Browse Exhibits (8 total)

Once Upon a Canvas: Exploring Fairy Tale Illustrations from 1870-1942

A student-run exhibition of fairy tale illustrations from Tulane’s Special Collections and from the Amoss Collection, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library; in conjunction with the course “GERM 3670: Grimm Reckonings, The Development of the German Fairy Tale,” offered during the Spring semester 2013 by the Department of Germanic & Slavic Studies at Tulane University.

Fairy Tale Illustrations: Making Fantasy an On-the-Page Reality

From the beginnings of oral tradition to contemporary literature, no other art form has proven its resilience like that of the fairy tale. Its flexibility allows it to take many forms from legend to epic and from myth to folk tale. For generations these stories have piqued our interest, entertained us, and all the while exercised a form of pedagogy. Countless authors and collectors have tweaked and manipulated these tales, adapting them for any time or place in history.

As of the late 19th century and into the early 20th, these tales have come alive on paper and canvas, further impressing their significance on the collective human psyche. When one envisions an ogre, fairy, witch, or beast, one has the imaginations of the artists showcased in this exhibit to thank. Their labors represent the contemporary manifestations of age-old traditions.

Read more from our student created brochure.

“The Brothers Grimm (1855)”

Learn more about the Brothers Grimm


 “Charles Perrault (1671)” 

Learn more about Charles Perrault.

Few things stoke the reader’s imagination like a skillfully crafted image. Since
the Brothers Grimm revolutionized the folk tale tradition with their collection of stories,
illustrations have served to illuminate the characters and places readers have
come to love. Although they have served to elaborate and clarify text, they have
done something more magical: at a basic level, the fairy tale illustration has added
to the mystique of simple tales, creating visual representations of characters and
endowing simple phrases with unexpected beauty.

Read more from our student-created panels.


Early New Orleans Jazz Posters


The Early New Orleans Jazz Posters exhibit from the Hogan Jazz Archive offers a rare glimpse at music and society in New Orleans at the turn of the twentieth century. Through a series of posters advertising various social events, one can see firsthand the strong connection between the formation of Jazz and the Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs, Mutual Aid and Protective Associations and their associated Halls that were an integral component of the African-American community in New Orleans. The fabled locations printed on these posters including Economy Hall, Oddfellows Hall, and St. Katharine’s Hall, are some of the most referenced establishments in early jazz history. The acquisition of this powerful collection came as an unexpected addition to the renowned John Robichaux performance library of sheet music and orchestrations.  When unpacking and processing the materials for the first time, folded and interleaved paper that appeared to be packing material to protect and separate the sheet music and orchestrations, actually turned out to be the series of posters featured in this exhibit. They are in remarkably good condition with the exception of a distinct crease or tear down the center of the poster from remaining folded for such a long period of time.   

Considering the collection’s origin, it is not surprising that John Robichaux’s Orchestra is often one of the bands featured, and this exhibit would not be complete without at least a brief description of him and his times. Robichaux, a Creole of Color and a classically trained violinist, was originally from Thibodaux, Louisiana like so many other talented musicians that found their way to New Orleans. Upon arriving in the city 1891, he took up the bass drum with the Excelsior Brass Band and later formed his own successful orchestra. The Robichaux Orchestra was reputed to be one of the finest in a city full of talented musicians, and was in demand at benevolent society halls, public parks and high end establishments alike. Later in life, Robichaux would enjoy a long tenure leading the Orchestra at the famed Lyric Theater. Many were held in awe of John Robichaux, believing him to be the epitome of refinement. He is often viewed as one of the last of the old guard, attempting to hold onto a unique way of life in the face of inevitable changes.

Although not mentioned by name on any of the posters, the shadow of Charles “Buddy” Bolden, a contemporary of Robichaux’s, is impossible to escape. Bolden was not a creole, nor classically trained. He embraced the new ratty style, learning to play music predominantly by ear and not yielding to established musical conventions or polite social norms. He was reputedly as wild as Robichaux was refined, and as uninhibited as Robichaux was disciplined. Although the collection ranges from 1900-1913, the vast majority are dated after 1907, the year Bolden was declared legally insane and institutionalized, so it is not surprising that he is absent from these advertisements despite his fame and notoriety. We do see an advertisement from 1910 featuring the “Famous Eagle Orchestra” which was the continuation of Bolden Band under the leadership of Frankie Duson after Bolden was institutionalized. This exhibit also features advertisements for functions held at Lincoln and Johnson Parks, famous segregated parks in the city where Robichaux and Bolden reportedly battled for the affection of audiences and the supremacy of their style.

While it is tempting to romanticize the history of jazz and its forefathers, it would be disingenuous to ignore the oppressive milieu these musicians could not escape from. New Orleans was a city in flux; the increasing Americanization of the Francophile city post-reconstruction and crippling Jim Crow segregation legislation, which stripped Creoles of Color of their unique social status, was bearing down in full force at the turn of the century as evidenced with the brutality of the Robert Charles Riots. De jure racism permeated Louisiana, so it is unsurprising, if disheartening, to see several posters that reflect this harsh reality.  Within the exhibit, one sees phrases such as “strictly white excursion,” “extra cars for colored people,”  “separate cars for colored people,” or “The Most Refined Park for Colored People in the South.” As such, it is important to view these posters advertising for benefit balls put on by the mutual aid societies and social pleasure clubs as a reflection of their times, when medical, burial and life insurance were out of reach for African-Americans, and such memberships and fundraisers attempted to fill a chasm that Jim Crow legislation created with impunity.

With all of this in mind, perhaps the most important information one can take away from this exhibit is that Jazz was a product of the diverse communities in New Orleans. It gestated in social halls supported by neighborhoods and society memberships; Lawn Parties, where often ladies would negotiate the services of a band with food and drink for an admission fee; public parks and excursions, where entire families would gather for entertainment. There is no mention of Storyville, the red light restricted district. While some members of these bands referenced certainly played in the restricted district, the idea that Jazz developed solely in the environs of Storyville, is a simplistic notion that sullies the rich musical tradition associated with New Orleans since its inception, and continues to this day, almost a century past the closing of Storyville.

For ease of browsing, the exhibit has been broken into three categories based on the occasion of the event, available from the links below. Within the three categories, one can click on each poster to view the full descriptive information, and click on the image again to view the full, enlarged image. If you have any questions regarding the exhibit, or would like any additional information, please contact the Hogan Jazz Archive at


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Charlee LaChatte and Friends: Collecting Cats at Tulane

This exhibit is meant to explore and celebrate the cat collections at Tulane. While it may seem unusual to have such objects in university collections, it should not surprise us that artists and writers have responded to human interest in the subject. In the cases in this room you will find a selection of the books acquired with the Charlee LaChatte endowment in Rare Books as well as examples of the holdings of the William Ransom Hogan Jazz Archive and the Louisiana Research Collection (LaRC).

The Charlee LaChatte book collection has centered on Anglo-American literary production between 1880 and 1960, though there are examples as far back as the sixteenth century. The books vary greatly in their representation of cats, but most often pertain to themes of childhood, innocence, role-playing, and the relationships between humans and animals.

These materials challenge us to think about what is or is not included in the definition of a “rare book" and why people create and collect “cute” books.


This online exhibit is sponsored by The Latin American Library (LAL) at Tulane University. In September 2013, Erika Diettes exhibited samples of her work in the LAL gallery in conjunction with the Library’s annual Open House.  

SHROUDS (Sudarios) is the result of multiple theoretical concerns, an infinity of technical quests, and an observation of the world from a certain context.

My decision to create this work stems from questions which have remained from previous photographic series, but are the consequences of the same process that began with my series SILENCES (Silencios, 2004), which deals with survivors of the Second World War who live in Colombia.

These questions are also to be found in DRIFTING AWAY (Río Abajo, 2007-2008), a series which deals with the victims of forced disappearance, and BY FORCE OF BLOOD (A Punta de Sangre, 2009), another series in which I examine the idea of the search for the bodies of the disappeared by their families who, in the midst of despair, find a ray of hope in the vultures that might lead them to the remains of their loved ones. To date I have received the testimonies of more than 300 victims of the violence in Colombia. They have confided intimacies of this violence to me: not only its harrowing details but the way they rebuild their lives and keep going despite what they have suffered.

Many times, with my camera, I have been a witness of the moment when people have to close their eyes as they recall the event which divided their life into two parts. The intention of the SHROUDS series is to enable the spectator to enter into and walk through these impenetrable and apparently alien worlds, when s/he observes that moment in which these women close their eyes because they find no other way to communicate the true dimension of the horror which they witnessed and the intensity of the sorrow to which they were subjected.

The women whose faces appear in SHROUDS were first-hand witnesses of acts of horror. They were forced to feel in their own flesh or in front of their own eyes that there is no difference between human beings and the most savage beasts of nature; or rather, that there is a difference and it is that we are the only species capable of mass murder and the only ones who do not adapt to our own kind.1


1. Nikolaas Timbergen, cited by Erich Fromm, Anatomía de la destructividad humana. Mexico:  Siglo Veintiuno Editores, 1975; 2004. p. 35.  


Erika Diettes is a visual artist who lives and works in Bogotá.  She works mainly with photography to explore issues of memory, pain, absence and death.  She has a Master’s degree in Anthropology from Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá), with a Licenciatura in Visual Arts and Communication from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana de Bogotá.  She has authored several essays on artistic representation in times of war, and her photographic and essayistic production has been included in various books, newspapers and journals.  Her work is part of the permanent collection of several major museums and has been exhibited at the Museums of Modern Art of Bogotá, Cali, Medellín and Barranquilla, the Museum of the University of Antioquia, the National Museum of Colombia, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago de Chile, Centro Cultural recoleta in Buenos Aires, De Santos Gallery and Houston Museum of Art.  Her most recent work, Sudarios, participated in the 2012 Fotofest Biennal, the Festival de la Luz in Buenos Aires, the Ex Teresa Arte Actual in Mexico City, and the Ballarat Foto Biennale in Australia among others.  Erika Diettes’ photographs also have been exhibited in other spaces linked to rememoration processes developed by several victims’ movements in Colombia.

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People and Places


The photographs of Abbye A. Gorin

1937 to 2000

Music Illustrated: The Songbooks of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band

An exhibition featuring photographs of the Original Dixieland Jazz Band's songbooks and publications spanning the career of their founder and cornetist Dominic James "Nick" LaRocca.

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The Free Southern Theater and the Black Arts Movement

Originating as a community theater group based in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1963, the Free Southern Theater (FST) became a cultural arm of the Civil Rights Movement. Upon moving to New Orleans in 1965, the FST became a major influence on Black Theater, both locally and nationally. As part of a community-wide celebration honoring the 50th anniversary of the founding of the FST, this exhibition highlights the struggles and triumphs of the Theater and its place within the Black Arts Movement of the 1960/70s. The FST story, as well as that of the Black Arts Movement, is told through photographs, play scripts, programs, books, literary magazines, flyers, and more.

This digital exhibition is based upon the exhbition entitled "The Free Southern Theater and the Black Arts Movement" held at the Amistad Research Center in New Orleans from January 6-April 25, 2014. The digital version was created by the Amistad Research Center and is hosted by the Tulane University Digital Prepositorty. For more information, contact the Amistad Research Center at or (504) 862-3222. 

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The Treasures of Tulane

Preserving Louisiana's Legacy

Louisiana’s history is treasured for its richness, its drama, and for its lasting impact on American culture. From Iberville’s explorations to the Civil War, through the origins of Carnival and the pages of American literature, the Louisiana Research Collection (LaRC) is committed to preserving Louisiana’s legacy. For more than a century, Tulane University has been collecting and preserving documents and artifacts of Louisiana’s rich history. These artifacts provide a tangible link between the present-day Tulane community and the larger-than-life figures that animate Louisiana’s history.

Private collectors have played a large part in adding to the wealth of material available at LaRC. Tulane University’s archival program began on May 3, 1889, when Mrs. L. Dolhonde presented to the Charles T. Howard Memorial Library a letter from Thomas Jefferson to M. duPlantier. That donation marked the beginning of what came to be the Louisiana Research Collection (LaRC). In 2009 the Manuscripts Department and Louisiana Collection merged to form the Louisiana Research Collection (LaRC). In the more than 120 years since Mrs. Dolhonde’s first donation, the Louisiana Research Collection has grown to encompass almost four linear miles of archival documents, books, maps, images, ephemera, and other resources central to the study of our state.

This exhibit of some of Tulane’s most treasured items brings together several of the disparate threads of Louisiana’s history. We begin with the Colonial era, with LaRC’s collection of early Americana. These documents, including letters from William Penn, George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson, provide insight into the political and social atmosphere of Colonial and Revolutionary America. The following section includes highlights from LaRC’s extensive Civil War holdings. The Louisiana Arts and Literature section features correspondence from Mark Twain and John Kennedy Toole as well as a rare edition of William Faulkner’s Mayday. The Carnival Collection is one of the crown jewels of the Treasures of Tulane, and includes original costume and float designs from several of the most prominent designers. LaRC has extensive holdings of documents relating to women’s history and the LGBT community of Louisiana; the Women and Gender section presents a selection of these items. Religious communities such as the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana, Temple Sinai and the First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans are represented in the Religion section. And finally, Louisiana’s rich and often vivid political history is charted through in the Louisiana Politics section. This section features items from LaRC’s collection of Huey P. Long papers, and the papers of Hale and Lindy Boggs.