At first, The Historic New Orleans Collection doesn’t quite sound like a museum. I remember first thinking: jewelry? A gift shop? But it is actually one of the best museums in the Quarter. And it’s not just a museum — it’s research center and publisher as well. It’s one of the places I visit every summer without fail when we live in the Quarter for a couple of weeks. It’s interesting, it’s lovely, and it’s…air conditioned.
This is the Counting House, a 1794 warehouse which was renovated in the 1830s, which features paintings by Louisiana artists:
Several other galleries of the museum make up the ‘Louisiana History Galleries’. This is an oil painting by Jose Francisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza. He arrived in Louisiana in 1782 from Merida, Mexico, and did this painting ca 1795 of Clara de la Motte (ca 1761-1822) who was a Jewish emigre from Curacao. She had only arrived here in 1787 and married Benjamin Monsanto, who was also Jewish. But…they married in a Catholic ceremony at the Church of St. Louis. After a fire, a rebuilding, and adding on, that today is St. Louis Cathedral.
…that it was done as silhouette. All these pieces are actually separately cut out and applied:
This oil is from 1860, by John Antrobus, and is titled ‘A Plantation Burial’:
The owner and his wife look on:
and the artist has painted himself in, as well:
Portrait of Judah P. Benjamin,
Ad for ’60 Very Choice Sugar Plantation Hands’:
…an anti-Huey Long medal (made to appear as a toilet seat with him being hit in the jaw), to commemorate an embarrassing incident in which he got into a fight in a men’s room in Long Island:
The museum’s next exhibition begins in March: ‘New Orleans and the Domestic Slave Trade, 1808-1865’.