October 21, 2005
The administrative offices of the Newcomb Art Gallery were inundated with four feet of water, but most of Tulane's prized holdings, including its world-famous Newcomb Pottery collection as well as works by James Audubon, Jose Salazar and Jean Joseph Vaudechamp, survived Hurricane Katrina undamaged.
Erik Neil, director of the Newcomb Art Gallery, and his staff were able to move art from the exhibition rooms to safe storage areas prior to the storm.
"We also have an outdoor kinetic sculpture by George Rickey that was tied down and survived unscratched," Neil said.
After Katrina, Neil and Tom Strider, registrar of the university's art collection, returned to campus and for two days gathered and wrapped art from the Alumni House and other campus locations to protect them from mold. Unfortunately, some works, including prints and a landscape painting by William Woodward, did sustain mold damage.
Neil said that his staff is currently monitoring the most historically significant and environmentally sensitive works for mold and mildew. Neil has also been in touch with the staff at the Amistad Research Center, located in Tulane's Tilton Hall, and reports that the important collection of African and African-American art survived intact.
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