Rex, 1901
Photographs by Cornelius Durkee

Cornelius Durkee, station master at Saratoga Springs, New York, visited New Orleans during Carnival, 1901 and photographed the Lundi Gras and Mardi Gras festivities. He sailed with Rex down the Mississippi as he made his triumphant entry among his subjects at the foot of Canal Street, caught the Rex floats as they emerged from their den and headed to the parade route, and he mingled with the crowds along St. Charles Avenue and at Lee Circle as they waited for Rex to appear. These photographs offer a rare glimpse into the pageantry and reality of Mardi Gras a century ago.

The complete Durkee Collection is available online HERE. This exhibit contains only a sample of them. To see a larger version of each image, click on the photograph.

Lundi Gras, Reception of Rex

Lundi Gras, Reception of Rex

Float #1: King's Float

Float #6: Indulgence

Float #8: Art

Float #9: Religion

Float #10: Poetry

Float #15: Folly

Float #16: Hope

Float #18: Sentiment

Waiting for Rex, St. Charles Ave.

Waiting for Rex, St. Charles Ave.

Rex | Comus | Proteus | Nereus | Momus | Elves of Oberon | Atlanteans | Twelfth Night Revelers | Mithras
Cornelius Durkee's Photographs of the Rex Parade of 1901