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Eli A. Haddow

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The Historic New Orleans Collection

"Storyville: Madams and Music," a new exhibition

On view April 5-December 2, 2017
Gallery hours are Tuesday‒Saturday, 9:30 a.m.‒4:30 p.m. (excluding holidays)
*Media preview: Tuesday, April 4, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. RSVP to elih@hnoc.org.

THNOC's Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres St.

Admission is free. For more information, visit www.hnoc.org or call (504) 523-4662.

A century after the closing of Storyville, The Historic New Orleans Collection will open an exhibition that revives some of the sights and sounds of the notorious red-light district.

"Storyville: Madams and Music" opens to the public on April 5, 2017, and uses a diverse selection of photographs, maps, postcards, contemporary objects, videos, recordings and the infamous blue books-pocket-sized directories to the District-to guide visitors through the rise and fall of the neighborhood that helped shape the notorious reputation that adheres to New Orleans today.

Storyville was a legally sanctioned prostitution district located just north of the French Quarter. It was established by an 1897 ordinance introduced by Alderman Sidney Story and remained in operation for nearly 20 years. The District's brothels, saloons and beer halls lured visitors from around the country with attractions such as music, dance and sex. Through the blue books, visitors will see that Storyville was portrayed as a luxurious playground for affluent white men and gave rise to New Orleans's position as a nationally important tourism center.

Music permeated the Storyville experience, and several pioneering musicians like Manuel "Fess" Manetta, Jelly Roll Morton and Joe "King" Oliver experimented with new styles and techniques there. Instruments, oral histories and sheet music from musicians who played in Storyville, coupled with recordings of popular music and dance steps, reveal the breadth and diversity of the District's music.

"Storyville: Madams and Music" encourages a better understanding of the complicated legacies of Storyville. The exhibition complements THNOC's book, "Guidebooks to Sin: The Blue Books of Storyville, New Orleans," the first thorough contemporary study of these rare guides, released in February 2017. It will be on view at THNOC's Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres St., through December 2, 2017. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and admission is free.


About The Historic New Orleans Collection
Founded in 1966, The Historic New Orleans Collection is a museum, research center and publisher dedicated to the study and preservation of the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. For more information, visit www.hnoc.org or call (504) 523-4662.