I've just returned home from a wonderful visit to New Orleans. I was there for the opening of The Art of Tennessee and The Art of Country Music: The Marty Stuart Collection at The Ogden Museum of Southern Art. You can read all about the exhibitions HERE.
It's a great museum, located right next door to the Civil War Museum and near the World War II Museum. They're all in the warehouse district. I stayed at Hotel Le Cirque, directly behind The Ogden on Lee Circle. It's a nice affordable place to stay near the museums and art galleries.
I thought the vintage lawn chairs added a delightful touch of whimsy.
The Art of Tennessee exhibition is comprised of paintings, sculptures, antiques, and silver collected by Gertrude and Ben Caldwell (below). They're two of the most delightful people on earth, and their taste is impeccable. It was great fun spending time with them in New Orleans.
The picture above was taken on Friday night, just before the Marty Stuart concert. If you haven't heard him perform live, you owe it to yourself to do so. He's supremely talented and a master showman. I met people after the concert who had traveled to Louisiana from places like Nebraska, Ontario, and Switzerland to see their favorite entertainer.
In the picture below, taken at the opening of the two exhibitions, the Caldwells and Mr. Stuart talk about their passion for collecting and their mutual interest in preserving and promoting the culture of Tennessee.
We had dinner friday night at Cochon, a wonderfully unpretentious restaurant where Chef Donald Link prepares updated versions of traditional Cajun/Southern favorites. On Saturday night, Julia Reed, chairman of the board of The Ogden, invited us to Calcasieu, Cochon's private event facility upstairs. Read about Cochon HERE and Calcasieu HERE.
I had the duck, but heard the fish was delicious as well. I'm not usually a huge oyster fan, but the appetizer was amazing! The bread pudding was the best I've ever tasted.
Marty Stuart seems as nice as he is talented.
For Sunday brunch, it was on the the home of Julia Reed and her husband, John Pearce. Their house was made famous by Julia's most recent book, a post-Katrina memoir (and love story with a house, a husband, and their beagle). Read about it HERE.
My "plus one" for brunch was New Orleans blogger, Valorie, the Visual Vamp. Julia Reed's in the center. It was great fun meeting Julia and Valorie. They're both creative, talented, and extremely witty.
Julia and John's home is beyond gorgeous! I took several pictures, but decided not to post any that showed guests' faces. Sorry -- wish you could have been there!
Julia's a famous cook -- the grits and the shrimp dish were fantastic! We'd already had miniature ham and biscuits as an appetizer. Another book she's authored is Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns, and other Southern Specialties. How could she not have served ham biscuits? ;)
Did you notice the serving piece is Herend Bird? I snapped this picture especially for Susan of BNOTP -- it's her favorite china. There were stacks of Herend dinner plates for the buffet-style meal and beautiful table linens (the nice, big monogrammed dinner napkins, not the little luncheon size!).
John Pearce was a wonderful host, and Henry the beagle couldn't have been more helpful, cleaning up every little crumb that dropped (sometimes urging guests to drop them faster!).
John gave Valorie and me a tour of the home. We particularly enjoyed seeing their beautiful paintings, vintage/antique prints, and other unique collections. Thank you, Julia and John!
Below, we're looking across the street at the former home of novelist Anne Rice. If I remember correctly, actor Nicholas Cage bought it from her. It's near a beautiful home recently purchased by Sandra Bullock. Seems the Garden District of NOLA is the place to be!
I snapped a pic of Valorie snapping a pic of the house diagonally across the street.
Guess what ... they invited us in!
Want to come along? I took lots of pictures of beautiful homes in the Garden District and wonderful French Quarter points of interest. I'll share those too if you like ....
I'm joining Susan of Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. I hope that's OK, since I didn't set a table. Somehow I thought you'd want to hear about my trip to New Orleans. Have you been there? Planning to go?
Happy Tablescape Thursday, Y'all!