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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Eighty-five: On Tour – cruising the Mississippi from Memphis to the Gulf > The Queens of Proteus, Antoine’s Restaurant, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2012
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The Queens of Proteus, Antoine’s Restaurant, New Orleans, Louisiana, 2012

Our ships tour group lunched at Antoine’s, the oldest family-run restaurant in the United States. It was started in 1840, and has been operating in its present location since 1868. We toured the numerous private dining rooms in the restaurant – one of them honoring the Mardi Gras Carnival Krewe of Proteus. On one of its walls, I found a photographic chronology of the Krewe’s Queens, going back into the 19th century. All of the portraits seemed to recede in comparison to the 1897 Queen, Juanita Lallande. For some reason, her print was much brighter than any of the others. She seems to ponder the moment, while the others are simply posing for a picture. I place Miss Lallande near the upper left hand corner of my frame and photographed her from an angle. Because of my camera placement, most of the other queens appear smaller and certainly darker. This woman, shown here forever young, comes through as a person, rather than just a ceremonial symbol. ( I researched Ms. Lallande, and found that she not only ruled the Proteus Krewe at the 1897 Mardi Gras – she both sponsored and launched the US Battleship “Louisiana” in 1904.)

FujiFilm X10
1/30s f/2.0 at 7.1mm iso640 full exif

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