Albert Carey & Jobie Jacomine "Unveiling the Muse" New Orleans Mardi Gras Special Event
Join us Tuesday September 17th at 5:30 pm for a special event with Albert Carey (Tennessee Williams Board Member & Past King & Queen of Mardi Gras) & Jobie Jacomine (Queen Armenius, 51st Mardi Gras), both of whom are featured in the book "Unveiling the Muse." They will discuss the history of Gay Mardi Gras in New Orleans, which predates the Stonewall Riots. This is featured in the film "The Sons of Tennessee Williams" by Tim Wolfe.
*Order the book in advance and get your FREE Ticket via Eventbrite.
"In Unveiling the Muse, Howard Philips Smith presents a lively and comprehensive history of New Orleans's gay Carnival organizations formed in the post-World War II era. In addition, he takes a wider look at the places, people, and non-Carnival annual calendar of events that are allied with it. His use of archival sources, both public and private, enhances the narrative and adds a stunning visual element to the history of the krewes, clubs, and society that has defined and transformed gay Carnival in New Orleans for over half a century."
--Priscilla Lawrence, executive director, The Historic New Orleans Collection
" Unveiling the Muse is a tremendous addition to scholarship on New Orleans and the history of sexuality. Smith helps move us past elite-driven histories of Carnival and returns the history of Mardi Gras to the libidinal and sexually dissident spaces where it belongs. This book will be tremendously useful for scholars of New Orleans and of urban gay life across the world. For general readers, the book is full of fascinating stories and beautiful tableaux that will give us all a greater appreciation for the long and diverse history of New Orleans Carnival and the queer people who have shaped it."
--Thomas Jessen Adams, lecturer in history and American studies at the University of Sydney and author of Working in the Big Easy: The History and Politics of Labor in New Orleans
Gay krewes were first formed in the late 1950s, growing out of costume parties held by members of the gay community. Their tableau balls were often held in clandestine locations to avoid harassment. Even by the new millennium, gay Carnival remained a hidden and almost lost history. Much of the history and the krewes themselves were devastated by the AIDS crisis. Whether facing police raids in the 1960s or AIDS in the 1980s, the Carnival krewes always came back each season. A culmination of two decades of research, Unveiling the Muse positions this incredible story within its proper place as an amazing and important facet of traditional Carnival.
Based on years of detailed interviews, each of the major gay krewes is represented by an in-depth historical sketch, outlining the founders, moments of brilliance on stage, and a list of all the balls, themes, and royalty. Of critical importance to this history are the colorful ephemera associated with the gay tableau balls. Reproductions of never-before-published brilliantly designed invitations, large-scale commemorative posters, admit cards, and programs add dimension and life to this history. Sketches of elaborate stage sets and costumes as well as photographs of ball costumes and rare memorabilia further enhance descriptions of these tableau balls.