NOMA curators Russell Lord and Katie Pfohl and donor Arthur Roger will be among hundreds of presenting authors at the fourteenth annual Louisiana Book Festival in Baton Rouge on Saturday, October 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The daylong event that brings together local and internationally acclaimed writers with avid readers will take place in the Louisiana Capitol Building, surrounding grounds, and adjacent locations including the State Library and the Louisiana State Museum. All events are free and open to the public.
Lord will speak about the catalogue for East of the Mississippi: Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Photography, an exhibition presently view at NOMA through January 7, 2018. Lord wrote an essay in the book titled “The Interested Landscape” that examines the documentary versus aesthetic approach early photographers took in capturing America on film in the earliest decades of the medium. The catalogue was written by Diane Waggoner, curator of 19th-century photographs in the department of photography at the National Gallery in Washington, with Lord and Jennifer Raab, assistant professor of art history at Yale University. Lord’s presentation will take place from 11:15 a.m. to noon in the State Capitol Building, Senate Committee Room 5.
Immediately following, Pfohl and Roger will discuss the catalogue for Pride of Place: The Making of Contemporary Art in New Orleans, a popular exhibition that ran through the summer of 2017. The catalogue is a comprehensive documentation of gallerist Arthur Roger’s role in boosting the careers of dozens of local and national artists from the late 1970s to present-day, including Willie Birch, Robert Gordy, Catherine Opie, Luiz Cruz Azaceta, Dawn DeDeaux, Lee Deigaard, and Bob Snead, among others. The book includes an interview by famed filmmaker John Waters with Roger, who has shown many of Waters’ works of art in his gallery, along with an essay by retired NOMA curator Bill Fagaly that serves as a chronicle of the history of contemporary art in New Orleans and the role of Arthur Roger Gallery in raising the city’s profile in the contemporary national art scene. The discussion will take place from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the State Capitol Building, House Committee Room 5.
Book signings will follow each session, and catalogues may be purchased at NOMA’s Museum Shop year-round.
NOMA’s editor of publications, David Johnson, will also be moderating three panel discussions with nonfiction and history writers throughout the day. Additional speakers will include New York Times bestselling author Wally Lamb; Newbery Medal and Margaret A. Edwards Award recipient Richard Peck; Crystal Wilkinson with her Ernest J. Gaines Award winning book; former governor of Louisiana and presidential candidate Buddy Roemer; WWNO “Music Inside Out” host Gwen Thompkins with BBC jazz radio presenter Alyn Shipton; and Louisiana poet paureate Jack Bedell. The festival will also feature MasterChef Season 7 winner Shaun O’Neale, and punk-rock icon Keith Morris, former frontman of Black Flag, Keith Morris. A children’s storytelling and activity tent, live music, and bookseller booths are also part of the Louisiana Book Festival. For more information and a complete schedule, visit louisianabookfestival.org.