Saturday, September 21, 2013

Vatican Volunteers

The twentieth-century World’s Fair in New Orleans had its troubles, but it was certainly enjoyed by many visitors and local residents from May 12-Nov. 11, 1984.   Some of the buildings constructed for the event still stand and have been used for various purposes since that time.  A number of books about the 1984 World’s Fair are held in the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library.  One of the highlights of the fair was the New Orleans Vatican Pavilion with its memorable fine art exhibition; its official catalog was published as Treasures of the Vatican, which is in LaRC with the call number: N 6920 .T7 1984 LACOLL.

The Vatican Pavilion was a 15,000 square foot building located on the eighty-acre site of the Louisiana World Exposition, held in downtown New Orleans. The art exhibit within the Pavilion was jointly sponsored by the Archdiocese of New Orleans and the New Orleans Museum of Art.  It included religiously-themed works by the artists Caravaggio, Raphael, El Greco, Giotto, Matisse, Rouault, de la Tour, and Dali.

New Orleans native, Blanche Mouledoux Comiskey, also known as Mrs. James A. Comiskey, was in charge of planning and organizing the volunteers' orientation, parking, scheduling, dress, conduct, and overall participation in the event.   Her job title was Volunteer Coordinator.  She retained her records relating to this project and later donated them to Tulane University.

Manuscripts Collection 981 is named Blanche M. Comiskey records of the Louisiana World Exposition, 1983-1984.  This collection consists of items primarily concerning the planning process for the running of the New Orleans Vatican Pavilion, specifically the volunteers' activities and responsibilities. Included are handwritten and typed correspondence, post cards, greeting cards, notes, lists of invitees, schedules, financial documents, blank stationery, pieces of interfacing cloth printed with the Pavilion's logo, smaller swatches of cloth selected for the uniforms, color drawings of uniform designs of a vest for volunteers and an elaborate costume shirt for supervisors, a certificate, photographs, a list of the exhibited artworks, maps, floor plans, a brochure, a souvenir program and other printed items.

One of the letters from a volunteer is a letter of resignation.  Her stated reason was that she had not been aware that evangelizing would be prohibited while serving in the Pavilion. 

Captions: a post card featuring the logo of the New Orleans Vatican Pavilion, signed by Mrs. Comiskey; a colorful costume/uniform design drawing, depicting the vest for volunteers.   Images of items in LaRC archival collections may not be re-published without permission.

Posted by Susanna Powers

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Rising Tide 8 -- Sat. Sept. 14

Rising Tide is an annual conference devoted to the future of New Orleans.    Having recently reached the 8th anniversary of Katrina, it’s time for the 8th Rising Tide.     It’s being held this coming Saturday, September 14th, at Xavier University.

This year’s schedule:

Keynote: Lt. Gen. Russel L. Honore.

Panel: Creating Community for Writers of Color: MelaNated Writers Collective.
     Moderator: Jarvis Q. DeBerry; Panelists: jewel bush, David Thaddeus Baker, Kelly Harris and Gian Smith.

Panel: Beyond Tourism / Beyond Recovery.
     Moderator: Charles Maldonado; Panelists: Kevin Fox Gotham, Ph.D., Brice Miller, Meg Lousteau, Robin Keegan, and Mark Romig.

Panel: Charter School Access & Accountability.
     Moderator: Scott Sternberg; Panelists: Steve Beatty, Jaimme Collins, Marta Jewson, and Aesha Rasheed.

Second Stage: Tech School.
     Panels:  Working With Bloggers; Personal Branding; Using Visual Tools in Online Promotion; Content Marketing.

For details about these events and people, see the full schedule.

We are sure to see conference organizer and emcee, Loki Williams, wearing his Google Glass.

Panel, Creating Community for Writers of Color,  
featuring jewel bush, David Thaddeus Baker, Kelly Harris and Gian Smith.

Panel photograph and post by Susanna Powers