Rosenberg LibraryRoenberg Library
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Glitz and Glamour: Galveston's Mardi Gras in the Roaring Twenties
Mardi Gras gownMardi Gras gown
Mardi Gras, a period of revelry prior to Lenten fasting, has been a Galveston tradition since 1867. During the 1920s Galveston celebrated Mardi Gras with astounding glamour. “King Frivolous” and his “Queen,” along with their court of princes and princesses, were appointed from the social elite and presided over the festivities. Mardi Gras balls also provided a venue for debutantes, who donned exquisite gowns. In 1926, royalty wore period attire in honor of George Washington, whose birthday coincided with the February 22nd ball.



Mardi Gras gownThe Rosenberg Library celebrated Mardi Gras with the exhibit “Glitz and Glamour: Galveston’s Mardi Gras in the Roaring Twenties.” The exhibit featured enlargements of color photographic portraits taken of members of the Mardi Gras “court” in their finery. Photographer Paul Naschke took most, if not all, of these portraits. His wife Della painstakingly applied color to his black-and-white photographs.

The Harris Gallery at the Rosenberg Library is open Mondays - Saturdays, 9 am - 6 pm.



Gown display2012 Mardi Gras poster



The Library’s Galveston and Texas History Center invites the general public to donate Galveston Mardi Gras photographs. Please contact Sean McConnell, Archivist, at smcconnell@rosenberg-library.org.