Robert Tannen’s Jackson Square
May 27–August 28, 2022
Tuesday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m; Sunday, 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
520 Royal Street, Tricentennial Wing, 3rd Floor
Free ticketed admission

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About the Exhibition

Explore New Orleans’s famed Jackson Square without ever leaving The Historic New Orleans Collection. Jackson Square, a sculpture by New Orleans artist and urban planner Robert Tannen (b. 1937), comprises representations of all the structures surrounding the square—the Pontalba buildings, Cabildo, Presbytère, and St. Louis Cathedral—as well as the riverfront levee and the square’s statue of Andrew Jackson.

“I think of the sculpture as giving appropriate importance to that urban space,” Tannen said. “By abstracting the buildings, it’s a way to convey to someone looking at the space and understanding it as a special urban experience.”

The entire sculpture has a footprint of about 10-by-12 feet, and the tallest structure, St. Louis Cathedral, stands 5 feet tall. The long levee form serves as a representative and literal retaining wall, forming the fourth side of the titular square and reminding the viewer of the city’s deeply embedded relationship with the river and with water.

Rounding out the installation is a brief history of Jackson Square and its urban development over time, as well as interactive stations where visitors can share their responses to the work and create their own models of significant urban spaces.


Artist Spotlight

Interview with Robert Tannen - Listen NowIn 2011 and 2012, THNOC curator Mark Cave conducted interviews of Robert Tannen for the museum’s New Orleans Life Story Project, an oral history initiative. In this clip, produced by WWNO for the radio program NOLA Life Stories, Tannen discusses his shotgun-house sculptures. The NOLA Life Stories radio program is a collaboration between THNOC and WWNO. The full interview of Tannen is available through THNOC’s online catalog.


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