LaRC on Loan: EMPIRE
During the past year, museums from Paris to Little Rock displayed holdings from the Louisiana Research Collection. LaRC recently loaned several dozen items to the Newcomb Museum for its tricentennial exhibit, EMPIRE. Particularly notable are William C. C. Claiborne’s commission as first territorial governor of Louisiana (1804, signed by both Thomas Jefferson and James Madison), the telegram informing Jefferson Davis that he was elected president of the Confederacy, a slave manumission from 1788, and documents from the papers of Skip Ward. An LGBTQ activist in the 1980s and 1990s, Ward specialized in supporting Louisiana’s rural gay community.
Created by Los Angeles based artists Fallen Fruit (David Allen Burns and Austin Young), EMPIRE uses more than 300 items on loan from several Tulane archives and repositories to transform the entire museum into one immersive artwork. Other loans from LaRC include Carnival float and costume designs, glass plate negative images of Mississippi River steamboats, slave sales, land grants, and Carnival krewe favors.
The exhibit is a rare opportunity to view LaRC holdings in relation to materials from other repositories on Tulane University’s campus. LaRC Carnival krewe favors are displayed next to jars of fish from the Royal D. Suttkus Fish Collection, while architectural models from the Southeastern Architectural Archive are displayed alongside photographs of Central American anthropological expeditions loaned by the Middle American Research Institute.
The Newcomb Art Museum is located in the Woldenberg Art Center on the Tulane University campus and is open Tuesday – Friday: 10 am – 5 pm, and Saturday: 11 am – 4 pm; closed Sundays and Mondays