Louisiana Lens: Photographs from The Historic New Orleans Collection

The book Louisiana Lens: Photographs from The Historic New Orleans Collection charts two centuries of change in New Orleans and Louisiana while tracing the history of photography itself.

Ranging from daguerreotypes to born-digital photographs, the book’s 175 images document everything from Canal Street in the 1850s to the joy of a 21st-century New Orleans second-line parade.

Author John H. Lawrence, one of America’s leading photography curators, provides an illuminating narrative for each image, whether offering insight into early photographic processes or sharing his firsthand knowledge of the photographers. In surveying compelling photographs by greats such as Walker Evans, Doris Ulmann, Lewis Hine, Frances Benjamin Johnston, and George Dureau as well as spotlighting dozens of rare works by unsung or anonymous artists, Lawrence touches on themes of architecture, music, commerce, race, arts and culture, and the changing landscapes and geographies of the US South.


A New Orleans native, John H. Lawrence was responsible for building the extensive photographic holdings at the Historic New Orleans Collection, where he worked for 46 years before retiring as director of museum programs at the end of 2020. As HNOC’s head of curatorial collections, Lawrence oversaw holdings numbering more than half a million items. He has written and lectured widely about contemporary and historic photography as well as the administration and preservation of pictorial collections, and he has curated dozens of exhibitions on a wide range of photographic, artistic, and general historical topics. He holds degrees in literature and art history from Vassar College and a certificate in museum management from the Getty Leadership Institute.

THE HISTORIC NEW ORLEANS COLLECTION, located in the city’s French Quarter, is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to the stewardship of the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Admission to the museum and research center is free.

Buy the book: https://shophnoc.com/products/louisiana-lens-photographs-from-the-historic-new-orleans-collection

Visit the Historic New Orleans Collection: https://www.hnoc.org/visit

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