Monday, December 18, 2017

Architect's Christmas Cards

For the holidays we thought we would share some of the Christmas cards made by New Orleans modernist architect, James R. Lamantia, Jr. (1923-2011). Most noted for his designs for area churches, including St. Pius X in New Orleans, St. Catherine Siena in Metairie, and Our Lady of Prompt Succor in Chalmette, all done under Burk, LeBreton, and Lamantia, architects. One of his most controversial projects was turning a mid-19th century townhouse on St. Charles Avenue into the uber-modern 20th Century Shop of home furnishings in the 1950s. He also did quite a bit of work in New York City, including restaurants for Tavern on the Green, JFK International Airport, Grand Central Station, and the World Trade Center. Many are surprised to find he did a great deal of restoration projects for Central Park in Manhattan.

Below is a sampling of Lamantia designed Christmas cards he sent to friends--several to his good friend and fellow modernist New Orleans architect, Victor Bruno. Some are hand drawn or painted, others are woodblock prints--some with applied watercolor, and one has gold foil glued on. They date from the 1950s through 2003. We wish you happy holidays and all the best for 2018!






Monday, December 11, 2017

Swedish Architects & Artists in New Orleans

We are excited for this week's opening of the exhibit, "Bror Anders Wikstrom: Bringing Fantasy to Carnival", December 14, 2017 through April 1, 2018, at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The exhibit focuses on Swedish born Wikstrom (1854-1909), who was a noted artist, designer of early New Orleans carnival floats, and a founding member of the New Orleans Artists Association in 1885. Many of the beautiful original drawings in the exhibit are being loaned by the Louisiana Research Collection (LaRC) of the Howard-Tilton Memorial Library.

This post was suggested by Cecilia Kjellgren, Tulane alum and Honorary Consul of Sweden for New Orleans. While SEAA doesn't hold any records of Swedish-born architects working in New Orleans, our friends in the Louisiana Research Collection kindly let us photograph items from their holdings that showcase buildings for the 1884 World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition held in New Orleans on the site of what is now the current Audubon Park. The supervising architect for the fair, and architect of the Main Building, was Gustavus M. Torgerson, who was born in Sweden, immigrated to the United States ca. 1865, and settled in Oxford, Mississippi in 1868 to practice as an architect. He proved to be prolific, designing many residences and public buildings in that state, many still standing today.

The posters below are from the Image Collection in the Louisiana Research Collection. Top: "View of the World's Exposition from St. Charles Avenue North East, City Park (current Audubon Park), New Orleans". Krebs Lithographing Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. Middle: Detail of Main Building from poster at bottom. Bottom: "The World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition, New Orleans". J.S. Rivers, Lithographer, Printer, and Stationer, New Orleans. 



Below are stereopticon cards from LaRC's Image Collection, Edward L. Wilson, photographer.

Below is an undated photo of the interior of Horticultural Hall, which stood until the 1915 hurricane; in addition, below are two advertising cards for the fair, all from LaRC's Image Collection.






Architect's Christmas Cards

For the holidays we thought we would share some of the Christmas cards made by New Orleans modernist architect, James R. Lamantia, Jr. (19...