Friday, May 17, 2019 - 10:00pm to Tuesday, September 3, 2019 - 4:00pm
Hermann-Grima + Gallier Historic Houses (HGGHH) will open the Summer Dress exhibition at Gallier Historic House, located at 1132 Royal Street, to reveal a seasonal décor change in keeping with the period of the home. Per 19th century and earlier tradition, heavier materials in the home were swapped out at the start of summer for cooler fabrics. By removing thick drapes, rugs, and blankets and replacing them with linens, gauze, and mosquito netting, this practice offered much-needed relief from the sweltering heat and humidity of the summer. Furniture that was often covered in expensive velvets and damasks would have been slipcovered in linen to remain clean and feel cooler to the touch. Windows were mostly open throughout the house for ventilation and breeze; however, this provided new complications of dirt and insects. Valuable items such as paintings, chandeliers, and clocks were wrapped in gauze for protection. Mosquito netting was also a seasonal necessity, as instances of Yellow Fever and Cholera often flared in the summer months, and New Orleans was not known for its sanitary conditions in the 1800s. At Gallier House, guests will enjoy this decorative and functional transformation while on tour. The downstairs parlor has exchanged heavy fabrics for breathable materials to show visitors how much of the home needed seasonal changing or protection and how labor intensive this process was. Upstairs, the children’s room features straw matting to cover the floor and linen bedding, another standard practice of Summer Dress. The Summer Dress exhibition runs May 17 to September 3, 2019. Gallier House and Hermann-Grima House are both open Thursdays through Tuesdays 10a.m. to 4p.m. with tours on the hour until 3p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets please go to www.hgghh.org.