Curating Under Quarantine

Whether you’re doing scholarly research or just want to indulge in an afternoon of history, here in the Crescent City, there’s no better place for that than the Historic New Orleans Collection. When forced to close their galleries earlier this year, the nonprofit jumped into action making extensive changes and additions to their online offerings to help us all stay entertained and informed – even while quarantined.

On this week’s show, we talk with Daniel Hammer, the Collection’s president and CEO to learn about their virtual exhibitions and a nascent oral history project focused on the impact the pandemic is having on the lives of New Orleanians.

Then, we take a virtual tour of their new galleries at 520 Royal Street and revisit Purchased Lives, a powerful exhibit from 2015 that examined New Orleans’ role in the domestic slave trade from 1808 to 1865 – now available to see online.

Finally, we speak with legendary Louisiana director Glen Pitre, who along with his wife Michelle Benoit, created an immersive film experience for the HNOC. “The French Quarter by Night” fills a room with imagery and sound, showcasing over three centuries of the Quarter after nightfall. Glen explains why it took them almost three years and to shoot this 17-minute production.

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