijns
Ronald G. Kottemann
James Emile Guercio
Corine Kuehlthau
Dr. and Mrs. Valentine Earhart
Russell B. Guerin
Carole and George Kulman
Marilyn D. Carriere
J. Peter Eaves
Dr. and Mrs. Frank A. Hall
Jenny and Barry L. LaCour
Charles Case and Phillip St.
Cloud
Bernard E. Eble III
Rhonda S. Hall
Jon G. Laiche
Mr. and Mrs. Robert D. Edwards
Steven Halpern
Nora Nolan Lambert
Louise N. Ewin
Dr. and Mrs. William Hammel
Elizabeth M. and James C. Landis
Deborah Fagan
Margot E. Hammond
Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Langley
Rodolphe Chamonal
Sonny Faggart
Mrs. Roger P. Hanahan
Heidi and Samuel Charters
Col. and Mrs. Walter G. Fahr
Rebecca and Wayne Hanley
Dr. Margot C. LaPointe and
Roger Zauel
Chris Christian and Rick Ellis
Kay Fallon
Mrs. William K. Christovich
Dr. Ina J. Fandrich
Ronald Harrell and M. Christian
Mounger
Sarah Churney
Jean M. Farnsworth
Rosemary Ciaccio
Michael Fedor
Jerald L. Clark
Sheila Ferran
Mrs. John F. Clark III
Susan Clements
Dr. Terrance “Terry” and Merle
Fippinger
College of DuPage
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Fitzpatrick
Gary Hendershott
Linda and Martin Colvill
Helen Flammer and Raúl Fonte
Polly and Dan Henderson
Mr. and Mrs. James P. Conner
Mr. and Mrs. Harold Jude
Flanagan
The Herman and Seena Lubcher
Charitable Foundation Inc.
Joanna and Carl Foltz
Mr. and Mrs. John H. Hernandez
Maison Dupuy
Dr. R. Fortier-Bensen and Sylvia
Bensen
Kevin Herridge
Mamsie and John Manard
Judith Talbot Heumann
Mr. and Mrs. Barry M. Fox
Dr. Donald R. Hickey
Drs. Jamie M. Manders and
James M. Riopelle
Earl J. Higgins
Angela Crowder
Fred W. Smith National Library
for the Study of George
Washington
Dave Crowley
Gregg J. Frelinger
Dr. and Mrs. Gregor Hoffman
Nora Marsh and Julian Doerr
Mutter
Dr. Sammy R. Danna
Dr. Phillip F. Fuselier
Nancy A. Hogarth
Kimball P. Marshall, PhD
Joe Darby
Laura Fussell
Mona H. Hollier
Edward F. Martin
Dr. A. C. Davis
Jackson R. Galloway
Lanier L. Hosford
James A. McAlister
Jan E. Davis
Betsie Gambel
Susan K. Hoskins
Gretchen McAlpine
Eileen M. Day and Alan J. Cutlec
Lesa Gamble
Hotel Management of New
Orleans
C. James McCarthy III
Cesar A. Castillo
Janice and John Catledge
Colleen M. Coogan
Donna Capelle Cook and Tony
S. Cook
William C. Cook
Asta V. Cotonio
Mr. and Mrs. Ralph C. Cox Jr.
16 The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly
John H. Lawrence
Elsie L. Layton
Martha Harris and Morgan Lyons
Mr. and Mrs. Clyde H. LeBlanc
James Harvey
Lorraine LeBlanc
Cameron Hatch
Pierre LeBrument
Capt. Clarke C. Hawley
Lili LeGardeur
Sam Hazell
Justice Harry T. Lemmon and
Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon
History Antiques and Interiors
Henri M. Louapre
Dr. J. Bruce Lowe
Cynthia C. Lucas
Howard M. Margot
Donald M. Marquis
Celia and Colin L. McCormick
Brooke Randolph
Sticking Up For Children
Tribute Gifts
Drs. Georgia McDonald and
Andy Mayer
Sherman Raphael
Elizabeth Stout
Lenora Costa Stout
Dr. Graham J. McDougall Jr.
Adrienne Mouledoux Rasmus
and Ronald C. Rasmus
Tribute gifts are given in memory or in honor
of a loved one.
Deborah Rebuck
Jenepher Stowell
Ceil and Thomas C. McGehee
Bank of New Orleans in memory of Lissa Christine Capo
Adrian McGrath
Leslee K. Reed
Mary Lee Sweat
Adelaide W. Benjamin in memory of Elizabeth Nicholson Fischer
Robert E. McWhirter
Dr. and Mrs. Richard J. Reed
Frances Swigart
Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bonner Jr. in memory of Lissa Christine Capo
Virginia B. Meislahn
William Reese
Jim Tapley
Marcie duQuesnay, Ralph Cox, and Members of Bourgeois
Bennett LLC in memory of Elizabeth Nicholson Fischer
Evelyn Merz and John Berlinghoff
Dr. James L. Reynolds
Milling Benson Woodward LLP
Dr. Frederick A. and Suzanne
Rhodes III
Jennifer A. Mitchel and Scott M.
Ratterree
Nijme Rinaldi
Dick Molpus
Robert E. Rintz
Elizabeth P. Moran
Carolyn and Louis N. Ritten
Matthew B. Moreland and
Marshall C. Watson Jr.
Florence Robinson
Mary Martin Morrill
Ruth S. Rosenthal
Cynthia D. Morris and Thomas
R. Klei
Dr. Marianne and Sheldon L.
Rosenzweig
Roxanne Mouton
Royal Antiques Ltd.
Dr. Gordon H. Mueller
Virginia Dare Rufin
Lilian and John E. Mullane
Eva Rumpf
Patricia Murphy
Marilyn S. Rusovich
Craig W. Murray
Mr. and Mrs. Shelby Russ Jr.
Patricia Mysza and Alan
Freedman
Elizabeth H. and John H. Ryan
Katherine B. Nachod
Neal Auction Company Inc.
The New Orleans Advocate
Cynthia L. Nobles
Teri and Randy Noel
Phoebe O’Brien
William W. Rosen
Sylvia Ryan
Gordon Sandrock
Mary Satterlee
Alvin Schaut
Juliane Deare Schexnayder
Dianne Schlosser
Mr. and Mrs. William M. Tebow
Patrick Thibodeaux
Sheryl L. Thompson
W. Howard Thompson
Mr. and Mrs. James W. Thornton
Sandra Douglas Campbell in memory of James R. “Reggie”
Campbell
David N. Capo in memory of Lissa Christine Capo
Jaimee Carreras in memory of Lissa Christine Capo
Lawrence J. Torres Jr.
Center for the Study of the Black Belt, the University of West
Alabama, in honor of Kevin T. Harrell, PhD
Maria Michele Triche and Richard
Bretz
Deborah C. Conery in memory of Elizabeth Nicholson Fischer
Julia Triplehorn
Wade Trosclair
Mr. and Mrs. John J. Uhl
Mary Ann Valentino
Joseph Bayer Vella
Julie Vezinot
Mary Vicroy and Pat Whelan
Colette D. Villere-Ford
Audrey Voelker
Eleonora B. Vogt
Carl M. Corbin Jr. in memory of Elizabeth Nicholson Fischer
Debbie and Rick Courtney in memory of Lissa Christine Capo
Claudia J. D’Aquin in memory of Lissa Christine Capo
Margo Delaughter in honor of Jennifer Navarre
Coaina and Tommy Delbert in memory of Lissa Christine Capo
Terry and Mike Fontham in memory of Lissa Christine Capo
Linda, George, and Paul Hebbler in memory of Lissa Christine Capo
Lanier L. Hosford in memory of Elizabeth Nicholson Fischer
Claudia K. Kheel in honor of Mallory Taylor and John H. Lawrence
Chad Leingang in memory of Lissa Christine Capo
William E. Wadsworth
LSU Health Science Center Foundation in memory of Lissa
Christine Capo
Dolores J. Walker
LSUHSC School of Medicine in memory of Lissa Christine Capo
Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Ward
Dominic Massa in memory of Lissa Christine Capo
Dr. William W. Waring
Emily McCulloch in memory of Lissa Christine Capo
Leo Watermeier
Elfriede S. Westbrook
Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Moerschbaecher III in memory of Lissa
Christine Capo
Josette and Brad White
Frances N. Salvaggio in memory of Lissa Christine Capo
Mr. and Mrs. Michael R. O’Keefe
Florence and Richard
Schornstein
Dr. Joseph F. O’Neil
Jane Schramel
Walter H. White III
Leslie D. Schroth in memory of Lissa Christine Capo
Martin B. Oramous
Lisa Schwartzberg
Dwayne Whitley
William Solomon in honor of James and Carolyn Solomon
Carol Osborne
Betty-Carol Sellen
Catherine A. Whitney
Shyrlene and Michael Oubre
Naif Shahady
Marylyn Geiser Wiginton
St. Charles Ave. Association’s board members in memory of Lissa
Christine Capo
Mary Kay and Gray S. Parker
Annelies J. Sheehan
Frank Williams
Robert H. Staton in honor of Judith H. Bonner
Mrs. Godfrey Parkerson
Dr. Alan E. and Joan Sheen
Jason Williams
Effie M. Stockton in memory of Elizabeth Nicholson Fischer
Patrick F. Taylor Foundation
Mr. and Mrs. Barry J. Siegel
Noël B. Williams
Dr. Gene F. Pawlick
Leatrice S. Siegel
Shelly Wills
Lucile and Harry Trueblood in memory of Elizabeth Nicholson
Fischer
Donald Payne
Lindy and Jon Silverman
Mr. and Mrs. Donald E. Wilson
Chadwick Pellerin
Kate Simister
Edie and John M. Wilson
Judy D. and Sidney L. Pellissier
Norma and Bob Simms
Nancy T. and Charles C. Wilson
Robert S. Perkin
Dr. Vaughan Baker Simpson
Dr. James M. Winford Jr.
Dr. William J. and Joan R. Perret
Diana Smith
Dr. and Mrs. William J. Woessner
Ashton Phelps Jr.
Gayle B. Smith
Nancy G. Wogan
Capt. Robert Phillips and Juan
Barona
Patricia and Edwin Soulier
Jack Hamilton Working
Southern Foodways Alliance
Toni Wright
Judith and Frank S. Pons
E. Alexandra Stafford and
Raymond M. Rathlé Jr.
Melody Young and Steven D.
Martin
Demetrius Porche
Harriet and Norm Stafford
Darlette and William Powell
Tom Stagg
Karen L. Puente
Howard C. Stanley
Linda and Corky Pugh
Dennis Stark
Phyllis Raabe and William T.
Abbott
Anne D. and Richard B. Stephens
Carlton Polk
Officers and directors of the Whitney Bank in memory of Elizabeth
Nicholson Fischer
Bookplates
Donations are used to purchase books that will be
marked with a commemorative bookplate.
Mrs. William K. Christovich in memory of Richard J. “Dick”
Brennan Sr.—Louisiana Eats! The People, the Food, and Their
Stories, by Poppy Tooker (Gretna: Pelican, 2013)
Mrs. William K. Christovich in memory of Frances Collens Curtis—
Old Limoges: Haviland Porcelain Design and Décor, 1845–1865, by
Barbara Wood and Robert Doares (Atglen, PA: Schiffer, 2005)
Mrs. William K. Christovich in memory of Mary S. Fitzpatrick—New
Orleans, Days and Nights in the Dreamy City: Locals Share Their
Favorite Places, by Mary Fitzpatrick and Virginia McCollam (New
Orleans: Preservation Resource Center, 2013)
Clare B. and John A. Stewart Jr.
Fall 2015 17
ACQU ISIT IONS
Related Holdings
ACQ UISITION SP OTLIGHT
When France Was Down, a Scheme
to Move Quebec South
Quebec, Fur Trapping
between 1860 and 1899; wood engraving
by Alfred Rudolph Waud, draftsman
1977.137.18.410 i,ii
Pierre Clément de Laussat Papers
1693–1835; manuscript collection
MSS 125
Carte Du Canada et de la Louisiane Qui Forment
la Nouvelle France et des Colonies Angloises
1756; engraving with watercolor
by Jean Baptiste Nolin Jr., publisher
1982.18
Villars Family Papers
1668–1934; manuscript collection
95-3-L
Acts of the Royal French Administration
concerning Louisiana
1717–1771; manuscript collection
MSS 268
18 The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly
Essai sur les moyens de transporter à la
Louisiane la Peuplade du Canada . . . .
2014.0352
In 1758, things were not going well for
France’s colonial enterprise in Canada:
halfway through the French and Indian
War, she had already lost Acadia (Nova
Scotia) to the British and, in spite of
recording an important military victory
that year at Ticonderoga, had good reason
to fear further territorial losses. This
40-page manuscript essay documents the
little-known historical fact that the French,
guarding against the possibility that they
might lose their Canadian colony altogether, had a contingency plan for moving
the entire French Canadian population south into both the upper (Illinois
Country) and lower (Mississippi Delta)
provinces of Louisiana. The two known
variants of this manuscript are both in the
French National Archives: one 10-page
version and one similar in length to The
Collection’s. The unsigned author, likely
a minister or other high official at court,
stresses in his arguments the considerable
size of the French Canadian population: the
1739 census had counted 39,683 inhabitants,
a number that he estimated to have risen
to well over 53,000 by 1758. (By contrast,
the population of Louisiana did not reach
48,000 until 1795.)
The author notes with pride how the
relatively small French Canadian population had held out so long against the British,
with their standing army of 10,000 men and
North American population of at least one
million—these were colonists worth saving!
Nevertheless, the document provides clear
evidence that the French feared the loss of
their stake in Canada. These fears and more
were realized in 1763 when France, having
already ceded Louisiana to Spain, was forced
to cede all of Canada to Great Britain.
The author viewed the migration of the
Quebecois as necessary to prevent British
expansion westward; provide needed agricultural products; and expand commerce and
preserve the beaver-pelt trade. The author
RECENT AD D ITIONS
Louisiana Purchase Announcement,
Bicycle Songs, and Merieult’s Trade Woes
acknowledges that authorities will have to
persuade inhabitants to leave their homes
by appealing to their patriotism and their
distaste for English customs and religion,
and by extolling the advantages of living
in a milder climate with greater agricultural opportunities. According to the plan,
the Canadians would be offered a large
number of inducements to move south,
including generous land grants, complete
freedom of trade with Indians, exemption from taxes and fees, the rescinding of
certain trade monopolies, and the permission to sell Louisiana tobacco in France. In
the most surprising incentive mentioned in
the document, colonists would have been
able to form deliberative assemblies to
ensure equitable distribution of their privileges, with a special deputy at court who
would voice their opinions and complaints
to the Minister of the Navy. This arrangement would have given them a much more
fair and democratic existence than any of
their brethren in France at that time could
have hoped for.
Compelling as this document is in its
broad strokes, it is often most fascinating in its details: the lament that France
spent five million pounds a year importing
tobacco from Holland and England; the
admission that French sea captains charged
double the going rate to transport slaves
to the New World; and the suggestion—
clearly unsubstantiated—that silkworms,
cochineals, and camels would all thrive
in the Louisiana climate. Several of the
observations on flora and fauna—not all
of them chimeric—match almost verbatim reports made by French Louisiana
officials to the new French intendant,
Pierre-Clément de Laussat, more than 40
years later. Did these clichés originate with
the early French naturalists and writers of
travel memoirs, then make their way to
Laussat’s era via retransmission in documents like this one? —HOWARD MARGOT
Despite the gravity of the news related in
this broadside, there was still space available
in the lower right corner for three Baltimore
merchants to promote their wares.
Broadsides printed on large sheets of
paper were meant to disseminate information quickly, were intended for wide
distribution, and were soon discarded.
These ephemeral announcements rarely
survived past their immediate release,
and no other extant copies of this one are
known. —PAMELA D. ARCENEAUX
Carta de las Costas de . . . el Golfo
de Mexico
2014.0250
Telegraphe Extraordinary
2014.0039
This rare Spanish admiralty chart of the
Gulf Coast dates to 1846. The extent of the
map runs from the old province of Nuevo
Santander, in northern Mexico, along the
northern coast of the Gulf of Mexico to
St. Joseph’s Peninsula in northern Florida.
Despite its publication date, the engraving itself must have been completed prior
to the United States’ annexation of Texas,
in December 1845, because “Republica de
Texas” appears in the northwest corner of
the map.
The longitude and latitude of the entire
northern Gulf Coast is used to delineate
the various bays and rivers detailed in the
engraving. Bays from the northern Gulf
Coast of modern-day Mexico and southern
Texas—Corpus Christi, Matagorda, and
Galveston—are included, along with a
The Telegraphe, a newspaper published in
Baltimore between 1795 and 1807, issued
a special broadside extra on Saturday
morning, October 22, 1803. Less than 48
hours earlier, the United States Senate had
formally approved the Louisiana Purchase
Treaty, immediately doubling the size of
the young nation as well as obtaining the
strategically important port city of New
Orleans. This recently acquired special issue
is likely the second printing of the momentous news, preceded only by the printing
of the treaty in the capital city’s leading
newspaper, the National Intelligencer, and
Washington Advertiser, on October 21.
Entitled Telegraphe Extraordinary,
the broadside states, “Yesterday at about
5 o’clock, P. M. the Senate ratified the
LOUISIANA TREATY; twenty four votes
in the affirmative, and seven in the negative. . . . We congratulate our fellow-citizens
on the prompt approbation given by the
Senate to this important act.” The full text
of the treaty follows, giving the names of
its architects, Robert R. Livingston, James
Monroe, and François Barbé-Marbois.
Fall 2015 19
depiction of the Rio Grande delta. In and
around Louisiana, the chart shows details of
the Sabine River and its delta, as well as the
Mississippi River from Natchez to the delta
below New Orleans.
The map includes depth soundings,
coded by water color and clarity, throughout the portion of the gulf shown, but the
majority cluster around the Louisiana,
Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida coasts.
The soundings surrounding the Mississippi
River delta and Mobile and Pensacola Bays
must have been especially helpful to seamen
navigating those waters. —MATT FARAH
Bicycle Sheet Music
2015.0159
praised the healthful pleasures and independence of bicycle riding. The cyclist’s life, as
depicted in “The Wheelman’s Song,” is “one
unfading spring /Green and blooming till
its close.”
One of the recently acquired pieces, “The
Bicycle March” (2015.0159.4), written by
Laurent L. Comes in 1892, is “respectfully dedicated to the New Orleans Bicycle
Club.” The club, organized in the 1880s,
had more than 80 members in 1892, when
it built a clubhouse at the corner of Baronne
and General Taylor Streets. The event
was important enough that Mayor Joseph
Shakspeare came and laid the cornerstone
for the building, and the dedication ceremony was written up in the Daily Picayune.
It seems likely that the sheet music was
produced to commemorate that event. This
acquisition complements The Collection’s
scrapbook from the Louisiana Cycling Club
(98-62-L), a different bicycling group in
New Orleans active around the same time.
was seized, her private cargo, a shipment
of cochineal dye—red pigment derived
The development of the bicycle in the
from insects—was allowed to remain in
second half of the 19th century had a
Merieult’s possession, provided he deposit in
profound impact on the society and culture
the city treasury a promissory note equal to
of those pre-automobile decades. Providing
the dye’s value. Unfortunately, the tropical
a healthy and enjoyable way to exercise, not
climate—and a considerable delay between
to mention a relatively inexpensive method
—ROBERT TICKNOR
the time of the property’s seizure and that of
of transportation, bicycles prompted the
its release—caused much of the perishable
growth of a subculture of enthusiasts, called Jean-Francois Merieult Petition to the
cargo to spoil and lose more than half its
wheelmen, who organized rides, held races, Duke of Santa Fe Regarding Business
value. Hoping to find a more favorable trade
and formed cycling clubs. During this time, Losses
environment in a neutral European port,
before the advent of radio, sheet music
2014.0289
Merieult subsequently shipped the remainwas a common means of bringing popular
ing cochineal dye to Hamburg. When a
song into the American home. The recent
While traveling in France in 1808, promisecond ship, the Tanner, made the return
acquisition of 18 pieces of bicycle-themed
nent New Orleans merchant and slave
trip to Vera Cruz, the new Spanish viceroy,
sheet music shows how the two trends
trader Jean François Merieult (1756–1818),
Félix Berenguer de Marquina, illegally
merged for a short time around the turn
for whom The Historic New Orleans
seized its cargo, the contents of which are
of the century. With titles such as “The
Collection’s Merieult House was built,
not specified in Merieult’s letter.
Pretty Little Scorcher” and “The Crackajack met the Duke of Santa Fe, Miguel José de
Traveling first to Madrid and then to
March and Two Step,” these songs often
Arzana (1745–1826), a former viceroy of
Paris in search of restitution, Merieult
New Spain who was then serving as Spanish contended he was the victim of unfair
ambassador, based in Paris. Two years later, trade practices and government corrupMerieult wrote to Arzana to seek his aid
tion. Spanish officials, feeling Merieult had
in securing reparation for financial losses
already profited handsomely, quickly tired
sustained while attempting to ship goods
of his pleas for additional relief, yet Merieult
through the port of Vera Cruz.
struggled for years to convince foreign offiMerieult and his business partners had
cials to compensate him for his losses.
been responsible for the shipment to Havana
Merieult’s letter to the duke complements
of $150,000 in government funds aboard
other related holdings, including his certifithe brigantine Martha. The vessel departed cate of citizenship (2008.0100.29), a legal
Vera Cruz but, in order to evade a British
statement he gave at the US Consulate in
blockade, took refuge in the Mississippi
Paris (2008.0100.26), and an illustration by
River, where Juan Ventura Morales, intenBoyd Cruise of the Merieult House, which
dant of New Orleans, ordered the currency
serves as The Collection’s Royal Street
to be offloaded and deposited in the city
entrance (2004.0078.2.4). —M. L. EICHHORN
coffers. While the Martha’s public cargo
20 The Historic New Orleans Collection Quarterly
The Historic New Orleans
Collection Quarterly
Dar Pelgar (detail)
1878; needlework
by Rosa Klock
gift of the Director’s Residence,
Tower Grove Park, 2010.0228
EDITOR
Molly Reid
DIRECTOR OF PUBLICATIONS
Jessica Dorman
HEAD OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Keely Merritt
ART DIRECTION
Alison Cody Design
The Historic New Orleans Collection is a
nonprofit institution dedicated to preserving
the distinctive history and culture of New
Orleans and the Gulf South. Founded in
1966 through the Kemper and Leila Williams
Foundation, The Collection operates as a
museum, research center, and publisher in
the heart of the French Quarter.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Mrs. William K. Christovich, Chair
Drew Jardine, President
John Kallenborn, Vice President
John E. Walker
E. Alexandra Stafford
Hilton S. Bell
Bonnie Boyd
Fred M. Smith, Emeritus and
Immediate Past President
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Priscilla Lawrence
533 Royal Street & 410 Chartres Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
(504) 523-4662
www.hnoc.org | [email protected]
ISSN 0886-2109
©2015 The Historic New Orleans Collection
Fall 2015 21
Kemper and Leila Williams Foundation
Nonprofit
Organization
U.S. Postage
PA ID
533 Royal Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
A D D R E SS SER V I C E R EQ U E S T ED
FROM THE SHOP
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mineral oil and beeswax for a smooth finish.
C
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