Que la fête commence!
The French Influence on the Good Life in New Orleans

An Exhibit from the New Orleans Public Library

Louisiana has been enjoying the good life since its founding in 1699--on Mardi Gras. History tells us that Pierre Lemoyne Sieur de Iberville and his men celebrated the occasion with a Te Deum, A carnival dance
program in the form of the French flagbut it's quite likely that they lifted a glass of brandy or two after the prayers were done. Louisiana State FlagNot too many years later, after the city of New Orleans was established in 1718, one of its early settlers, Pierre Dreux, started the colony's first manufacturing enterprise--a brewery. The party has been in full swing ever since as French men and women--and generations of their descendants--have eaten, drunk, and made merry in ways similar to their compatriots in Orleans, Paris and Marseille.

In observance of FrancoFete, the year-long celebration of Louisiana's tricentennial, the New Orleans Public Library has mounted an exhibit highlighting the French influence on the good life in New Orleans. The exhibit combines French Flag original documents, photographs, and objects along with large scale reproductions of related items from the New Orleans City Archives and other library collections to illustrate how French taste has left its mark on what we eat and drink, where we dine and tipple, and how we entertain ourselves with music, theatre, and even larger spectacles such as the Mardi Gras.

Que la fête commence! was designed and mounted by Wayne Everard and Irene Wainwright of the Louisiana Division staff. Ridgways, Inc. provided large-scale reproductions from scanned image files and lamination services. Additional lamination was provided by Robert Baxter and Charles DeLong of the NOPL Duplications Division.

This exhibit is respectfully dedicated to the memory of Professor Joseph Logsdon, a New Orleans scholar who loved the Crescent City and its good life.

To Continue the Exhibit:

Online Exhibits Page

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