“New Orleans is never more herself than during this reign of folly and ritual calendar of earthly delights—when the dieties of forgotten pantheons and the splendors of long vanished courts are restored for a season, summoned into being from the gilded vaults of the old city’s memory.”
Though Mardi Gras had been celebrated in New Orleans for many years, the Golden Age of Carnival artistry began in the 1870s, and was marked by shimmering pageants and opulent private balls. These balls were attended by invitation only, and the invitations were as lushly executed as the balls and pageants themselves.
Over two hundred invitations, dance cards, and admit cards are assembled here, with the vivid and mysterious artwork drawn from subjects in mythology, history, whimsy, and nature, by artists who often toiled in anonymity.
New Orleans collectibles, and especially Mardi Gras collectibles, continue to be popular worldwide. This gorgeous volume of vintage Mardi Gras ball invitations, dance cards, and admit cards shows off just what kinds of collectibles are still available. For the noncollector, this book offers a wonderful look back on the glories of Carnival art.