Kelly Calhoun, MPS - Committee member of the Louisian Museum Foundation
NOLA Tricentennial Finale (1718-2018) hosted by LMF:
Tableau Luncheon + The Founders Ball + Exhibition Opening.
The Luncheon: Friday, November 20, 2018
The Founder’s Ball: Saturday, December 1, 2018
The Exhibition Opening: Sunday, December 2, 2018
The Luncheon: Tableau, French Quarter, 616 St. Peter Street, New Orleans
The Founder’s Ball & Exhibition Opening: The Cabildo, Jackson Square, French Quarter, New Orleans
To understand New Orleans through the lense of Jackson Square, there is no other comparable story than that of Micaela Almonester, Baroness de Pontalba. Considering her hardships and her influential benefactions to Jackson Square, detailed in Christina Vella’s Pulitzer-Prize nominated biography Intimate Enemies, this exhibition is long overdue in her honor, as well as in the honor of her descendants', who have travelled across the Atlantic from Mont l'Évêque -theri family chateau - to attend this Exhibition Opening and the Founders Ball, hosted by the Louisiana Museum Foundation.
Born in New Orleans on November 6, 1795, Micaela's father was one of the city's biggest benefactors, Don Andres Almonester y Rojas. She endures as one of the most recalled and dynamic personalities in New Orleans' history, though she lived most of her life in Paris or the Pontalba estate at Mont l'Évêque, Senlis.
Her arranged marriage to the son of the first Baron de Pontalba of France under the Napoleonic order came to a disastrous scene when her father-in-law attempted to assassinate her life over financial disagreements. She survived - he didn't.
Micaela said goodbye to Paris and threw herself into exercising her savvy head-for-business and real estate back home in New Orleans and into Jackson Square. Her descendents, the current Baron and Baroness de Pontalba (Charles-Edouard & Isabelle), and their son (my new friend) the sobriquet family historian/archivist Pierre de Pontalba have expressed enthusiastic interest in their ancester and their New Orleans roots. Indeed, this exhibition honors Micaela's contributions to New Orleans, but it also pays homage to their remarkable family history.
It would be the highest honor for my friends to support this event by coming to the Tableau Luncheon, the Founder’s Ball or the Exhibition opening (or all three) that my network has worked so hard to bring to New Orleans.
- Kelly Calhoun, November 8, 2018