New Orleans, LA
Visiting New Orleans for Mardi Gras and jazz, we were thrilled to see an exhibition of 1893 Mardi Gras float designs by Bror Anders Wikstrom at NOMA, the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Artist Bror Anders Wikstrom arrived in New Orleans from Sweden in the early 1880s. He fell in love with the city and its people and remained there for the rest of his life.
According to NOMA, Wikstrom’s fantastical float and costume designs elevated the extravaganza of Mardi Gras to modern day levels, as in this “Arctic Symposium” float.
Wikstrom’s Poseidon float design predates the New Orleans Krewe of Poseidon, established in 1957, by 64 years; and the Slidell Krewe of Poseidon, established in 2015, by 122 years.
The Devil’s Basket float seems to warn of the evils of gambling, card playing, and relying on Lady Luck. Or does it? The float riders seem happy in their indulgence, and the Devil rather benign.
NOMA, located in City Park, has exhibited an eclectic mix of artwork for over 100 years. Non-flash photography is kindly allowed, and their collection is well worth browsing when you visit NOLA.