The Advocate: “The Historic New Orleans Collection has big plans for a big anniversary”

The Historic New Orleans Collection has announced four cornerstone projects that will commemorate New Orleans’ tricentennial.

“These projects will not only pay tribute to our city’s vibrant culture and complex history, but also help pave the way for a brighter future,” THNOC Executive Director Priscilla Lawrence said.

The first announcement was a new exhibition, “New Orleans, the Founding Era,” sponsored by Whitney Bank. The exhibition, which was announced by French Consul Grégor Trumel, will be on view from Feb. 27 to May 27 in the upstairs galleries at 533 Royal St.

It will feature a vast array of artifacts from THNOC’s holdings and from institutions across Europe and North America to tell the stories of the city’s early days. It will focus on the challenges posed by the difficult environment and the various people in the area: Native Americans, European settlers and enslaved laborers.

The second project was announced by Sybil Morial, who is co-chair, with Lawrence, of the City of New Orleans 2018 Commission’s Cultural and Historical Committee. “Making New Orleans Home: A Tricentennial Symposium,” will take place from March 8-11 at various locations throughout the city. It will explore the 300-year history of how New Orleans came to be inhabited by diverse, vibrant people and how, in turn, the concept of home has been central to the life and culture of the city. It will feature individual lectures, panel discussions and cultural programming.

The collection also revealed its plans to expand its operations to a third campus — the Seignouret-Brulatour Building at 520 Royal St. in the French Quarter — in fall 2018. This new campus will include the renovation of a 19th-century structure known as the Seignouret-Brulatour Building, with a state-of-the-art rear addition plus a beautiful interior courtyard.

This site will house the institution’s largest exhibition facility, with more than 12,000 square feet for permanent and changing exhibitions, dynamic interactive displays and a hands-on educational display for children and families. It will also include a larger space for the museum shop and a café.

In addition to revealing its plans for the new building, THNOC also announced Brulatour’s inaugural exhibition, “Art of the City: Postmodern to Post-Katrina,” presented by The Helis Foundation. This groundbreaking contemporary art exhibition, which will open in fall 2018, fuses history and contemporary art to reflect the city’s cultural canvas.

The works to be featured cover three decades of artists reacting to the strife and progress of the city. As guest curator, New Orleans interdisciplinary artist, curator and educator Jan Gilbert assembled a diverse array of works from more than 75 artists, including Lin Emery, Krista Jurisich, Douglas Bourgeois, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Candy Chang, Gina Phillips, Zarouhie Abdalian and Brandan Odums.



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