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Art As Event

Party like a Venetian in the 1700s – but visit NOMA first

10 Theatre puppets,  XVIII century, Venice, Museo di Casa di Goldon. Courtesy New Orleans Museum of Art

We visited “A Life of Seduction: Venice in the 1700s” at the New Orleans Museum of Art, and you’ve got to go see it! The exhibit, which focuses on festivals, pageantry and ceremony, will be here until May 21 and is exclusive to New Orleans! There are so many parallels between Venice and New Orleans, so the exhibit has four major themes: A City that Lives on the Water; The Celebration of Power; Aristocratic Life in the Town and Country; and The City as Theater. There are 300-year-old Carnival masks, costumes, robes, shoes, a puppet show, exquisite paintings by Canaletto and Guardi and much more.

After you see this incredible exhibit, plan your own party! We started with cocktails on the gondola at City Park. Robert Dula is the gondolier and he takes you on a sunset trip through the lagoons of City Park, complete with wine and hors d’oeuvres. We went to Rouses for flowers and sushi – I brought my own Italian platter filled with China Doll red beans and asked Tran Tluang of Rouses to place the sushi artfully, which he did beautifully. I used my small Celebration centerpiece and filled it with roses, lilies and white hydrangeas.

After your sunset gondola ride, plan a fun Venetian dinner party at home and ask guests to wear masks! The gondola, which Dula had made in Venice, holds six people so it’s perfect! To reach Dula contact Nola Gondola by calling 450-4400 or visiting NOLAGondola.com to make a reservation.

After seeing the Venetian exhibit at NOMA I know you’ll come up with some great party ideas of your own. Start with these and enjoy!

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