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Arts & Culture

Statuesque New Orleans

There are very few weekends I find myself not hosting eager out-of-town guests.  This is a blessing (and the curse) of living in the French Quarter.

cover of Ashley Merlin's Statuesque New Orleans

I’m always on the hunt to find new and interesting ways to show friends (and sometimes strangers) around the city. My first major introduction to New Orleans was visiting every museum.

From the Father’s Seelos Shrine in the Garden District to Treme’s Backstreet Cultural Museum, I learned a lot about the diverse history and neighborhoods of New Orleans.

As I thumbed through Ashley Merlin’s Statuesque New Orleans, I was reminded of this journey.  This beautiful coffee table book features detailed photographs and histories of over 100 statues in the New Orleans area in a chronological timeline.   There is also a set of great neighborhood maps in the back of the book that tells where each monument is located.

I’ve lived in this magical city for ten years, and still there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t discover something new. In the first pages, I learned that the four statues in Jackson Square represent our four seasons: autumn, winter, spring and summer. I must have sat next to these statues a dozen times in the shade with an iced cafe au lait and a bag of beignets without realizing I was next to some of the oldest public artworks in New Orleans.

Amazing.

Merlin will be signing copies of this book at the New Orleans Museum of Art‘s Museum Shop June 16th from 6-8 pm.

Every Wednesday NOMA is free for all visitors, thanks to the Helis Foundation. Why not spend mid-week in Mid-City?

You can purchase Statuesque New Orleans from the NOMA Museum Shop or on her website at www.ashleymerlin.com.

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