Monday, July 30, 2012

Frances Bryson Moore

Frances Bryson Moore (1895-1977) was a newspaper columnist, journalist, editor, and political activist, working for the New Orleans Tribune and New Orleans Item. Her interests included local and national politics, women's issues, arts, antiques, genealogy, and local architectural preservation, especially of buildings in the Vieux Carre.   She was a self-described "ardent pro-liberal and pro-Kennedy Democrat."  She was married to, and then separated from, Col. J. W. F. Moore (d. 1948). Frances Moore, sometimes called “Fannie”, used her maiden name or her married name on her writings, and usually used her married name on personal and financial papers. Her mother was Sarah Anette "Nettie" Denaux Bryson (d. 1949).

The Frances Bryson Moore papers, 1911-1976 (LaRC Manuscripts Collection 450) contains personal, professional, and collected papers of Frances B. Moore of New Orleans.  It includes typed and handwritten correspondence, financial documents, real estate transactions, telegrams, post cards, greeting cards, poems, a school yearbook, Carnival ephemera, invitations, handwritten address book pages, social stationery, certificates, numerous family and group photographs, photographs of buildings and places in New Orleans, handwritten notes detailing her life, research notes, genealogical information, medical notes about family members including a typed autopsy report, newspaper clippings about local issues and events, clippings of her newspaper columns titled Frances Bryson's Notebooks, and other printed items. Correspondents include friends and family members, and also well-known individuals such as Rudolph Matas, Mayor Chep Morrison, and Pierre Salinger.

This lively, unusual archival collection is interdisciplinary, and will be of interest to those studying Louisiana and New Orleans history, politics, architecture, medicine, fashion, social life, and journalism. 

Captions:  Frances Bryson Moore early portrait (450-4-1); Louisiana governors Earl K. Long and Richard W. Leche in a candid photograph, laughing with Frances Moore and others in New Orleans (undated, probably late 1930s) 450-4-2; Vieux Carre buildings, 227-239 Bourbon St., 1939 (450-4-7).  Images may not be re-published without permission.

Posted by Susanna Powers

Friday, July 27, 2012

New LaRC intern, Kevin Fontenot

Kevin Fontenot has begun work as LaRC’s first “Thelma Ducoing Toole Intern.” Kevin is a scholar of the American South with a special interest in country and Cajun music. He holds degrees from Louisiana College and Tulane University and he has received the John Dyer Award for Excellence in Teaching from Tulane’s School of Continuing Studies. Initially, Kevin will work primarily with our Louisiana Historical Association Collection.

The Thelma Ducoing Toole Endowed Fund was created by an anonymous donor to honor the mother of author John Kennedy Toole. Born in New Orleans in 1901, as a child she developed talents for speech and music which she later taught as an exacting, vigorous, and inspired teacher, instilling in her students the enthusiasm she felt herself. The success of “A Confederacy of Dunces” made Mrs. Toole a celebrity in her own right. She used her fame to pursue her lifelong interest in education and in nurturing the intellectual and artistic talents of young people. She died in 1984.

We are delighted to welcome Kevin Fontenot to LaRC.

Leon C. Miller

(See this earlier LaRC blog post featuring Kevin Fontenot conducting an interview of L'Esprit Creole at Jazz Fest 2010.)   

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Digital Carnival Collection in Choice Reviews Online

LaRC's digital Carnival Collection was given a highly favorable review in the August 2012 issue of Choice Reviews Online.  D. M. Braquet, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, writes that the resource is "highly recommended, all users."  

  Humanities \ Performing Arts \ General The Carnival Collection.  Internet Resource. Reviewed in 2012aug CHOICE. [Visited May'12] The Louisiana Research Collection (LaRC) at Tulane University preserves one of the most spectacular collections of New Orleans carnival-related materials and has now made a good portion accessible to the world. The Carnival Collection boasts more than 5,000 digital images of the original watercolor float and costume designs from artists of the golden age of carnival in New Orleans, which spanned the years from the late 1800s to the early 20th century. Designers represented include Jennie Wilde, B. A. Wikstrom, and Charles Briton; krewes (parade organizations) include Comus, Proteus, Momus, and Rex. The collection can be searched by keyword, including float or costume titles, parade themes, person portrayed, and year. The digital collection can also be browsed by krewe or designer. The interface is clean and easy to use, and loading of the pages is quite fast. Once searched, results appear as grids of thumbnails that can be clicked to see the full record and a larger image. Full resolution of the entire image is not enabled, perhaps due to concerns of copyright infringement. Images can be chosen and added to a favorites folder for side-by-side comparison, slide show, or saving as an HTML page.
For biographical and historical context, consultation of Henri Schindler's Mardi Gras Treasures: Float Designs of the Golden Age (2000) is a must. Nearly all of the images in Schindler's book are also in LaRC's digital collection, but when the book's images are compared with the original watercolors, it is apparent what a wonderful gift LaRC's digitization is to the public. A visual delight, this site will interest artists, graphic designers, costume designers, historians, and generations of Louisianans and visitors who share in the ongoing cultural custom that is carnival.Summing Up: Highly recommended. All users.
 -- D. M. Braquet, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

The physical Carnival Collection (Manuscripts Collection 900 in the Louisiana Research Collection) consists of 102 linear feet (130 boxes, 2 map cases and 24 oversized items) and is itself continuously growing; this set of digital surrogates is a subset of the physical collection, and is included in the LOUISiana Digital Library.  The
 digitized Carnival Collection is a collaborative effort of  LaRC and Web Services.   The idea of starting the digitization of LaRC's massive archival holdings with images of beautiful unique artwork, comes from the Head of the Louisiana Research Collection, Leon Miller.

Caption: Afsara (courtesan), Carlotta Bonnecaze, Costume design from Krewe of Proteus 1889 parade. 

Posted by Susanna Powers

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Jones Hall's new historical marker

Orleans Parish Landmarks Commission
Joseph Merrick Jones Hall
Dedicated in 1941 as
Howard-Tilton Memorial Library
The second library on Tulane University’s uptown campus
Moise H. Goldstein and Associates, Architects

Newcomb and Tulane alumna
Angela Gregory (1903-1990)
Designed the twelve
Printers’ devices in the door jambs

Paul Manship (1885-1966)
Designed the entrance medallion
With the inscription
Libertas ex Sapientia
And the personification of
Alma Mater

Xavier Gonzalez (1898-1993)
Designed the personification of
In the central hall

The building was rededicated in 1971 in honor of
Tulane alumnus and Board President
Joseph Merrick Jones (1902-1963)

For more information about all of the individuals named in this marker, see the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library catalog and the LaRC archival database, both of which are accessible from the Louisiana Research Collection website

There is also an earlier LaRC blog post featuring information about Nathaniel Cortlandt Curtis, Sr., the building's principal designer, and a photograph of the familiar and well-loved artwork, Aspiration.

Posted by Susanna Powers  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Anne MacKinne Robertson

American artist Anne MacKinne Robertson (1887-1959) is known for her pen and ink drawings, and for her watercolor and oil paintings.  She studied at Newcomb College, 1903-1907.  She was also a prolific creator of custom personal, institutional, and event bookplates in New Orleans.  LaRC's Manuscripts Collection 241 contains many of her fine hand-drawn and printed works.  To see a listing of individuals for whom she created bookplates, see the online finding aid.

This collection consists of original artwork as well as mounted, printed bookplates designed by Anne MacKinne Robertson.  Most are intended for monochrome black or brown printing (sometimes showing white edits) with a few in multiple colors.  Also included is a 31 cm printed calendar for the year 1918, prepared to commemorate the bicentennial of New Orleans, titled: "To-day and yesterday, a calendar of New Orleans, her romance and progress."  A larger-format (52 cm) issue of this calendar is available in the Louisiana Research Collection, with call number: 976.31 (529.3) R649 LACOLL.

Captions: top, a bookplate for use in the Tulane University library, featuring a stylized oak tree with an academic building (Gibson Hall?), honoring the career (1882-1907) of John Rose Ficklen (1858-1907), first professor of history and political science; bottom, the bookplate she created for her own personal library, inscribed "A MK R, her book."  Please do not re-publish images without permission.

Posted by Susanna Powers