Tulane University Online Exhibits

Browse Exhibits (22 total)

Excellence in Education: Celebrating the Artistic, Academic, Athletic, and Administrative Achievements of the Women of Tulane University

Angela Gregory, 1923

This exhibit was created in conjunction with the Nola4Women linked exhibition initiative, Builders and Rebuilders, which over the past two years has featured 45 exhibits across the city highlighting the prominent role women play in making New Orleans such a special place. Here at Tulane, the theme of our digital exhibition was easy to choose, since we have been in the business of providing excellence in education for 183 years. On these webpages, you will find vignettes of women who came to Tulane University and Newcomb College from near and far, as students, faculty and staff, or just as friends who wished to make a difference in the fabric of New Orleans, and who left us all the richer for their presence. These outstanding women have made contributions to many different fields of study and have reach varied levels of personal and professional achievements. In the future, we will profile additional women. In order to make the ladies more easily searchable, we have grouped them into four categories: Arts, Academics, Athletics, and Administration. Of course, many of our fabulous women cross over between categories, e.g. Rosa Hart, the nation’s first female cheerleader – you’ll find her in the Athletics category, which in no way diminishes her later career in local theatre.

The Organic Modernism of Albert C. Ledner


This digital version of the Southeastern Architectural Archive's in-house exhibit features original drawings, photographs, and other items from the records of New Orleans modernist architect, Albert Charles Ledner (1924-2017). Born in the Bronx, New York City, Ledner was raised in New Orleans. After graduating from the Tulane School of Architecture in 1948, Ledner attended the Frank Lloyd Wright Fellowship in Spring Green, Wisconsin. He returned to New Orleans in 1950, with a commission to design a house for C.V. Goldate in Metairie, Louisiana. This led to a career designing many residences in the New Orleans region, several commercial projects, the First Unitarian Church on Jefferson Avenue in New Orleans, and several buildings for the National Maritime Union, including New Orleans, Baltimore, San Francisco, Norfolk, Virginia, and the national headquarters in New York City.

Included are project drawings and photographs, including photographs taken by Ledner on trips to see Frank Lloyd Wright buildings, an ashtray from the A.C. Sunkel residence (“the Ashtray House”) on Park Island, New Orleans, acrylic and glass shades made by Ledner for lighting fixtures, a plan for an electric tunnel oven for Ledner’s mother’s bakery, and a cookbook from 1987 of his mother’s recipes. Ledner’s mother, Beulah Ledner, is credited with the creation of the New Orleans doberge cake.

Generous support for this exhibit provided by Lettermans and the Louisiana Architectural Foundation.

Additional support provided by the Marjorie Peirce Geiser and John Geiser, Jr. Fund of the Southeastern Architectural Archive.

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Martin Luther and the Reformation: the 500th Anniversary


On October 31st, 1517, theologian and priest Martin Luther supposedly nailed his 95 Theses to the door of a Wittenberg church and began the Lutheran Reformation, which altered the religious and cultural landscape of Western Europe. Curated by Elio Brancaforte and students of his seminar "The Experience of War" (Audrey Brown, Alison Cunningham, Paulina Kiernan, Bradley Reber, Sara Scott, Annie Strnisha, and Jake Ward), this exhibit was part of a group of displays and talks centered on the five hundredth anniversary of the Reformation's beginning and presents materials from the Rare Books Collection that touch on the history of the Bible as a book, the Lutheran faith in Europe and America, and the Thirty Years' War.

Charting the Gulf: Tri-Centennial Connections at the Latin American Library


An online exhibit to complement the physical exhibit currently on display through 2018 on the 4th floor of Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane University.  

As the city of New Orleans celebrates the 300th anniversary of its founding, it also commemorates a three centuries long relationship with its neighbors in the Circum-Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.  The Latin American Library celebrates this history with Charting the Gulf:  Tricentennial Connections.  In this online exhibit, we display images of maps, photographs, print ephemera, and manuscripts that document three historic moments in the evolving relationship between New Orleans and its Southern neighbors:  

  • Early European Cartography of the Gulf, 16th-18th centuries;

  • Trade and Travel Across the Gulf, 19th - 20th centuries;

  • Tulane University's John Geddings Gray Memorial Archaeological Expedition to Middle America in 1928.

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Louisiana Women's Collection: A History of Political Activism


How Long Have Women Fought for Liberty?

The Louisiana Research Collection (LaRC) has a special mission to preserve the contributions of woment to New Orleans. This exhibit uses LaRC archival resources to highlight notable New Orleans female activists and their struggle to obtain the right to vote, with a special emphasis on how our city's social stratification and educational institutions shaped the local suffrage movement. It was created by Tulane student Emily Galik as part of her internship for the class "Public History" taught by professor Jana K. Lipman. 

Preserving the heritage of New Orleans women is a special mission of the Louisiana Research Collection. From the personal papers of notable women, (including Lindy Boggs, Hilda Phelps Hammond, Ethel Hutson, Angela Gregory, among many) to the records of women's organizations such as the Poydras Home, the Quarante Club, the YMCA, the Independent Women's Organization, the Women's Exchange, the Louisiana Women's Committee, and the National Council of Jewish Women. The Louisiana Research Collection is a leader in preserving the political contributions of women to New Orleans. 

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The Extraordinary Life of Natalie Scott


Natalie Scott (1890-1957):

A decorated war hero, a celebrated newspaperwoman, an award winning playwright, a wilderness explorer, a Red Cross nurse, translator, teacher and social worker, Natalie Scott lived and worked among the poor and the war wounded on four continents.

As a writer and columnist in New Orleans during the 1920s, she became a vital member of the literary/artistic/intellectual community of the French Quarter. Her close companions were some of the twentieth century’s most creative minds. She then moved to Taxco, Mexico in 1930. There she went on to create a school, develop a colony for artists, and help the residents of Taxco preserve their heritage. 

Tulane Opera Workshop: 1952-1985

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For the first time since the 1980s, the students of Newcomb Music Department will produce a fully staged opera in March 2018 under the direction of Amy Pfrimmer. Despite the long hiatus, there is a century's long tradition of opera at Tulane University, beginning in the 1910s with the first annual production of a Gilbert & Sullivan opera. Although a period often overlooked in the history of opera at Tulane, opera production blossomed in the 1950s under the leadership of Cardon V. Burnham, who created the Tulane Opera Workshop program that ultimately served as the foundation for all future opera productions at Tulane and that played a roll in the early years of Summer Lyric Theatre. The Opera Workshop was sustained in the 1960s by performances of new operas by then faculty member Charles Hamm, who launched his career as an acclaimed and pivotal musicologist here at Tulane. The program was later revived by long time director Frank Monachino, who sustained the program until a sudden loss of significant funding in 1985 led to the closure of Opera Workshop. 

The history of Tulane Opera Workshop outline here is based on materials found in University Archives, the Jambalaya Yearbook, and reporting by The Times-Picayune. If you have concert programs, photographs, newspaper clippings, or any other materials that bear evidence of opera performances at Tulane, we'd love to hear from you. Please contact University Archives at (504) 865-5691.

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"To Grow to Greenness and Renown": Female Botanists and Botanical Illustrators


While no scientific field has ever been an easy profession for women, botany was for many centuries one of the most accessible. An interest in plants and flowers was seen as a proper womanly pursuit, and a girl or woman with access to a garden, yard, or a patch of grass had at hand many subjects for observation and experimentation. Determined female botanists financed their own expeditions, achieved degrees at universities where they were the only woman in a group of men, or leveraged their floral knowledge and artistic skills into positions at important gardens and preserves. Some of these women were the very first to study and document botanical specimens from distant locations or past eras. Even when the continued development of botanical science as a profession resulted in women's work in the field being overlooked or dismissed as frivolous, women continued to use this 'feminine' interest as way to fulfill their own intellectual pursuits, educate others, and establish careers.

Drawn from the Rare Books collection's range of materials on natural history, this exhibit provides a look at the life and works of a few of the 18th-, 19th-, and 20th-century women who made the world of flora their profession and their passion.

Mary Gehman's Feminist Ephemera: Violence Against Women

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“Mary Gehman’s Feminist Ephemera: Violence Against Women” examines the mistreatment of women in New Orleans in the late twentieth century. This exhibit draws materials from the “Feminist Ephemera Series” in the “Mary Gehman Papers Collection,” housed in the Newcomb Archive on Tulane University’s campus. Mary Gehman is a feminist, journalist, and activist who lived in New Orleans from 1970 until 2005, when she migrated to Donaldsville, Louisiana, after Hurricane Katrina. Though involved in numerous movements in New Orleans, Gehman asserts that her role as a journalist and the editor of Distaff was the highest priority in her life. Gehman collected materials from local events that informed her journalism and publication. 

Gehman donated her files on women in New Orleans and Louisiana, as well as the materials she collected through her job as the editor of Distaff, to the Newcomb Center for Research on Women at Tulane University in the spring of 2016. These materials include not only Feminist Ephemera, the second series, but also the first series in the larger collection, which consists of original copies of Distaff. The third series in the collection is a general papers and publications series, including correspondence, Distaff planning and layout documents, feminist periodicals and newsletters, and newspaper clippings. The Feminist Ephemera series is comprised of ephemera, which are items that one would typically discard after the first use or until the purpose of the material is fulfilled. Examples include newspapers, flyers, and pamphlets.

Though the Feminist Ephemera series comprises a plethora of issues, the history of violence against women is one that seemed most imperative to explore, particularly in the wake of the Tulane Climate Survey on Sexual Misconduct. The survey, which was released on January 31, 2018, reports that nearly half of undergraduate women at Tulane have experienced sexual assault during their time at the university.  The majority of the items in the collection were created three decades ago, making it clear that this issue has been one plaguing Tulane and the greater New Orleans community for decades.

The exhibit displays items about not only rape and sexual harassment, but also domestic violence, disparaging representations of women in the media, the group Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW), and the Take Back the Night march, founded by WAVAW and still operative today. This exhibit depicts how the dialogue surrounding and the language used to describe these atrocities have changed greatly in recent years. Certain items in this exhibit show how the issue was discussed at the time, such as the item “A Study of Rape Booklet,” in which the activism focuses on prevention and coping on part of the victim, rather than preemptive efforts to stop the perpetrators from committing the crimes. Though the discourse surrounding culpability and equality is changing for the better, it is imperative we look to the past to understand how we can change the future.  


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Italians in New Orleans Opera

An exploration of Italian influence on New Orleans opera from the late 18th century to modern times.

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