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Upcoming Events

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LIVE BAND KARAOKE…

Jul 7 - 28, 2015
Rock out on stage with Mixed Nuts as your band! All ages and free each Tuesday… more

Lydia's Purple Cloth…

Jul 7 - 28, 2015
Quilting continues! We're excited to have more time to work on creations… more

New Orleans Museum of…

Jul 7 - Sep 7, 2015
Ten Years Gone brings together six artists whose work engages with the broad… more

Octavia Art Gallery -…

Jul 7 - 25, 2015
This summer, Octavia Art Gallery is pleased to present new works by Cuban based… more

Ogden Museum Book…

Jul 7 - 7, 2015
Join us at the Book Club for  Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale… more

Purchased Lives: New…

Jul 7 - 18, 2015
The Historic New Orleans Collection's newest exhibition, "Purchased… more

The Sweat Social…

Jul 7 - Dec 20, 2015
Designed for wellness travelers visiting New Orleans, the Sweat Social offers… more

Gambit’s 2015…

Jul 8 - 8, 2015
Gambit's 2015 Emerging Chefs Challenge recognizes the next generation of… more

2015 Francisco…

Jul 9 - 9, 2015
The Historic New Orleans Collection's 2015 Francisco Bouligny Lecture will… more

Langlois Girls Night…

Jul 9 - Sep 3, 2015
Bring your friends to Langlois on Thursdays or Fridays this summer for girls'… more

LIVE IMPROV WITH NOLA…

Jul 9 - 30, 2015
Improv Comedy with NOLA ComedySportz is great for all ages. The audience of a… more

Men of Song Chorus…

Jul 9 - 9, 2015
Join us for the  Men of Song Chorus and Sinfonia Orchestra Concert… more

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia…

Jul 9 - 9, 2015
Join us for Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia 55th National Convention Step Sing at … more

San Fermin in Nueva…

Jul 9 - 12, 2015
The 9th Annual Running of the Bulls at San Fermin in Nueva Orleans (SFNO) is… more

Yappy Hour in the…

Jul 9 - 30, 2015
Join us for  Yappy Hour in the Courtyard at Rare Form, to benefit the… more

Friday Nights at NOMA

Jul 10 - 10, 2015
Every Friday evening, come to the museum for activities and entertainment.… more

Mahalia Jackson…

Jul 10 - 10, 2015
 Join us for the 1898 Jazz Orchestra Concert featuring Gordon Goodwin and… more

Smoothie King Center…

Jul 10 - 11, 2015
Garth Brooks is bringing his World Tour with Trisha Yearwood to the Smoothie… more

Toast & Tiki Tails

Jul 10 - 10, 2015
Toasts & Tiki-Tails" will be held at the NO Fleas Market  during… more

Bastille Day Fete

Jul 11 - 11, 2015
Celebrate the French National Day in America's French City with live music,… more

LIVE BAND KARAOKE…

Jul 7 - 28, 2015
Rock out on stage with Mixed Nuts as your band! All ages and free each Tuesday… more

Seeking the Unknown: Natural History Observations in Louisiana, 1698–1840 at the Historic New Orleans Collection

The exhibition Seeking the Unknown: Natural History Observations in Louisiana, 1698-1840 presents objects that provide a broad historical background for the study of Louisiana's natural history-from taxidermied animals, specimens in jars, and pressed plants to lavishly illustrated folios.

The Historic New Orleans Collection relives the romance and mystery of Louisiana's early scientific expeditions with its latest exhibition, Seeking the Unknown: Natural History Observations in Louisiana, 1698-1840. On view through June 2, at 533 Royal St., the free exhibition is available to the public Tuesday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and Sunday, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Louisiana's lush and distinctive environment has long played into the state's identity, evidenced by monikers like "the Sportsman's Paradise," "the Bayou State" and "the Pelican state." Records from some of the first explorers prove that the area's flora, fauna and native people were compelling centuries ago. The new exhibition draws on reports from early European explorers, their accounts kicking off a flurry of interest in the New World's environment that lasted well into the 19th century. Scientific curiosity-in addition to economic potential and romantic notions-motivated the brave men and women who tackled the strange terrain and its sometimes harsh climate.

"The curious nature of many of the naturalists and explorers of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries is something that never goes out of fashion. Regardless of the era or the field, curiosity drives discovery," said John H. Lawrence, director of museum programs at THNOC and exhibition co-curator. "This exhibition will give visitors a better understanding of what early explorers and scientists saw in Louisiana's forests, swamps, rivers and shores."

Lawrence and fellow co-curator Gilles-Antoine Langlois of the National School of Architecture at Versailles, University Paris-Est Créteil, chose objects that provide a broad historical background for early observations of the Louisiana landscape. The display comprises selections from THNOC's holdings plus loaned items from several institutions in the state and four French archives. Together, these pieces spotlight particular individuals whose work was influential in recording the natural history of Louisiana.

"With rare exception, the often groundbreaking work of these men was, during their lifetime, known to a relatively small audience," Langlois wrote in his essay for the exhibition catalogue. "They were unacknowledged collectors of scientific treasures, operating in the shadows, suffering fevers and other unimaginable hardships, rarely receiving widespread recognition or other acclaim. This exhibition finally brings some of their previously invisible work to light."

Items on display include centuries-old plant and animal specimens-including a bobcat, a cougar and a Mississippi map turtle-collected by various explorers and scientists. The exhibition even features several reptile specimens in jars that were collected in the 1830s. Detailed drawings, watercolors and illustrated folios-including several by John James Audubon-are also part of the display.

"It's pretty amazing to see examples of plants and animals that were collected in Louisiana hundreds of years ago," Lawrence said. "Many of them seem so commonplace to us today-a brown pelican, an alligator gar, Spanish moss-but just imagine seeing something like that for the first time. That's what this exhibition is about."

This exhibition is presented in conjunction with the 18th annual Williams Research Center Symposium Seeking the Unknown: Perspectives on Louisiana's Natural History.