Louisiana State Museum seeks artifacts

Think you may have a significant piece of Louisiana sports history in your den, attic, or trophy case? If so, don’t put your treasure on eBay just yet.

That championship game ball or faded prizefight poster could earn a place of honor in the Louisiana State Museum.

Museum curators have been scouring the state recently seeking artifacts for the new $18-million Louisiana State Museum/Sports Hall of Fame scheduled to open in 2011 in historic downtown Natchitoches.

“It’s a little like Antiques Road Show,” said Greg Lambousy, Director of Collections. “We’re inviting people to bring any interesting object that will help us illustrate the history of sports in Louisiana from pre-Colonial times to the present. In many cases, the story behind the object will be more valuable than the object itself.”

Lambousy said there’s an “almost endless” range of sports-related material under consideration for display – photographs, paintings, sculpture, posters, programs, letters, diaries, trophies, and medals.

“Meanwhile, we’re also looking for historic athletic gear and uniforms from all sports at all levels of play – amateur, scholastic, and professional,” he said.

The 27,500-square foot museum complex will provide a permanent home for Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and its collection of portraits and memorabilia honoring the achievements of the state’s greatest athletes.

Established in 1959 by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, the hall now has 261 men and women on its roster with names like Vida Blue, Eddie Delahoussaye, Archie Manning, Pete Maravich, Mel Ott, Willie Pastrano, Willis Reed, and Joyce Walker.

“We’re proud to partner with the Louisiana State Museum to celebrate sports as an important part of our culture and heritage,” said Doug Ireland, chairman of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. “And as sports writers, we’re helping to get the word out among athletes, fans and collectors to support Museum’s call for artifacts. This is a grassroots effort where anyone can make sports history.”

Owners can choose donate objects as gifts to the Museum’s permanent collection, or provide them on long term loan, Lambousy said. To discuss potential loans or donations call Lambousy at 504.599.1946 or email: glambousy@crt.state.la.us

Founded in 1906, The Louisiana State Museum collects, preserves and interprets Louisiana’s rich cultural heritage from pre-historic times to the present through more than 450,000 objects and works of art. The Museum is part of the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, which is overseen by Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu.

For more information, please call 800.568.6968 or visit http://lsm.crt.state.la.us.

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