I am doing research on the New Orleans Jazz Festival posters. Kathleen Joffrion designed the 1977 poster, and I was wondering where I could find biographical information on her, as well as how I could get in touch with her, if possible.
May I assume that you are an admirer of Ms. Joffrion's work? Of course, your admiration is well placed. In addition to her work as an artist, Ms. Joffrion is also Assistant Professor of Visual Communications at Delgado Community College on City Park Avenue. She can be reached there.
In addition to her Jazz Fest poster, which uses the "paper-cut" technique to depict a jazz ensemble of the 1930s, Ms. Joffrion, a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in fine arts, also designed the nifty logo for Tipitina's. When the club opened in January 1977, it originally had a juice bar, and the owners were fond of bananas. In fact, they passed out phony money called "Kwazolas" containing the phrase "Eatabananatoday" replacing "In God We Trust." So when one of the owners asked her to design a logo, Ms. Joffrion used the juice bar/banana idea. She said, "It was supposed to be a logo for a bar that specialized in reggae music with a juice bar. So I had a banana in the guy's hand. I combined a hand with the letter 'T' and it looked like a shirt sleeve, and it was holding a banana." She is also responsible for the "s" on the name of the club. The name was supposed to be Tipitina, but after Joffrion added the extra letter, the owners decided to let it remain.
By the way, in your research regarding Jazz Fest posters, have you discovered how valuable some of the old ones have become? For example, a signed poster bought in 1977 for $35 costs more than 30 times that much today.
My mother often talks of a beautiful flying horse carousel that used to be in Audubon Park. What happened to it?
Children and adults alike were delighted for years by the carousels in both of our terrific parks -- Audubon Park and City Park. The carousel your mother remembers was the creation of a family of builders, German immigrants who arrived in America in 1860. It was built by the Dentzel Carousel Factory in 1903 and began operation in 1912.
In 1951, the carousel was completely redone. New machinery was installed, old machinery was rebuilt, and all 48 of the hand-carved wooden animals -- horses, lions, tigers and giraffes -- were dressed up in dazzling new coats of paint. But in 1967, the carousel was sold to San Antonio's Hemisfair.
After the Civil War, carousels began to appear in the United States. The Hershell Company, the best-known American carousel firm founded in 1872, had one of its carousels as a main attraction at the World's Fair and Cotton Centennial Exposition of 1884 in Audubon Park, known then as Upper City Park. The first carousel in Audubon Park -- probably not the one your mother remembers -- became the park's first kiddie ride in 1891. Also in 1901, an Irishman named B.A. Murphy operated mule-driven rides at Audubon Park and established the first mechanically operated carousel there in 1901.
But guess what! As of May 2004, Audubon Park has another carousel -- this one featuring endangered species. It is the result of a gift from the Charlotte Gottesman family. Decorated with oil paintings of Audubon Zoo animals, the carousel was created in San Francisco especially for Audubon Park. Children, and those young at heart, can climb aboard a white tiger or a white alligator or any of the 60 friendly critters, including traditional horses, and twirl around under the brightly striped canopy behind the Cooper Plaza's elephant fountain.
Take your mother and look for me.
CORRECTION: I wrote on Aug. 24 that there was never a drive-in theater at the intersection of Canal Boulevard and Robert E. Lee. I completely forgot about the one that was just north of there on Canal Boulevard. It opened on May 28, 1940, but didn't last too long as the military took over the entire lakefront during World War II.