Since its founding in 1872, the School of Design has added chapter after colorful chapter to the history of Carnival in New Orleans. This is a story best told in pictures, and a new book, Rex: An Illustrated History of the School of Design, does just that, and for a wonderful cause. All proceeds after publication costs go directly to the Pro Bono Publico Foundation.
Assembled by Rex archivist, Stephen Hales, this book is filled with more than 260 beautiful images telling the story of Rex, the King of Carnival, from his appearance on horseback in the first Rex Procession through the 2010 Parade and Ball. Museums and private collectors have allowed use of images never before published, documenting not only the history of the Rex Organization but also tracing the history of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Photographs of modern Rex Parades and Balls show that the School of Design continues to build on its oldest traditions of beauty and spectacle.
Among the 12 chapter subjects are The Grand Ball, The Rex Procession, Rex and the Military, The Rex Den, and Rex: Symbols and a Song. The book’s final chapter, Pro Bono Publico, documents the new dimensions given to the Rex motto in the five years since Hurricane Katrina.
Priced at $35, Rex: An Illustrated History of the School of Design will be available for sale in area bookstores on November 15, in time for individual and corporate holiday giving. It is also available for online purchase through Publisher Arthur Hardy’s website, http://www.arthurhardypublishing.com/books/rex.php.