September 8, 2020 to March 7, 2021
Tuesday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Sunday, 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
520 Royal Street
Admission is free.

Artist Susan Gisleson describes Land of Dreams, a 1,500-square-foot multimedia art installation, as “a love letter to a New Orleans summer.” A unique way to experience some of the many historical views of New Orleans in THNOC’s holdings, Land of Dreams immerses visitors in wallsized collages of vintage postcards featuring City Park, Audubon Park, the 1984 Louisiana World Exhibition, and other locations. The wraparound murals are populated with people of all ages and walks of life at rest and at play.

One wall contains photos and video displays from the 1959 Grand Isle Tarpon Rodeo and the 1969 reopening of the Audubon Park swimming pool. In homage to Royal Street’s vanished Pennyland arcade, gumball machines are filled terrarium-style with leisure-time objects such as baseballs, seashells, dice, and toy animals—tangible reminders of summer amusements.

Adding to the whimsy of the space are a bed filled with books (“a bed filled with stories, because that’s typically where we have our dreams,” Gisleson says), parasols made of fern leaves hanging from the ceiling, and oversized photos of water lilies dotting the floor.

Like the locations it celebrates, the installation is intended to be a place for relaxed contemplation, with comfortable seating, smartphone charging stations, and soothing views of the city’s favorite summer oases. 

Land of Dreams is presented by The Historic New Orleans Collection with support from AOS Interior Environments.