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Upcoming Events

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"Toasts & Tiki-Tails"

Jul 25 - 25, 2014
"Toasts & Tiki-Tails" will be held at the NO Fleas Market during… more

2014 Youth Musical…

Jul 25 - 27, 2014
SEUSSICAL JR. Transports audiences from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus… more

Adventures in Dance…

Jul 25 - 25, 2014
WHO: In partnership with the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission,… more

AMERICAN IDOL LIVE…

Jul 25 - 25, 2014
Fans of the hit series can see this season's talented Top Ten Finalists live… more

Anthony Bean…

Jul 25 - 27, 2014
The Anthony Bean Community Theater/NORDC Summer Youth Program presents over 75… more

Bricks in the Wall -…

Jul 25 - 25, 2014
The most spectacular, mind blowing & longest performing Pink Floyd Tribute… more

Entergy IMAX Theatre…

Jul 25 - Aug 21, 2014
Entergy IMAX Theatre and 3D Entertainment Distribution invite audiences on an… more

JPAS Summer Musical…

Jul 25 - Aug 3, 2014
  THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE JR., based on the zany musical that has taken… more

Le Petit Theatre…

Jul 25 - 25, 2014
- Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carré will present an encore production of… more

New Orleans Museum of…

Jul 25 - 25, 2014
Chefs of the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group look forward to demonstrating their… more

PINTS & PLAYS

Jul 25 - Nov 25, 2014
PINTS & PLAYS is a monthly play reading in the true spirit of New Orleans. … more

Steinbeck: The Art of…

Jul 25 - 25, 2014
An opening reception for Steinbeck: The Art of Fiction will be held from 6 to 9… more

Avita's World…

Jul 26 - 26, 2014
World Hepatitis Day is part of Avita's campaign to rase awareness about… more

Jump, Jive & Wail:…

Jul 26 - 27, 2014
The Stage Door Canteen's Big Easy award winning hit show Jump, Jive & Wail… more

Le Petit Theatre…

Jul 26 - 26, 2014
- Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carré will present an encore production of… more

Neighborhood Pet…

Jul 26 - 26, 2014
Neighborhood Pet Adoption & Bake Sale, sponsored by the LA/SPCA will be… more

The Historic New…

Jul 26 - 26, 2014
Join us for a screening of "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte" (1964),… more

Theater Nuts and Bolts

Jul 26 - 26, 2014
Theatre Nuts And Bolts is a two hour workshop that offers the basics of… more

Albinas Prizgintas…

Jul 27 - 27, 2014
Pianist/organist Albinas Prizgintas and Friends in a program featuring the BEST… more

Flutist Laura…

Jul 27 - 27, 2014
Join us for  Flutist Laura Patterson, Dancer/choreographer Nanette Ledet, … more

"Toasts & Tiki-Tails"

Jul 25 - 25, 2014
"Toasts & Tiki-Tails" will be held at the NO Fleas Market during… 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.