This fascinating show explores the 100-year history and cultural significance of African-American women in masking as Baby Dolls during Mardi Gras.
Dating to about 1912 among women working in city's red-light districts, the Baby Doll tradition both embraced and mocked stereotypes of women as "babies" or "dolls" in popular culture, especially in Ragtime hit songs like Pretty Baby (1912) and Oh, You Beautiful Doll (1911). Early groups paraded in scandalously short satin dresses, stockings with garters and frilly baby bonnets. The costumes and high-strutting dance steps survive today as the tradition has passed to a new generation of African-American women and become a cherished highlight of the New Orleans Carnival.
They Call Me Baby Doll: A Mardi Gras Tradition features historic photographs, costumes and artifacts, including many items loaned by baby doll members. Guest curators are Kim Marie Vaz, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Xavier University and author of The Baby Dolls (LSU Press), and Millisia White, founder and artistic director of the Baby Doll Ladies.
Exhibit Location: Presbytere Exhibit Runtime: Through January, 2014
The Palm, the Pine, and the Cypress Newcomb Pottery of New Orleans
The Palm, the Pine, the Cypress and the abundant tropical flowers of the Gulf Coast, form the subjects of the unique decorations of the Pottery. Its design and color, its translucent glaze and workman-like finish give this handicraft place among the highest artistic achievements of American Ceramics.
-- Newspaper Advertisement, 1917
Founded in 1896 with a mission to train and employ young women as professional artists, the Newcomb College art pottery in New Orleans played an important role in the international Arts and Crafts movement of the early 20th century.
Newcomb artists drew inspiration from Louisiana's native plants and wildlife to create the distinctive forms and patterns prized by collectors today. The Palm, the Pine, and the Cypress: Newcomb Pottery of New Orleans presents more than 50 glazed ceramics pieces paired with archival photographs documenting the pottery's history through the 1940s.
The exhibition is housed in Madame John's Legacy, built in 1788, and considered one of the finest examples of French Colonial architecture in North America.
Free admission with generous support of Friends of the Cabildo.
Co-curated by Preservation Hall and the Louisiana State Museum, Preservation Hall at 50 tells the story of the New Orleans music landmark from the early 1960s to the present through artifacts, photographs, film and audio clips, interviews and oral histories.
Adding wider historical context are iconic objects from the Museum's world famous jazz collection-including Louis Armstrong's first cornet and instruments played by Preservation Hall jazz greats such as clarinetist George Lewis and bassist Alcide "Slow Drag" Pavageau.
In September 2005, a group of Houston-area volunteers started the Katrina's Kids Project to offer emotional support to young hurricane evacuees through art. The project gave hundreds of children staying in Houston shelters an opportunity to describe their Katrina experiences and express their pain, their fears and most of all, their hopes.
This selection of drawings and other artwork by Katrina's Kids makes a small, but powerful show that adds a unique perspective to our ongoing Living With Hurricanes exhibition.
Parades, Balls and the Courir du Mardi Gras are explored in this newly renovated show. Based on original research, the exhibit traces the emergence of New Orleans' parades and balls to the present-day, statewide extravaganza that attracts millions.
Upstairs at the Presbytere, on New Orleans' historic Jackson Square. Visit The Online Exhibit