Dedicated to the ordinary people who give New Orleans its vibrant culture, Raised to the Trade: Creole Building Arts of New Orleans
examines the artistry of the carpenters, masons, plasterers, and ironworkers who give the city its unique architectural style.
The book seeks to recognize the freemen of color whose work literally built the city of New Orleans. Using their resourcefulness, talent, and artistry, these skilled craftsmen transformed two-dimensional designs into beautiful and habitable spaces. Often overlooked, their influence had an important and profound effect on New Orleans culture.
The essays that make up the book include photographs, interviews, and quotes from the craftsmen who made the city beautiful. Personal stories gained through one-on-one interviews with contemporary craftsmen reveal the human facet inherent, though often forgotten, in skilled trades. The book’s essayists examine different topics, ranging from a study of European and African influences on Creole craftsmen to the correlation between music making and building construction.
The New Orleans Museum of Art aspires to inspire in people of all ages and backgrounds wonder, love, and interest in the fine arts. It contains over 40,000 objects and has successfully hosted international exhibitions such as Treasures of Tutankhamun and Degas and New Orleans. Raised to the Trade: Creole Building Arts of New Orleans is a reflection of an exhibit of the same name presented by the museum. The book allows readers to bring the exhibit into their homes and enjoy the works of Creole craftsmen as often as they wish.