New Orleans museum has big plans for city's tricentennial
Jul. 24, 2017
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Bear-paw moccasins stitched by Native Americans in the 1700s and pieces of pottery from three centuries before that will be part of an exhibit about New Orleans' early decades for the city's tricentennial next year.
The 15th-century Mississippian pottery lent by the University of Mississippi and the moccasins lent by the Musée du quai Branly in Paris are among dozens of objects lent by museums for the free exhibit, which opens Feb. 27 at The Historic New Orleans Collection .
"New Orleans, the Founding Era" will begin with the Native American tribes in the area before French settlers arrived and continue with different groups of European settlers and the forced arrivals of enslaved Africans.
It will feature many rare artifacts from the museum's own collection and digital interactives, such as photographs from archaeological digs at a variety of French Quarter sites, a quiz game about supplies needed for a new home when New Orleans was just a small settlement, and a 1731 inventory of enslaved Africans and African-descended people living on a West Bank plantation, according to news releases Monday.
Officials also described other tricentennial plans at a news conference Monday, such as a four-day symposium of lectures and panel discussions around the city to discuss how its diverse population came to be and how the concept of home has been central to the city's life and culture.
The museum also is preparing a third building with the largest exhibit space it's ever had, with plans for fall 2018 opening of "Art of the City: Postmodern to Post-Katrina."
The new building was built in 1816 as retail and residential space, and became a wine merchant's home and office in the late 1800s. During renovations, the museum restored a pipe organ installed there by philanthropist William Ratcliff Irby, who let the New Orleans Arts and Crafts Club meet there from 1922 to 1933. The building held the studios of NBC affiliate WDSU from 1950 until 1996. Exhibits will describe all of those occupants, a news release said.