Exhibition text
“Rue de Patine” (the patina of the streets) is a visual celebration of the French Quarter in New Orleans. A rich diverse history and the ability to adapt and survive has served its people well for many centuries.
Every wall, door, sidewalk and street is a kaleidoscope of colors and textures. This patina is a source of great pride to the natives (rather like someone being proud of a scar on their body.) 
Layer upon layer of character is exhibited on an ever-changing canvas. Structures that have survived hurricanes, floods, fires and other catastrophes proudly stand as a fitting testimony to the survival of a unique people.
Caribbean hues boldly mix with Spanish and French architecture: an amazing collision of cultures, like some amazing Creole technicolor dream.
You may initially dismiss these exhibition images as simply fragments of ordinary objects,
but you are invited to look deeper to find an abstract emotional beauty – intimate portraits of an extraordinary people and their breathtaking home.

Technical data
All images obtained digitally with a Pentax K20D camera and Pentax lenses, Velbon carbon fiber tripod with Manfrotto ball head.
Images captured in 14.6MP RAW format. Absolutely no filters, cropping or manipulations of any kind (other than resizing the original 23MB files down to an online-viewable JPG format.)
HDR images joined with Photomatrix Pro 4.0.2 software.

Print sales
Contact the artist: printsales@robertmiller.org

View Robert Miller's other French Quarter (black & white large format) exhibition:  Patina & Obituaries of the Vieux Carre

A brief history of The French Quarter
Founded as a military-style grid of seventy squares in 1718 by French Canadian naval officer Jean Baptiste Bienville, the French Quarter of New Orleans has charted a course of urbanism for parts of four centuries.
In 1762 the indifferent Louis XV transferred Louisiana to his Bourbon cousin Charles III of Spain. Emboldened by a period of Spanish vacillation in taking power, Francophile colonists staged a revolution in 1768, summarily squelched by Alejandro O'Reilly with a firing squad at the Esplanade fort. Spanish rule lasted for four decades, imparting a legacy of semi-fortified streetscapes, common-wall plastered brick houses, and walled courtyards used as gardens and utility spaces with separate servants' quarters and kitchens. Olive oil cooking and graceful wrought iron balconies, hinges and locks in curvilinear shapes, and strong vestiges of civil law remain from the Spanish presence. After great fires of 1788 and 1794, the Cabildo or town hall, Presbytere or priests' residence, and ironically the "French" Market, arose to take a permanent place in French Quarter history.
The 1803 Louisiana Purchase, signed within the elegant salon of the Cabildo, transferred the colony to the United States, inaugurating an era of prosperity. American culture made slow inroads, largely owing to the arrival of 10,000 refugees of the French and Haitian Revolutions and Napoleonic wars. The "glorious victory" of the 1815 Battle of New Orleans, led by Indian fighter and future president Andrew Jackson over numerically superior British forces, fixed loyalty to the American nation. The French Quarter's golden era followed as cotton, sugar and steamboats poured into the city. American, Irish, German, African and "Foreign French" immigrants swelled the population, creating a heterogeneous matrix of culture, language, religion and cuisine.
Civil War and Reconstruction, played out politically on the streets of the French Quarter, put an end to prosperity and inaugurated a tug of war between reform and machine factions as the Old Square declined. Creoles moved to Esplanade and later Uptown, and famine-driven Sicilian immigrants found cramped lodging in the grand spaces of French Quarter mansions of the 1890s. The 1900 birth of jazz in nearby Storyville nurtured musical legends Jelly Roll Morton, Louis Armstrong, Buddy Bolden, King Oliver, Bunk Johnson, Nick LaRocca, and other jazz and ragtime greats. By 1920 the legacy of a storied past first celebrated by George Washington Cable and Lafcadio Hearn in the 1880s attracted writers and artists in increasing numbers. William Faulkner, Sherwood Anderson, Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote were among American writers attracted to the French Quarter for its freewheeling urbanism, quaint surroundings and creative stimulus, even as the building stock declined.
1936 marked the onset of regulatory controls in the form of the state-sanctioned Vieux Carré Commission. Residents dug in to preserve the quaint and distinctive character of the old Quarter as art galleries and antique stores sprouted on Royal Street and brassy Dixieland-style jazz flourished in Bourbon Street nightclubs and strip joints. By 1960, with traditional jazz in decline, Preservation Hall emerged to serve beleaguered musicians. Here Sweet Emma Barrett and other traditional and largely African-American musicians found appreciative and sober audiences. Today, these and other preservation battles are the order of the day as increasing pressure from a tourist-driven economy lures some 10 million visitors annually to the time and foot-worn streets of the Vieux Carré.