Exhibition | Salazar: Portraits of Influence in Spanish New Orleans

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on March 13, 2018

Josef Salazar y Mendoza, Portrait of Don Antonio Mendez (1750–1829) and His Family, 1795, oil on canvas, 36 × 49 inches (Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Robert J. Patrick).

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Now on view at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art:

Salazar: Portraits of Influence in Spanish New Orleans, 1785–1802
Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, 8 March — 2 September 2018

Curated by Cybele Gontar

In conjunction with the tricentennial celebration of New Orleans, Salazar: Portraits of Influence in Spanish New Orleans tells the story of Yucatán-born Josef Francisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza (ca. 1750–1802), whose career spanned most of the Spanish administration of New Orleans. The exhibition offers a view of Spanish colonial New Orleans through a re-examination of about 30 of Salazar’s portraits. His oeuvre is contextualized in relation to works and other historical artifacts reflective of the city as a site of mobility and transatlantic artistic exchange.

The catalogue is available from ArtBooks.com:

Cybele Gontar, ed., Salazar: Portraits of Influence in Spanish New Orleans, 1785–1802 (New Orleans: University of New Orleans Press, 2018), 240 pages, ISBN: 9781608011544, $65.

The catalogue includes a comprehensive collection of Salazar’s portraits and essays that explore the historical and artistic implications of the era. The oeuvre of this Mexican artist is contextualized in relation to works by other early New Orleans portraitists including Antonio Meucci, Francois M. Guyol de Guiran (1775–1849), and Louis Collas (1775–1856).

Exhibition | New Orleans, the Founding Era

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on March 13, 2018

François Chéreau, Le Missisipi ou la Louisiane dans l’Amérique Septentrionale, ca. 1720, hand-colored engraving (The Historic New Orleans Collection, 1959.210).

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Now on view at THNOC:

New Orleans, the Founding Era
The Historic New Orleans Collection, 27 February — 27 May 2018

Curated by Erin Greenwald

In commemoration of the city’s 300th anniversary in 2018, The Historic New Orleans Collection provides a multifaceted exploration of the city’s first few decades and its earliest inhabitants with New Orleans, the Founding Era, an original exhibition and bilingual companion catalog. The exhibition brings together a vast array of rare artifacts from THNOC’s holdings and from institutions across Europe and North America to tell the stories of the city’s early days, when the city consisted of little more than hastily assembled huts and buildings.

Beginning with the region’s Native American tribes, through the waves of European arrival and the forced migration of enslaved African people, the exhibition reflects on the complicated and often conflicted meanings the settlement’s development held for individuals, empires, and indigenous nations. It features works on paper, ethnographic and archaeological artifacts, scientific and religious instruments, paintings, maps and charts, manuscripts and rare books. These original objects are complemented by large-scale reproductions and interactive items. More than 75 objects are on loan from organizations in Spain, France, Canada, and around the United States. A number of items, like a pair of 18th-century Native American bear-paw moccasins from the Musée du quai Branly in Paris and pieces of 15th-century Mississippian pottery from the University of Mississippi, have rarely traveled beyond their home institutions.

Digital interactives will include a gallery of photographs from archaeological digs at a variety of French Quarter sites, a game quizzing visitors on supplies needed for a new home in the settlement and a 1731 inventory of enslaved Africans and African-descended people living on a West Bank plantation.

Erin Greenwald, ed., New Orleans, the Founding Era / La Nouvelle-Orléans, les années fondatrices, translated by Henry Colomer (New Orleans: The Historic New Orleans Collection, 2018), 176 pages, ISBN 978-0917860744, $50.

The companion catalog—a bilingual edition, in English and French—will feature essays describing the different populations who inhabited precolonial New Orleans and the surrounding areas, as well as the forces driving the settlement’s growth. Essayists include exhibition curator Erin M. Greenwald and historians Emily Clark, Shannon Lee Dawdy, Robbie Ethridge, Gilles-Antoine Langlois, Yevan Terrien, Daniel Usner, and Cécile Vidal. Gérard Araud, ambassador of France to the United States, contributed the book’s foreword.

Erin M. Greenwald is curator of programs at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Formerly, as curator at The Historic New Orleans Collection, she was project director of the National Endowment for the Humanities-funded traveling exhibition Purchased Lives: The American Slave Trade from 1808 to 1865. Greenwald holds a PhD in history from the Ohio State University.

Henry Colomer is a French documentary filmmaker and translator. He has directed some thirty films, including various portraits of artists and writers (L’exilé, Iddu, Ricercar, Vies métalliques), as well as a number of documentaries about the upheavals of the twentieth century (Monte Verità, Sous les drapeaux). Colomer has won several awards (Best Historic Documentary, Festival of History Films, Pessac, 1998, 2008; Focal International Award, London, 2010).


New Book | Cultivating Commerce: Cultures of Botany

Posted in books by Editor on March 13, 2018

From Cambridge UP:

Sarah Easterby-Smith, Cultivating Commerce: Cultures of Botany in Britain and France, 1760–1815 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 252 pages, ISBN: 978-1107126848, $99.

Sarah Easterby-Smith rewrites the histories of botany and horticulture from the perspectives of plant merchants who sold botanical specimens in the decades around 1800. These merchants were not professional botanists, nor were they the social equals of refined amateurs of botany. Nevertheless, they participated in Enlightenment scholarly networks, acting as intermediaries who communicated information and specimens. Thanks to their practical expertise, they also became sources of new knowledge in their own right. Cultivating Commerce argues that these merchants made essential contributions to botanical history, although their relatively humble status means that their contributions have received little sustained attention to date. Exploring how the expert nurseryman emerged as a new social figure in Britain and France, and examining what happened to the elitist, masculine culture of amateur botany when confronted by expanding public participation, Easterby-Smith sheds fresh light on the evolution of transnational Enlightenment networks during the Age of Revolutions.


Note on the Text

Introduction: Cultivating Commerce
1  Plant Traders and Expertise
2  Science, Commerce, and Culture
3  Amateur Botany
4  Social Status and the Communication of Knowledge
5  Commerce and Cosmopolitanism
6  Cosmopolitanism under Pressure
Conclusion: Commerce and Cultivation


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