FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Arthur Smith Jacques Berry
Louisiana State Museum Office of the Lieutenant Governor
1926 Louisiana Plantation Photos on View at the Presbytere
The Louisiana State Museum is presenting an exhibition of images of Louisiana plantations from 1926 by Robert William Tebbs, one of the foremost architectural photographers of the early 20th century. The Louisiana Photographs of Robert Tebbs opens at the Presbytere at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 5 with a reception that includes a lecture and book signing by Louisiana State Museum visual arts curator Tony Lewis, author of Robert W. Tebbs, Photographer to Architects: Louisiana Plantations in 1926 (LSU Press). The reception, hosted by the Friends of the Cabildo, the Louisiana Landmarks Society and the Preservation Resource Center, is free and open to the public.
Tebbs was born in England in 1875 and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1888. After a successful career as a news and sports photographer, Tebbs gradually shifted his focus to architecture and interiors, winning commissions to document major projects such as New York City's Grand Central Terminal in 1913.
In 1926, with New Orleans architect and preservationist Richard Koch as a guide, Tebbs photographed nearly 100 Louisiana plantations, including well-known sites such as Elmwood, Parlange, Ormond, Whitney, Houmas House, L'Hermitage, Waverly, Belle Chasse, Chrétian Point, Shadows-on-the-Teche, René Beauregard House, Rosedown, Woodlawn, Oak Alley and Belle Grove. Because he also sought out more obscure or modest properties, he provided a comprehensive record of Louisiana plantation architectural styles.
Tebbs died in 1945 and in 1956 his widow, Jeanne Tebbs, sold the complete collection of 332 Louisiana plantation prints and negatives to the Louisiana State Museum.
The Louisiana Photographs of Robert Tebbs, featuring 60 gelatin silver prints documenting plantation architectural styles from the 18th and 19th centuries, will be on view through November 2012 in the second floor galleries at The Presbytere in Jackson Square. Also featured is Louisiana State Museum's flagship exhibition Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond. The Presbytere is open Tuesdays through Sundays,
10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and is wheelchair accessible.