The LSU Student Union Art Advisory Committee is set to open “A Slice of Life in South Louisiana: 1890-1920” Friday as a way to give insight into the lives of Southern Louisianians at the turn of the 20th century.
Artifacts are represented from four cultural groups: Italian Americans, African-Americans, Native Americans and middle-class New Orleanians. The artifacts range from medicinal tools, musical instruments, labor tools and a coffee grinder from 1880. Guests will have the opportunity to grind coffee to take home with them.
According to Lexi Guillory, graduate curatorial assistant, this exhibit stands as a belated tribute to the Louisiana bicentennial.
“We wanted to show what life was like during a time of change and the urban expansion,” Guillory said.
According to Guillory, the four groups represented in the exhibit were the most prominent and most influential in the South at the turn of the 20th century.
“The Italians were spreading their heritage far and wide; African-Americans are descendants of sharecroppers, the Native Americans were affected by modernization, and New Orleans was the major city of the South,” Guillory said.
The exhibit is displaying a number of artifacts on loan from several public and private Louisiana museums, such as the American Italian Cultural Center, Louisiana State Museum and LSU Libraries Special Collection.
“A Slice of Life in South Louisiana: 1890-1920” is partially funded by the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation through a grant, according to Guillory.
According to the Student Union Art Gallery website, the exhibit is in conjunction with several programs throughout the month of April, including a crawfish boil on the Parade Ground today from 4 to 8 p.m. as well as a performance by the LSU Gospel Choir on Friday and three guest lectures through the rest of the month.
Guillory said this exhibit is relevant to University students because it portrays Louisiana heritage, which the majority of students have grown up with.
The exhibit is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the exhibit will run from Friday through May 19.