In 1984, New Orleans hosted the Louisiana World Exposition with the theme “The World of Rivers: Fresh Water as a Source of Life.” This theme spoke to Mignon Faget, who had already created many jewelry designs that featured Oysters, Crabs, Shrimp and other bounties of our magnificent Mississippi River and Delta. The exposition became a catalyst for further artistic exploration.
Mignon wanted to honor the event and highlight New Orleans culture before the eyes of the world. She endeavored to return commemorative designs to the stature they held at the turn of the century when they were elegant collectibles and to present works that were carefully conceived and designed. It was at this time that Faget designed her iconic Gumbo Necklace and popular Gulf Stream Glassware. These items continue to have a long life after the World’s Fair. She also designed a Key to the Fair, inspired by the ornate gate at the entrance of the Exposition site, designed by Charles Moore and William Turnball.
Louisiana’s Commissioner General, John Giffen Weinmann, commissioned Mignon to design a special plate for dignitaries visiting the Exposition.
This design became a commemorative plate and later was adapted for a set of Gumbo China which sold in Mignon Faget’s galleries. Each set came with a recipe card for the Mignon Faget Design for Seafood Gumbo.
Read more about Mignon’s Gumbo as well as a very New Orleans culinary encounter in this excellent story by Judy Walker from the Times-Picayune. The recipe is transcribed and updated for clarity. Bon Appetit!
Still hungry for more? Feast your eyes on the dreamy redesign of Mignon Faget’s iconic Gumbo Necklace, featuring faceted moonstone and aquamarine.