Thinking About NOLA – Final Thoughts

Happy Friday, ARLISians!

Good news for attendees to our 2017 annual meeting in New Orleans!

With your member’s badge you will get into both the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art FREE. The Newcomb Art Museum (at Tulane) is always free and open to the public, but they would love to have ARLIS/NA members sign their visitors book when they visit.

At the Center for Contemporary Art you will have entry to the Shop only, and Louisiana State Museum has free venues, and we are waiting to hear about which of the fee venues will be free to our attendees. Stay tuned for updates on these and other “lagniappe” (a little something extra) for attendees!

And don’t forget, Tulane has several different libraries to visit. One is the Latin American Library on the fourth floor, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library. They have a collection of books (over 510,000), including those by Latin American women and artists’ books, newspapers (from 22 countries), periodicals, rare books (over 14,500 titles), an image archive (113,000 images), and much more. For instance, they have the Spratling-Taxco Collection — original design drawings by William Spratling and other sliver designers from Taxco, Mexico.

There is a link to this repository on our Pinterest board, too.

Another collection unique to New Orleans is The Charles F. Heartman Manuscripts of Slavery Collection. It consists of over 4000 pieces, 1724-1897. It relates to the social, economic, civil, and legal status of enslaved Negroes and Free People of Color in Louisiana, especially in the city of New Orleans.

New Orleans has a very rich history of having the largest population of free people of color in the United States. Xavier University of Louisiana (1 Drexel Drive, New Orleans, 504-520-7311), who purchased the collection, is actively digitizing it. You can see the collection guide or finding aid online, and view the collection at the Xavier University Archives and Special Collections – Digital Collections page.

Check out New Orleans Magazine for more “things to do” while you are in the Big Easy. Shopping? Music? Dancing? You will find links to all of it there.

I was interested to hear from a member that there is a Belloq Lounge at the Hotel Modern, named after the New Orleans photographer Ernest Joseph Bellocq (1873–1949). For you photo folks, the hotel is on the St. Charles streetcar line at 936 St. Charles Ave. at Lee Circle, near the Ogdon Museum.

Another ARLIS member told me something I wish I had known sooner. On Saturday February 4 is a symposium at the Historic New Orleans Collection called “Storyville and Jazz, 1917.” It includes Jeff Rosenheim on “A Taste of the Tenderloin: The Photographs of E.J. Bellocq and Eugene Atget.” Sigh. I hope some of you registered and are in town early to attend.

Don’t forget to check out the ARLIS/NA Instagram page (@ARLIS_NA) and Pinterest board (ARLIS/NA) for information and for fun. The Pinterest board now includes links to those people, places, books, movies, photo collections, etc. that I have mentioned in these “Thinking About —“ posts.

In addition, you can monitor conference happenings and updates through the conference website and blog, the ARLIS/NA Facebook page (ARLIS/NA FB), and via Twitter (@ARLIS_NA). Please track and share your conference questions and experiences and snapshots using the official conference hashtag: #ARLIS2017.

And now for something completely different — Staying Safe.

In any big city it is always important to be aware of and to pay attention to your surroundings — whether you are simply crossing the street, going outside the hotel for a walk or a meal, or going to catch the streetcar to explore more of the city.

Your conference badge makes it plain that your are a visitor to the Crescent City. Unless you are with an ARLIS-sponsored tour group, or with a group going out of the hotel to a Conference reception, remember to take off you conference badge and tuck it away (to pull out for those FREE museums!). As in every big city, there are sometimes persons out there who “target” visitors.

But think about this! “Downtown is one of the safest neighborhoods in New Orleans, thanks in part to the Downtown Development District’s robust Public Safety Ranger program.” New Orleans offers us an excellent service with its Downtown Public Safety Rangers.

More detailed information on the DDD and the Safety Rangers is found at the Downtown NOLA website. Take a look at the additional information and the additional Tips and you will realize how very useful the Safety Rangers are!

The Rangers are on duty every day of the week from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. They assist visitors with directions, maps, etc. as well as act as extra eyes and ears for the police. Speaking of police, the DDD provides NOPD Officer Details for Downtown around the clock.

The DDD also has their Downtown SafeWalk escorts who are offered free of charge and will safely escort you to your Downtown destination. To take advantage of this service, just call or text (504) 415-1730 and check availability (put this number into your smartphone). Give them your name, location, and when they should meet you, but they do need a 20 minute lead.

Be smart, and you will have such fun in New Orleans at Arts du Monde! Can’t wait to see you there!

E. Lee Eltzroth, ARLIS/NA 2017 publicity coordinator

Final Call for #ARLIS2017 Tours

Only two weeks until the conference, and tours are filling up fast! If you are already registered and want to add a tour, you can call ARLIS/NA HQ at 414-908-4954 ext 116 to pay over the phone or email

The last tour we are going to highlight is a very special opportunity to tour the Backstreet Cultural Museum in the Tremé neighborhood with Museum founder Sylvester Francis. The Museum officially opened its doors in 1999, however it really began in the 1980’s when Mr. Francis began documenting Carnival celebrations, jazz funerals, and second-line parades throughout New Orleans. He would often give copies of the photographs he took to the people they documented. In thanks, many of them donated their Mardi Gras Indian costumes as well as an array of other memorabilia. These artifacts now make up the bulk of the Museum’s collection.

Our tour will last an hour, and transportation will be provided. However, participants are encouraged to stay in Tremé to explore Armstrong Park with it’s historic Congo Square or the St. Augustine Church, founded in 1841 by free African Americans, both right across the street from the museum.

  • Time: 10:00-11:30am
  • Cost: $40 (includes transportation)

Don’t forget that Monday, January 23 is the last day for advanced registration. After that there will be on-site registration only, February 5-9.

Lindsey Reynolds, ARLIS/NA 2017 Tours Co-Coordinator


#ARLIS2017: Spotlight on Instruction and Collections Workshops

Happy New Year and welcome to another spotlight on ARLIS/NA New Orleans Conference Workshops! Today, we will look at a set of workshops that will help you enhance your skills with building collections and with meeting the needs of visual arts researchers.

Getting Started with Web Archiving answers the increasingly pressing need faced by art information professionals to collect, preserve, and provide access to valuable born-digital materials. Workshop facilitators will provide participants with help in getting started with such projects, often the most difficult part of the process. During the 2-hour workshop, attendees will be provided with the opportunity to review precedents, draft action plans, and get their hands dirty with some existing technologies. The cost of this workshop is $25.

Next, Teaching Fair Use to Arts Researchers, will likewise provide participants with the tools they need for supporting another pressing need faced by art librarians and information professionals. This 2-hour workshop will provide attendees with an understanding of fair use issues, how to apply knowledge of fair use and integrate it with library instruction, and how to (legally) address questions surrounding fair use law. Participants will also have the opportunity to work through materials from the ARLIS/NA Fair Use Instructional Materials project, which will focus on hands-on learning, example presentations, interactive exercises, group activities, and much more. The cost of this workshop is $40.

Finally, this year’s Postcards from the Edge workshop: Mardi Gras Culture and Costume from the Old World to the New World, is a shouldn’t-be-missed opportunity to learn more about Mardi Gras, carnival, and festival culture right where it all happens. Attendees at this almost 4-hour workshop will become immersed in the sights, sounds, and captivating resources that make up the unique histories of festivals. The site of the workshop – the Louisiana State Museum – is particularly notable for its collections on Mardi Gras. The workshop will also be led by local experts – 2 historians and a Mardi Gras artist. The resources discussed at this workshop will also be of wider interest to those who study and support art history, craft, performance, music, costume, and cultural history, among other disciplines. The fee for this unique experience is $30.

Don’t miss out on these exciting opportunities!

Kristina Keough, Workshops Coordinator

Going, going, gone: sign up for NOLA tours before they’re filled up!

With less than a month to go, all of our tours are filling up fast so consider this your reminder to sign up asap!

Tour offerings include walking tours of the French Quarter and Garden District, institutional tours at various special collections and museums, and two exciting opportunities for tours with some of the city’s resident artists. These tours are exclusively offered to ARLIS conference attendees – don’t miss your chance to get to know this magical city for yourself.

One tour that is filling up fast is being offered on both Monday (2/6) and Thursday (2/9). Industry of Ink will be led by local preservationist and champion of New Orleans print history, Joseph Makkos, founder of the New Orleans Digital Newspaper Archive. The tour is organized around Makkos’s personal research into the city’s print culture. We will learn about the untold and unexpected history of the South’s original hub for print as we walk through the French Quarter and the Central Business District. Points on the tour will highlight the industry-leading presses, newspaper histories, and renegade printers that created the material culture of New Orleans in the late 19th & 20th centuries. Highlights include Storyville Blue Books, the Times-Picayune’s first female editor (who took over the paper in 1876) and the site of the Loujon Press who first published Charles Bukowski in their Outsider literary magazine.

Ticket price for this tour also includes a special guidebook & ephemera, hand-printed on one of our subject’s own letterpresses!

Lindsey Reynolds, Tours Co-coordinator


Conference Program Highlights (Part II)

As you make your plans for the ARLIS/NA 2017 conference, Arts Du Monde, take a moment to review some of our program highlights and features!

Dr. Kim Vaz-Deville, PhD

You won’t want to miss the Membership Lunch with Guest Speaker, Kim Vaz-Deville, PhD on Tues., Feb 7th from noon to 1pm ($25 fee for lunch).

Kim Vaz-Deville, Ph.D. is a professor of education and the associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Xavier University of Louisiana. Her research centers on the use of expressive arts as a response to large group social trauma with attention to women, gender, and insurgency.


Dr. Vaz-Deville’s book, The ‘Baby Dolls’: Breaking the Race and Gender Barriers of the New Orleans Mardi Gras Tradition (LSU Press, 2013), tells the story of an organization of African American women, the Baby Dolls, formed around 1912 and their crucial contribution to Louisiana’s cultural history. She traces the Baby Dolls’ origins from Storyville brothels and dance halls to their re-emergence in post-Katrina New Orleans and uncovers the fascinating history of the “raddy-walking, shake-dancing, cigar-smoking, money-flinging” ladies who strutted their way into the predominantly male establishment of the Mardi Gras parades. This book was chosen by the Young Leadership Council (YLC) members and book-loving New Orleanians as the “One Book One New Orleans” title for 2016.

Looking forward to seeing you in New Orleans!

ARLIS/NA 2017 Conference Programming Co-Chairs
Kim Collins, Emory University,
Kasia Leousis, Auburn University,

Thinking about New Orleans: Walking Tours (Part I)

Cue music: Walking Through New Orleans

Put on your walkin’ shoes!

John Klingman, architect, historian, Favrot Professor of Architecture at Tulane University, and longtime Garden District resident, will be our guide for three different walking tours of iconic New Orleans neighborhoods and places. Tour size is limited by City ordinance, so sign up before they fill up! Check out the full range of NOLA 2017 experiences on the ARLIS/NA 2017 Conference website.

Continue reading “Thinking about New Orleans: Walking Tours (Part I)”

Thinking about NOLA: Books! (Part 2)

Happy Friday on a Monday, ARLISians!

The holiday season just began, so it’s time to consider your February trip to New Orleans for the ARLIS/NA annual conference — and you need some reading material!

Your book, or books of choice might be read (real book or ebook), or listened to (audio book), during your “hurry up and wait” at the airport, and/or for that plane trip that lasts longer than it should, and/or to unwind after a long, exhausting day of sessions and tours in New Orleans. The following are only a few suggestions for your reading pleasure.

Continue reading “Thinking about NOLA: Books! (Part 2)”

Conference Tours: Tulane Tour Block

"A Grand Soiree Dansante," 1909. Tulane University Online Exhibits, Early New Orleans Jazz Posters.
“A Grand Soiree Dansante,” 1909. Tulane University Online Exhibits —  Early New Orleans Jazz Posters.

Come early for the conference and spend part of Monday, February 6th getting to know one of the country’s most unique institutions of higher learning, Tulane University. ARLIS/NA has organized three fantastic tours of some of Tulane’s most notable special collections. Keep reading for full details.

Continue reading “Conference Tours: Tulane Tour Block”

Thinking about New Orleans: Books (Part I)

Happy Friday, ARLISians!

OK, you are getting ready to take that trip to New Orleans in February to join your colleagues for the ARLIS-NA annual conference — you need some reading material!

Maybe you need something to get yourself in the NOLA mood when you have more time over the upcoming holidays?

No matter if you prefer to read in hardback, paperback, or ebook, there is much available to inspire and delight you. Let’s talk today about “classic” New Orleans-related literature. The following are just a few suggestions.

Continue reading “Thinking about New Orleans: Books (Part I)”

Thinking about New Orleans: Photography

It’s a Friday, and you have another weekend to consider your trip and make plans to attend the annual ARLIS/NA conference this coming February — which is fast-approaching. We will be in the beautiful city of New Orleans for Arts du Monde. Registration will be open online on the first of November, in only a few more days!

We recently examined NOLA-centric films, so let’s take a look (of course!) at still photography related to New Orleans. When it comes to photography collections, New Orleans is the proverbial embarrassment of riches, but here are just few of interest.

Continue reading “Thinking about New Orleans: Photography”