Visual Tales of Carnival Season Works from Ogden Museum's Permanent Collection

While Mardi Gras might look a little different this year, we can still pay homage to our beloved carnival traditions. In this post, to honor the great city of New Orleans and our community’s love for Mardi Gras, we would like to highlight some works from our permanent collection that represent the festivities of the season. We wish you all a happy Mardi Gras! Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Eudora Welty, Mardi Gras Celebration, 1935, Sepia-toned silver gelatin print, Gift of the Roger Houston Ogden Collection, 2003.1.548

In this striking 1935 Eudora Welty image, Mardi Gras Celebrationtwo carnival goers in costume move through the French Quarter ready to masquerade.

Charles Surendorf, Mardi Gras, New Orleans, 1949, Linoleum block print on Japanese paper, Gift of the Roger Houston Ogden Collection, 2003.1.514

A different representation of French Quarter parading is shown here in Charles Surendorf’s linoleum block print, Mardi Gras, New Orleans. The frenzied excitement of the scene foregrounds the traditional torch-bearing Flambeaux of classic New Orleans parades.

Stanley Sporny, Mardi Gras Nap, 1988, Oil on canvas, Gift of the Roger Houston Ogden Collection, 2003.1.842

Stanley Sporny’s Mardi Gras Nap depicts the essence of the Fat Tuesday tradition of parade goers flooding the streets of New Orleans. The piece shows the excitement to catch Mardi Gras throws, fashionable costumes and exhaustion from having fun!

Will Henry Stevens, Untitled (Mardi Gras Scene), 1931, Pastel on paper, Gift of Janet Stevens McDowell, 2001.1.128

Will Henry Stevens’ Untitled (Mardi Gras Scene) paints a familiar picture for carnival regulars. Percussion, people and parades all coalesce in a wondrous, saturated scene.

Michael Meads, Mardi Gras Study with Pink Boa, 2003, Watercolor on paper, Gift of Charles Michael Canada, 2003.11.58

In Mardi Gras Study with Pink Boa by Michael Meads, three costumed figures represent distinct approaches to carnival. The devil, a masked person in drag and a jester impress upon the viewer the range of ways people celebrate Mardi Gras.