New Orleans: A Tricentennial Celebration


October 31 – November 4, 2018

Founded in 1718 as a European outpost on the Mississippi River, New Orleans has served as an important economic and cultural hub for 300 years under successive waves of French, Spanish, and American rule. Timed with the city’s tricentennial, our symposium introduces Trust members to the extraordinary sights, sounds, and scents of the Crescent City. From the French Quarter to the Garden District to the Creole plantations along River Road, participants are treated to an unforgettable exploration of the region’s unique architecture and diverse culture.


ITINERARY  (subject to amendment)

Thursday, November 1

  • Welcoming Remarks at The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC)
    Boyd Cruise Room, Williams Research Center
  • The Jonathan L. Fairbanks Lecture
    New Orleans at 300
    John H. Lawrence, Director of Museum Programs, THNOC
  • Depart for opening reception at THNOC’s
    Seignouret-Brulatour House
    Sponsored by Freeman's

Friday, November 2

THNOC, Boyd Cruise Room, Williams Research Center

  • Depart on foot for lunch at Napoleon House, a 200-year-old French Quarter landmark built for Nicholas Girod, mayor of New Orleans from 1812 to 1815, who offered his residence to Napoleon in 1821 as a refuge during his exile.
  • Our afternoon tours explore sites and collections in the Upper Quarter. At THNOC’s Williams Research Center, Curator Lydia Blackmore offers a decorative arts workshop with highlights of the collection. In the Louisiana history galleries on Royal Street, Sarah Duggan, the Classical Institute of the South’s Coordinator and Research Curator, introduces additional treasurers from THNOC’s rich holdings.
  • Crossing Bourbon Street, we reach the beautifully restored Hermann-Grima House, where meticulously researched interiors are complemented by important objects connected to the prosperous families that owned this neoclassical dwelling (1831), which includes an impressive courtyard garden with kitchen and stables.
  • Le Petit Salon is the headquarters of an eponymous ladies’ club founded in 1924 with an emphasis on historic preservation in the French Quarter. The organization occupies an 1838 house built for successful hardware merchant Victor David that contains the most notable Greek Revival double parlor extant in the Quarter.

Saturday, November 3

  • We depart by coach for City Park and the New Orleans Museum of Art, where we are welcomed by the curatorial staff for tours of this dynamic institution with renowned holdings. A special tricentennial exhibition on the magnificent art collection owned by the Duc D’Orleans, the city’s namesake, headlines our schedule, including masterpieces that formerly graced the walls of the Palais Royal in Paris. Our visit also features explorations of the museum’s decorative arts galleries and superb sculpture garden. In the late morning, participants have the opportunity further explore NOMA or see the late-18th-century Pitot House on nearby Bayou St. John.
  • Departing City Park, we travel to Lakewood for lunch and tours at Longue Vue House and Gardens, the early-20th-century home of Edith and Edgar Stern, featuring an impressive collection as well as interiors and eight acres of gardens by renowned designer Ellen Biddle Shipman.
  • The afternoon focuses on the city’s famed Garden District. Developed from subdivided plantations in the antebellum period, the neighborhood thrived after the Civil War and continues today as a remarkable collection of architecturally significant residences in a stunning streetscape. We enjoy an architectural walking tour as well as the opportunity to see important residences along the way. A weekend in New Orleans would not be complete without a visit one of the city’s famous cemeteries, and we explore Lafayette Cemetery at the heart of the Garden District, which is the oldest of the seven.
  • Benefit fundraiser for the Trust’s Emerging Scholars Program at the home of Mr. Michael Harold and Dr. Quinn Peeper.  (Please see full details below)

Sunday, November 4

THNOC, Boyd Cruise Room, Williams Research Center

  • Symposium concludes


Pre-Symposium Optional Tour: Creole Plantation Houses of the Lower Mississippi

Wednesday, October 31

  • An early morning departure by coach from the Hotel Monteleone permits a full day of sightseeing at privately owned plantations on the River Road in route from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. We are accompanied throughout by architectural historian Eugene D. Cizek, PhD., former director of Tulane’s preservation studies program.
  • Our first stop is Laura Plantation. With a core built in 1805, the house provides a perfect introduction to the traditional Creole-style house with a hipped roof, brick-between-post construction, a broad roof over the two-story gallery, and clapboards ornamented in the colorful palette of the subtropical antecedents that inspired such dwellings.
  • We continue to Evergreen Plantation, built in 1790 but updated in the Greek Revival style in 1832. Still a working sugar cane plantation today, the site features 29 antebellum outbuildings, making it one of the most complete plantation complexes in the Gulf South. Of particular note are the 22 slave dwellings aligned with an allée of oak trees as well as the pigeonnier and overseer’s cottage.
  • Following lunch at a highly regarded riverside restaurant, we progress to Perique in St. James Parish, named for a local tobacco grown in the 18th century. Owned by a landscape designer and garden historian, the raised-basement Creole house was built in the late 1830s and beautifully restored over the past decade, now showcasing a collection of Louisiana and French decorative and fine arts.
  • Chêne Vert, French for Live Oak, dates to 1830 but represents the continuity of the Creole tradition after Louisiana achieved statehood in 1812. The current owners purchased the structure in ruinous condition and relocated it 80 miles southwest to its current location near Baton Rouge. Their interior designs follow a mid-19th-century inventory of the house’s contents, and they have cultivated a spectacular parterre based on historic garden plans.
  • Our overnight accommodations, included in the registration fee, are at the Baton Rouge Capitol Center Hilton, an Art Deco icon built in 1927 and now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Thursday, November 1

  • Crossing the Mississippi to Point Coupée Parish, we reach Maison Chenal, a quintessentially Creole home rescued by renowned devotees of architectural preservation and decorative arts research, who have brought multiple structures to the site to recreate the elements of an early-19th-century plantation. They also assembled one of the best collections of period furnishings and portraiture.
  • We continue to Lejeune House, formerly the epicenter of a 500-acre indigo and tobacco plantation. The residence of a horticulturist and architect, Lejeune dates to the early 1800s but was later modified and expanded to its current scale and appearance. The formal ground floor rooms feature cypress-paneled walls and ceilings, an elegant backdrop to a collection blending diverse materials.
  • South of Baton Rouge, Magnolia Mound represents the American influence on the Creole tradition. The raised foundation and hall-free floor plan are contrasted by neoclassical details on the interior woodwork and ornamentation. The furnishings and reproduction wallpapers and paint schemes illustrate the sophistication and trade routes that connected this region to international markets.
  • Bidding adieu to Baton Rouge, we return to New Orleans and the Hotel Monteleone in time for the opening lecture and reception.

Registration is limited.

Sunday Optional Tour:  Residences of the Lower Quarter

Sunday, November 4

12:00 – 7:00pm
  • We depart on foot from the Williams Center for a leisurely lunch at the iconic French Quarter restaurant Arnaud’s, where we enjoy the exceptional fare accompanied by a Jazz trio.
  • We set off with knowledgeable architectural historians to point out additional sites along the way. A pied-a-terre on St. Peters Street in the mid-Quarter combines historic charm and modern elegance on the parlor level of a c. 1836 townhouse. The project of a noted designer with deep roots in the decorative arts field, the interior showcases his timeless approach.
  • A Creole cottage on St. Philip Street was built in 1805 by Jean-Louis Dolliole, a master builder and free person of color, and restored in the 1980s by devoted French Quarter preservationists. This deep structure features a high-pitched, hipped roof with the typical four-room Creole cottage floor plan and lime-washed exterior.
  • Toward the eastern end of Bourbon Street, an antiques dealer welcomes the group to his classic New Orleans double shotgun cottage. The home’s traditional design belies the 1887 construction date. An early-19th-century kitchen wing is preserved in the rear, separated by a brick-paved work yard. Both structures are furnished with an extensive collection, including heirlooms representing the owner’s deep roots in Louisiana.
  • Our afternoon exploration concludes with a reception at the Beauregard-Keyes House on Chartres Street. The home was built in 1826 and combines elements of a Creole cottage with Greek Revival features, including a pedimented façade. Saved from demolition in 1925, the building is undergoing a major structural restoration. The courtyard provides an ideal setting to celebrate the preservation of the Quarter and our splendid weekend in New Orleans.

Registration is limited.


Fundraiser for the Emerging Scholars Program at the Home of Mr. Michael Harold and Dr. Quinn Peeper

Saturday, November 3


Mr. Harold and Dr. Peeper’s Garden District house was built in 1862 and is one of the early examples of a shotgun double camel-back style house in New Orleans. The term “camel back” refers to a style of the shotgun house which has a second floor starting from the middle of the house rather than all the way to the front. This was one of the most popular and prevalent styles in the city. The homes in this part of New Orleans are raised due to flooding and the heat of the summers. Following an extensive, multi-year renovation, the duplex was converted to a single dwelling. Their beautifully decorated home and delightful garden provide an idyllic location for the evening’s festivities.

Please join us for a wonderful evening of connoisseurship and conviviality as we toast our hosts’ hospitality and lend support to the Trust’s efforts to encourage the next generation of curators and academics through a growing series of grants, scholarships, and internships. In 2018, more than four dozen graduate students and young professionals will benefit from the Trust’s Emerging Scholars Program.

Registration is limited.

  • The Hotel Monteleone
    Special Room Rates: Traditional $239; Preferred $269; Suite $429. The Trust has reserved a block of rooms for October 30-November 5. These rooms are available on a first-come first-served basis until September 17. Please make your reservations as soon as possible to ensure availability by calling 504.523.3341 and referencing the Decorative Arts Trust 2018 Symposium.
  • The hotel is a 30-minute drive from New Orleans International Airport (MSY). If driving, valet parking is available for $40 per day.
Terms and Conditions

By registering for this symposium, I/we do hereby release The Decorative Arts Trust from any and all liability in connection with the symposium, New Orleans: A Tricentennial Celebration, for any loss, delay, injury, or damage to or in respect to any person or property however the cause for arising. It is understood that The Decorative Arts Trust has acted as agent for me/us in providing means of transportation or other services and The Decorative Arts Trust is not to be held responsible for any act, omission, or event during the time I am/we are participating in this program, and this evidences my/our understanding that The Decorative Arts Trust has not now, nor will have in the future, any liability to me/us due to any consequences arising out of said program or in connection with said program.

Cancellation and Refund:
All cancellations received prior to July 19 are subject to a full refund less a $50 administrative fee per person. Participants canceling between July 19 and September 19 will receive a 50% refund. Refunds will not be made after September 19.


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