Welcome to the Artist database

The Historic New Orleans Collection maintains a series of files on artists and art organizations that were/are active in New Orleans and the surrounding region. The Artist Files were initiated by Boyd Cruise, THNOC’s first director. The institution continues to grow and expand the Artist Files, and today there are more than 15,700. They were used as the main source for the 1987 publication, Encyclopaedia of New Orleans Artists, 1718–1918. In the early 21st century, a Microsoft Access database was created to serve as an index to the files.

Recently, THNOC combined data from the 1987 publication and the index to create a new searchable database known as the Artist Database. For each individual and organization, the database provides the name, active dates in New Orleans, place and date of birth and death, and artistic focus, along with a list of the contents of the individual’s/organization’s Artist File and the abbreviated references cited in the encyclopedia.

The Artist Database can be searched by name, artistic occupation, dates, gender, ethnicity, general contents of the file, and references. For full citations of the abbreviated references from the encyclopedia, please consult the PDF "Artist Encyclopedia Bibliography." The Artists Files may be accessed by visiting the Reading Room at the Williams Research Center.