Gallier Gatherings is our popular monthly speaker series. We feature lectures by locals and nationally-known experts with a focus on historical connections to the Houses, modern day New Orleans, and beyond.  Our Gatherings bring together both diverse participants and audiences with dynamic and engaging topics.  Join us at Gallier House, located in the French Quarter at 1132 Royal Street, New Orleans, LA 70116, on the second Wednesday of each month from 6PM – 7:30PM for a Gallier Gathering.  Tickets are just $10.00 in advance and include a complimentary wine reception with the speaker at 7:00PM.

November 14th Gallier Gathering GET TICKETS

The Royal Street Excavation

Recent archaeological excavations conducted by the UNO Department of Anthropology are providing insights into the rich textures of economic and daily life in the eighteenth and nineteenth century French Quarter.  From the household of a Colonial era fur trader on Royal Street to antebellum cottage-level enterprises in hide tanning and in metalworking on St. Peter and Bourbon, this talk will explore the many ways in which the Vieux Carré has been at the center of commerce in the City of New Orleans.  It will also address how archaeology is used as a tool to better understand the roles of those, both enslaved and free, whose labor built and sustained the city.

About the Speaker:

D. Ryan Gray is the Richard Wallin Boebel Endowed Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of New Orleans. He received his BA in Archaeology from Columbia University and his MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. His current research spans many topics, from the spiritual churches of New Orleans to Storyville, its red light district, and he recently led a project in Austria to recover the remains of a Tuskegee Airman who crashed during World War II.  His first book, exploring race and segregation through archaeology at the sites of four of New Orleans’ housing projects, will be published by the University of Alabama Press next year.

October 10th Gallier Gathering

The History of Creole Cooking with Zella Palmer

Unlock the origins of one of the most celebrated Southern culinary traditions, Creole cooking. Travel back in time to learn about the cultural influences on the Creole style and how African American material culture plays a major role in Southern foodways. You’ll walk away with a taste of how not only the food industry but also other industries have been built upon a foundation of African American material culture.

About the Speaker:

Zella Palmer, educator, food historian, author and filmmaker serves as the Chair and Director of the Dillard University Ray Charles Program in African-American Material Culture. Palmer is committed to preserving the legacy of African-American and Latino culinary history in New Orleans and the South. Palmer curated the first Story of New Orleans Creole Cooking: The Black Hand in the Pot academic conference, Nellie Murray Feast and the Dr. Rudy Joseph Lombard: Black Hand in the Pot Lecture Series

October 17th Grima Gathering  – SOLD OUT

New Orleans Obituaries & Mourning with John Pope 

A look at death, New Orleans style.
Shudder under the stars in our historic courtyard as Times-Picayune obituary writer John Pope reads from his acclaimed collection, Getting Off at Elysian Fields. This event also marks the opening of the Mourning Exhibition at the Hermann-Grima House, which explores Creole mourning customs of the 1800s. Pay your respects in the parlor, which will be set for the funeral of Mrs. Grima who died in the home on October 15th, 1850. Legend has it that she likes to see who comes to say goodbye!

About the Speaker:
John Pope, 69, is a contributing writer for | The Times-Picayune in New Orleans.
Pope earned a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) and a master’s degree from the University of Texas, where he wrote for The Daily Texan, the student newspaper, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He has held fellowships in public health at the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism at the University of Maryland and at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In April 2005, he was a Hearst Foundation visiting fellow at the University of Texas.
Pope, who has worked for The States-Item and The Times-Picayune, won four first prizes from the Press Club of New Orleans, three first prizes from the Louisiana State Medical Society and one from the Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press Association. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Press Club of New Orleans in July 2015. Later that year, he was elected to The Daily Texan Hall of Fame. Pope was part of The Times-Picayune team that won two Pulitzer Prizes, a George Polk Award, a National Headliner Award and the Medill Award for Courage in Journalism for coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. He has freelanced for The Washington Post, Variety, Reuters and several inflight magazines. He profiled Betty Ford for “American First Ladies: Their Lives and Their Legacy,” a biographical encyclopedia of presidential spouses, and he wrote the afterword for “After: The Silence of the Lower 9th Ward,” John Rosenthal’s book of photographs showing Katrina’s devastation in that part of New Orleans.
“Getting Off at Elysian Fields,” an anthology of 123 of Pope’s obituaries and four New Orleans funerals that he covered, was published in October 2015 by the University Press of Mississippi. Pope sits on the board of New Orleans Artists Against Hunger and Homelessness. He is a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, the Society of Professional Journalists and the Society of Professional Obituary Writers, whose members refer to themselves as Grimmies.

September 12th Gallier Gathering   GET TICKETS

Where the Wild Things Grow – Fostering Creativity in Students through Nature

Explore the history and plantings of the Homer A. Plessy Community School’s French Quarter courtyard with speaker Valerie Massimi. Learn about her experience of cultivating the garden, the importance of native planting, and the benefits of garden-based education programs. Enjoy learning about this secret garden right here in the French Quarter and minutes down the street from Gallier House.

About the Speaker:

Valerie Massimi grew up in New Orleans and graduated from LSU majoring in Philosophy. In addition to a career in education, she has worked privately as a landscaper and gardener and spent several summers volunteering at the Brooklyn Grange, the worlds largest rooftop garden. She is an active volunteer at Homer Plessy Community School where her daughter is currently enrolled in 2nd grade.

August 8th Gallier Gathering

Monograms, Tagging, and Tattoos: Similarities and Differences in Three Unique Forms of Cultural Expressions

Look around, what do you see?


Monograms on T-shirts and sweatshirts and cars, tagging on walls, tattoos on areas of bodies never dreamed of before. What do these have in common? How do they differ? Stationer Nancy Sharon Collins will delve into the similarities and differences between three, highly individual forms of cultural expression: Monograming, graffiti/tagging, and tattooing.

Brief histories of each form will be examined, visual examples will be shared, ideas and norms that surround each will be presented and considered for discussion. Followed by Q & A which, Mrs. Collins anticipates, will be lively.

About the Speaker:

Nancy Sharon Collins is the country’s leading engraved stationery expert working in her eponymous New Orleans company, Nancy Sharon Collins, Stationer LLC. She authored The Complete Engraver A Guide to Monograms, Crests, Ciphers, Seals, and the Etiquette and History of Social Stationery and writes for PRINT and HOW magazines about engraving, design, and commercial printing. She appears in popular media such as Town & Country, VOGUE, Veranda, The New York Times, and WWNO|NPR.
Collins, in partnership with Antenna Gallery, produces LETTERS READ, the series of live performances bringing historically important letters, vital to the history of New Orleans, to various locations throughout the Crescent city. She taught graphic design at various south Louisiana colleges and university and partners with local cultural institutions presenting lectures and workshops on professional and social issues such as letter writing, life-style entrepreneurship, monograms and ciphers.

Photos: Custom monogram by Mrs. Collins (far left). © 2018 William “Billy” Bracey (middle). Graffiti on Charters downriver from Elysian Fields Avenue, New Orleans (far right)

July 11th Gallier Gathering

Obstinate Beauty: Wildflowers of New Orleans

Laura Reiff is a horticulturist with eighteen years of experience growing plants in New Orleans. She was the native plants horticulturist at Longue Vue House and Gardens, caring for all aspects of the historic house museum’s one-acre Wild Garden. Her other gardening interests include edible plants, plant and insect interactions, and soil science. Laura also made the first detection of a major agricultural pest in Louisiana and ended up working for USDA’s Plant and Animal Health Inspection Service inspecting citrus trees. She has also worked as a copy editor and occasional writer at Preservation in Print. (Photos courtesy of Laura Reiff)


June 13th Gallier Gathering with 

How Women Shaped the History and Development of New Orleans

New Orleans writer, historian and researcher. Mary Gehman was the founder of the publishing company Margaret Media, Inc. (1981 to 2014, when she sold it). The company was named in honor of 19th century philanthropist Margaret Haughery for whom the first statue of a woman in the U.S. was erected in New Orleans in 1884.

Gehman used it to publish the latter editions of a women’s monthly newspaper Distaff which she helped to found and edit intermittently from 1972 to 1981. In 1988 she published her book Women and New Orleans: A History through Margaret Media, followed by The Free People of Color of New Orleans: An Introduction in 1994 and Touring Louisiana’s Great River Road in 2003.

In 2017, Mary formed Dville Press. Dville Press LLC is located in Donaldsonville, Louisiana to promote local authors and artists.



May 9th Gallier Gathering

Road Trips of the Roaring Twenties



Imagine packing up your vehicle to set out on a road trip to some unseen destination along the Gulf Coast (a more than common activity today, yes) – but what if you could see it through the lens of 1925?!
Well, before Google Maps there were TripTiks, and before that we had national road atlases, and before those, elaborately folded paper maps. But in the 1920s the Times-Picayune took the work out of plotting the path, and published hand-drawn, detailed adventure guides for a whole eager new generation of “Motorlog” road trippers.
Road Trips of the Roaring Twenties: discovers what is to be found in this series of treasured travelogues and illustrated maps – a quintessential medium that reveals how people of past were able to newly navigate the earth – all in a time when when American’s were breaking free from old ideals and realizing the new possibilities of traversing great distances, one tank at a time.
Join us at the Gallier Gathering on May 9th, for a presentation reveals the way we once set-out – on paved, shell, gravel, and dirt roads – across a landscape forgotten in time, to explore an environment so precious to us now.


Joseph S. Makkos is a writer, printmaker, and a self-described media archaeologist, having salvaged and restored historic printing equipment from at least a dozen print shops to date. Using these resources he actively runs a design studio and print shop, which focuses on artful production and independent publishing for local businesses, writers, and artists alike.

In another capacity he curates Nola DNA, a one-of-a-kind archive of thousands of historic New Orleans newspapers dating from the late 19th to the early 20th century. With this archive he works with various local organizations to present and exhibit works in the collection, revealing hidden histories and untold stories of the region.
He currently writes a special New Orleans tricentennial column for Preservation In Print magazine called: “Archives Uncovered.” Currently his main topics of research include: the history of preservation, and the golden age of illustration, and 1920s gulf coast road trip culture.