New Orleans Museum Month
August was New Orleans Museum month and the air-conditioned exhibits catered to and welcomed thousands of guests. In the heart of the Quarter, the newly opened French Quarter Museum Association (FQMA) at 533 Royal is a great place to begin your introduction to the history of culture and arts in this great city. Of course, music plays a major role in all of the exhibits, lectures, concerts, galleries, and tours offered through the 13 cooperative sites in and around the Quarter.
In observance of the 2018 Tricentennial, the FQMA is encouraging visits to any five of the museums within a few blocks of each other and offering a free, scrumptious dessert at Brennan’s Tableau restaurant, adjacent to Jackson Square. A day filled with lots of history, while gaining a new perspective on the Birthplace of Jazz and a wonderful meal to celebrate—what could be more perfect?
Participating French Quarter Museums
New Orleans Jazz Museum – 400 Esplanade – the 3rd floor has a beautiful concert hall featuring daily lectures and performances with professional acoustics/recording capabilities
Beauregard Keyes Home – 1113 Chartres
Old Ursuline Convent Museum – 1100 Chartres
Gallier House – 1126 Royal
New Orleans Historic Collection – 533 Royal
Pharmacy Museum – 514 Chartres
Williams Research Center – 410 Chartres
Jean Lafitte’s French Quarter Visitor Center – 419 Decatur
Hermann-Grima House – 820 St. Louis
Audubon Butterfly Garden & Insectarium – 423 Canal
The New Orleans Jazz Museum has several current exhibits:
Jazz En Route to France – how African-American military bands stationed in France helped popularize jazz in Paris in WW1
Herman Leonard – iconic photographs of the Giants of Jazz
Louis Armstrong – reel-to-reel tape box collages
Pete Fountain – A Life Half Fast – (Pete’s marching band was called the Half/Fast Walking Club)
Women of Note – chronicles the role of women in the evolution of New Orleans Jazz from its beginning to today’s vibrant music scene
The New Orleans Historic Collection also has a Concerts in the Courtyard series where we have enjoyed many of our favorite musicians for a special evening. Across the street at 520 Royal, the current ambitious renovation of the Seignouret-Brulatour House into a purpose-built museum exhibition facility comprising three state-of-the-art gallery spaces is a tremendous project. With almost 12,000 square feet, it will also provide more venues for the many musicians to blend their talents with the various planned events that will undoubtedly be featured in the future.
The Historic Collection has had exhibits showcasing the Boswell Sisters of New Orleans, the Giants of Jazz posters and lithographs, the Jazz & Heritage Festival photos of Michael P. Smith, and a featured display on Storyville: Madams & Music.
The Williams Research Center has thousands of historic records, books, manuscripts, lithographs, photos, all illuminating the lives, careers, and contributions of the many artists that found inspiration in the Crescent City.
Start at one end of the Quarter and stroll through to the other while anticipating the generous portions at Tableau.
Of course you can spend a multi-day visit to the Hogan Jazz Archive at the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library at Tulane University in the Garden District…but that’s another story!
Shelly Gallichio is a Real Estate Associate Broker in Tucson, Arizona, and despite growing up in Chicago, fell in love with the clarinet and the New Orleans sound at the age of 3. Every month she provides useful tips for jazz fans visiting the Crescent City in her Quater Notes column.
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