I love spring. Granted, we don’t have much autumn or winter and goodness knows we have summer. But spring in New Orleans is magic and this year the magic started early with the Japanese magnolias in January, followed by azaleas, petunias and tulips. All delivered bright color to gardens, balconies, streetscapes, and parks from Uptown to the Northshore. 

Our parks are full of people promenading and picnicking under blossoming shade trees – with or without pollen! And though normally busy, City Park is busier than ever thanks to the New Orleans Museum of Art producing a head-spinning number of events this spring.  

Shortly after Rex reigned, another queen arrived, perhaps on a barge via Bayou St. John. Nefertari, the most important wife of Ramesses II in all of her glory, has paid a visit bringing artifacts from 3,000-year-old Egypt, from sandals to sarcophagi, perfume bottles to bronze chisels to our fair city. Some 230 objects both great and small are worth making a reservation to see. Though this writer visited Nefertari’s huge tomb this fall, none of these objects were there. Perhaps they were in packing crates bound for New Orleans.

This exhibit excites like the Tutankhamun show of the 1970’s. Few could be more pleased to see Nefertari’s show mounted than NOMA’s Director Emeritus E. John Bullard (who brought the Tut show to New Orleans) and Susan Taylor, NOMA’s present director. Patrons packed the museum for the preview including Scott James, Greg Morey, Sarah Dunbar, Film Society Gala Honoree Alexa Georges and husband Jerry Armatis, Shaun Foster, Steve and Dana Hansel and many, many more. 

Less than two weeks later, the museum hosted one of its most popular benefits. “Art in Bloom” is a bit of a spring fling that brings the museum, the Garden Study Club of New Orleans and First Horizon bank together for an inspired two-day event. Opening night was a send-up to fashion and flowers and the crowd dressed for the occasion. The next day lectures filled the morning, then came a luncheon at the Pavilion of the Two Sisters with a fashion show by the oh so chic Tanya Taylor and Susu Stall of SoSusu boutique. Those in attendance wish they had not eaten dessert.

Spotted at the opening reception were Stephanie Feoli, Murray and Carolyn Calhoun, newly returned to the city Marilee Hovet, C.C. and Billy Langenstein, Eleanor Farnsworth, several Labordes, Jane Scott and Phillip Hodges, Philip Lorio, Susan and Jimmy Gundlach, Pixie and Jimmy and James and Erica Reiss and event chairs Kaylea Hill and Dorothy Mann. Others in attendance were some of the hard-working members of the exhibitors committee Margaret Beer, Elinor Bright, Sweet Dupuy, Susu Kearny, Sally Lapeyre, Shelby Mills and others. Believe me when I say, there was not a single forsythia branch left in the city!

The sun came out for Hogs for the Cause, where the smell of BBQ and success wafted through the air. Easter came with its usual migration to The Coast. JazzFest was welcomed back after a two-year delay, and any day now Creole Tomatoes will arrive. Ah, spring. 

Along the Avenue: Spring's Bounty
NOMA Director Emeritus E. John Bullard
Along the Avenue: Spring's Bounty
Lily Hines and daughter Alejandra Rosales
Along the Avenue: Spring's Bounty
John and Shelby Mills
Along the Avenue: Spring's Bounty
Anne Reily Sutherlin