From: Fowler Museum at UCLA Limited Edition: 36 Exhibition: Carnaval! Material: Printed vinyl Dimensions: 35" x 96" (88.9cm x 243.84cm)
Hanging Hardware Included
In countries around the world, Carnival is a grand annual tradition that grew out of the Medieval celebrations of Catholics marking the advent of Lent. The exhibition "Carnaval!", from which these 31 banners come, featured images of such celebrations around the world. A vibrant photograph of masqueraders in the streets of Venice graces the banners. Closer to home, in New Orleans, Carnival manifests itself as Mardi Gras with its own local traditions and festivities. The exhibition then traveled to the New Orleans Museum of Art, to launch the museum's official Post-Katrina re-opening. There is always a great reason to travel to the The Big Easy to support the city's ongoing rebuilding efforts.
The exhibition Carnaval! brought together images from around the world to celebrate the celebration of Carnival. The celebration began in the Middle Ages by Catholics who were marking the advent of Lent with one final all-out party before giving up meat and various sins and vices. The word "Carnival" comes directly from the Latin term carnem levare which literally means "to remove oneself from meat".
Despite the religious origins of Carnival, over the centuries it has grown into something of a secular festival, incorporating celebrations of spring and general merry-making among a wide range of people. In the 18th century the concept arrived in the New World (known by the French name Mardi Gras or "Fat Tuesday", indicating the feasting on the Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday when the Lenten sacrifices would begin.)
The exhibition focused on Carnival celebrations in 8 different countries, one of which was Italy where the festival has its origins. A dramatic display of photography from Carnival in Venice, Carnevale in Italy: Photographs of Venice by David and Shirley Rowen was a highlight of the exhibition. Political and religious leaders in Venice worked to limit the excesses of Carnival in the 18th century, and it was ostensibly no longer celebrated in the early 20th century. Only in the last 25 years has the Venice Carnavale been revived to its former grandeur. Since 1981 it is once again celebrated for the two-weeks leading up to Lent. It has recaptured its aristocratic feel and grandeur with masked revelers dressed as counts, countesses, and other elaborately-clad historical figures.
This banner features a detail from the Rowens' photograph Carnival masqueraders in Venice, Italy, 2001 showing white-masked figures in brightly-colored costumes posed in front of one of the city's architectural marvels, the 14th century Doge's Palace. The other side of the banner is black with citrus-hued letters that read "Carnaval!: UCLA Fowler Museum" and smaller red text with the dates of the exhibition, "November 6, 2005 to April 23, 2006".
These banners were displayed around Los Angeles from November 6, 2005 to April 23, 2006 to promote the exhibition Carnaval! at the Fowler Museum at UCLA. The exhibition was also seen at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, Mingei International Museum in San Diego, New Orleans Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Art, and Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh.