NEW ORLEANS, LA — The Historic New Orleans Collection Museum has reopened the French Quarter Galleries. It resumed pre-pandemic hours, beginning from Tuesday, June 15.
The museum, often abbreviated as HNOC, is a museum, research center and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. It was founded in 1966 through the estates of L. Kemper Williams and Leila Moore Williams.
French Quarter Galleries tells the story of how the city of New Orleans, and especially the famous French Quarter, is shaped. The quarter itself is situated on a bend of the Mississippi River, where Native people inhabited the land around the French Quarter before the eighteenth century.
The French Quarter Galleries explore how and why this historical neighborhood developed from time to time. This exhibition also explores how life has been lived here by various populations and how the legacies there remain today.
The exhibition presents stories of the city's original footprint thematically, from arts, music and culture, also the neighborhood's various populations, transportation and communications. There are also stories of the slave trade and commerce from time to time.
THNOC's three hundred original artifacts, videos and audio contents are complemented by state-of-the-art interactive technologies.
In the first gallery, an animated and graphic word cloud provides an overview of topics covered by the exhibition. Then, sensors embedded throughout the gallery update the word cloud with the words or objects people engage with the most.
Xiao Xiao, a New media artist and New Orleans native, is the word cloud developer. In this project, she collaborates with fellow alumni from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Don Derek Haddad.
In another gallery, an immersive film, The French Quarter by Night, is projected on all four walls. The film is an epic 17.5-minute journey over more than three hundred years, from a mosquito-infested Mississippi River bank before Native American settlement to a modern night amid the Krewe de Vieux parade. The film is developed by Michelle Benoit and Glen Pitre of Côte Blanche Productions.
The exhibition, located on THNOC's 520 Royal Street campus, is opened Tuesday to Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. On Sundays, it is opened from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission there is free.
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