Becoming Louisiana: Path to Statehood is the result of collaboration between exhibition curator, Herman Mhire, graphic designer, Kate Ferry, and historian, Charles Elliott. The exhibition documents the roles Louisiana’s unique geography and cultural history played on its path to becoming the 18th state of the Union, and consists of a series of 10 fabric panels displaying images and text that tell the story of early Louisiana history.
Utilizing Charles Elliott’s historical text as a guide, Mhire researched the collections of the Louisiana State Museum and The Historic New Orleans Collection for relevant historical paintings, engravings, documents and maps. Exhibition themes include: “The Path to Statehood,” “The Geography of Power,” “From Chiefdoms to Colony,” “Empowering a French Creole Colony,” “Evolving French Creole Louisiana,” “New Powers, Old Purposes,” “Expanding a Spanish Colony,” “A Creole Colony Purchased,” and “Challenges on the Path to Statehood.”
The Louisiana Bicentennial Commission was created to mark the 200th anniversary of Louisiana’s attainment of statehood as the 18th state in the Union. The exhibition’s state tour has been made possible by Coca-Cola, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Entergy, Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, Bollinger Family Foundation, Haynie Family Foundation, Louisiana Lottery, The McMains Foundation, Zuschlag Family Foundation, AT&T, Goldring Family Foundation, and Union Pacific Railroad.