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A Closer Look: The Antebellum Photographs of Jay Dearborn Edwards 

Before the Civil War, New Orleans was one of the places where people came to make it big. New Englanders played a major role, and now the Historic New Orleans Collection gives us three dozen photographs of the city in the 1850s by New Hampshire native Jay Dearborn Edwards. It was a place of grand buildings arising from swampy muck, an odd mix of opulence and ignorance as we see in Esplanade Avenue Depot of Leeches, 1857 (pictured). According to curator John Lawrence, 'Those who know New Orleans will see a familiar city presented in an unfamiliar way." Lectures by Lawrence as well as Edwards' great-grandson, LSU historian Jay Edwards, and HNOC historian John Magill, will offer further insight. — D. Eric Bookhardt

Through December

Historic New Orleans Collection, 533 Royal St., 523-4662; www.hnoc.org

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