It was a busy day. I started out on a quest to find a combination recuperation/baby’s first birthday gift for Nola & CS–a bottle of Kübler absinthe. Alright, it really wasn’t much of a first birthday gift for Sun; I promise to make it up to her next year. First stop, Martin Wine Cellar in Mandeville. Didn’t have it. I knew Acquistapace’s Covington Supermarket carried it, so that’s where I headed next. I couldn’t locate it their either, but luckily I ran into Adam Acquistapace, who fetched me a bottle. Armed with gift, I headed to Nola’s crawfish boil.

It was raining pretty hard when I got off the Causeway. I thought that, over the sound of the rain and my windshield wipers, I could hear “Oh, the suckage!” being screamed from Nola’s way. But, surprise, the pop-up tent and covered porch were keeping everyone dry and happy, with not one lament from Nola’s mouth at all. Sun, who I had heard was sick, was being pushed happily by her daddy on her new swing, all the Nola/CS friend peeps digging away at mudbugs, beer, potatoes artichokes, etc.

I left to go hunt streetcars; post at coming soon. Then off to NOMA for the Rodrigue exhibit. If you haven’t been to the New Orleans Museum of Art recently, you need to get down there. The Rodrique exhibit is over June 8, but there is still plenty to see. One thing is a newly-acquired collection of 30-some odd pieces, including a painting by Fairfield Porter, probably my favorite non-impressionist painter.

After looking at the Rodrigues (and there is more to him than just the Blue Dog, and, by the way, I was not a fan of the Blue Dog, but have a new understanding and respect for it now) I headed up to the 3rd floor. I’m glad I did. Besides myself and the security guard, the only other person up there was John Bullard, NOMA’s director. I’d met him before, during the Femme Femme Femme exhibition. He’s a very convivial guy, a necessary trait when most of your job consists of raising funds. I told him I thought it was a great idea to keep the museum open all night, he said it’s been something museums in Dallas and other cities had been experimenting with to some success. They’re talking about doing it once a month, maybe on the last Wednesday of the month, to stay open to midnight. It’s a good idea; hotel, restaurant and hospital workers who otherwise wouldn’t get to see it come in then. It was a busy day for NOMA, too. He said they already had 2000 visitors on Saturday, and expected more Sunday.

After congratulating John on the exhibit, I mosied on down to the 2nd floor (the 3rd, by the way, is home to a small but impressive collection of Asian, African, South American and Native American indigenous art) where I was met full on with a sight inspiring the title of this piece–an exhibit of art from the Historic New Orleans Collection and NOMA called New Orleans: A Sense of Place.

Paintings, books, pieces of decorative art, including silverware from New Orleans smiths, all unmistakably NOLA creations. There are paintings of buildings and the city from the 1800’s and contemporary views, like a stunning, huge, painting of the Quarter, the docks and the Marigny as viewed from the top of the Jax Brewery–unfortunately I didn’t have anything to write with or I’d be telling you who the artist was.

In the middle of the room is a collection of books, old New Orleans classics from the Collection. Books by Lyle Saxon, Grace King, Kate Chopin, Lafcadio Hearn and George Washington Cable are on display. But at the top of the display is Ignatius Reilly peering out from the first-edition cover over the room, scimitar raised high, hunting cap on head, cockatoo perched on shoulder. Wow.

I went back downstairs where the crowd was growing. George Rodrigue and his family were hanging out, and as I walked out the door I ran into the person who started my day, Adam Acquistapace, absinthe dealer. I need to go buy a bottle for myself soon.

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6 Responses to Wow!

  1. charlotte on June 8, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Sounds like a near-perfect day to me!

  2. Nola on June 8, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    What a great day! We need to try the absinthe together!

  3. Sphinx Ink on June 8, 2008 at 11:31 pm

    What a great day. Thanks for the description of the Rodrigue exhibit–which I read about in the T-P but didn’t attend–and for the info on the Sense of Place exhibit. Sounds interesting.

    And don’t you love the symmetry of beginning and ending your day with Mr. Aquistapace?

  4. stacey on June 9, 2008 at 6:16 am

    What a great day! I heard the museum opening was a great success!!

  5. NOLA Notes » Blog Archive » Freestyling on June 12, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    […] it’s the absinthe I am […]

  6. […] is married to George Rodrigue, whose work warranted its own mega-exhibition at NOMA back in 2008 (here is a post on the Blue Dog exhibit, and a little story about an encounter I had with Mr. Bullard then). She writes the blog Musings of […]

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