As you may know, today is Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, referring to the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season beginning tomorrow, Ash Wednesday.
What you may not know is that, “Tulane [University] has the finest collection of Mardi Gras art in the city,” Carnival historian and float designer, Henri Schindler tells The Times-Picayune.
“Not only does the Louisiana Research Collection at Tulane have the broadest assortment of vintage Mardi Gras ball invitations, dance cards and other ephemera in the world, but the library is sharing its wealth with students and scholars through a new, searchable online digital library, ” reports The Times-Picayune.
The Times-Picayune continues, “The archived materials feature gold emboss, die-cuts and foldouts stuffed into envelopes hand-addressed with calligraphy dating from Carnival’s Golden Age – 1870 to 1930.”
Among the treasures found in this collection, which is on exhibit at Tulane through May 30, 2012, are works of art by Carlotta Bonnecaze, who designed some of the most elaborate costumes and spectacular floats during the Golden Age.
Whether you are in New Orleans this Carnival season or enjoying your King Cake from afar, this artwork is worth seeing. Many artists have been inspired by the alluring city of New Orleans, and the riotous celebration of life that occurs around Carnival.
Happy Mardi Gras!
- Live from New Orleans, It’s Will Ferrell, Mardis Gras King [Mardi Gras] (jezebel.com)
- Mardi Gras helps fatten New Orleans businesses (usatoday.com)
- For Mardi Gras float makers, next year is here (seattletimes.nwsource.com)