Monday, October 8, 2018

Cities of the Dead Class

We welcomed Professor Heather Knight's "Cities of the Dead" class to SEAA last week for an introduction to our holdings and a tour of our stacks to give the students an idea of what an archives looks like. We brought out materials from our Albert Weiblen Marble & Granite Company records, including watercolor presentation renderings and plaster scale models for tombs, which were used to show clients potential designs. Great expense went into these drawings and models, but the result of a client spending many times more than the price of some of the costlier homes in New Orleans at the time, was well worth the effort. The Weiblen company had architects on staff who designed many of the large-scale "golden age" tombs of Metairie Cemetery in the 19teens through the 1940s, including Lorenzo Orsini, Charles Lawhon, and Ralph Phillippi. The company also worked with other leading New Orleans architects hired by clients. 

We also included in our talk working plans, bronze decoration and art glass samples, and photographs of the Weiblen stone carvers, masons, and office staff. A highlight of our stacks tour included the concrete, plaster, and copper foil scale model of the 1918 Bendel family tomb and memorial at the Jewish Cemetery in Lafayette, Louisiana, also made by the Weiblen company, designed by Charles Lawhon. The photo shows the tomb fairly soon after completion. The tomb was commissioned by Henri Bendel to hold the remains of his mother, father, and step-father. Bendel, who was born in Vermilionville, Louisiana in 1868, established himself as a milliner in New York City in 1895, and soon after created what became the iconic Henri Bendel department store. It was announced recently that the remaining Henri Bendel boutiques located throughout the United States would close.  






1 comment:

Tulane Homecoming 2018

SEAA had special Tulane Homecoming hours this past Saturday for our current exhibit, "The Laurel Valley Plantation Photographs of P...