Tatum Gallery – 50th Anniversary Queen for 2020 – Nancy Jean Turner
The Tatum Gallery is named after the Mobile Carnival Museum’s first curator the late Gordon Tatum. This gallery serves as pivot in the Carnival Museum’s interpretation of Mardi Gras from the street or parade or street culture celebrated in the Den to the royal or court side of Carnival that informs the remainder of the Museum. The Tatum Gallery has long served as the display space for annual exhibit celebrating the Mobile Carnival Association’s 50th Anniversary Queen. The 50th Anniversary Queen for 2020 is Nancy Jean Turner.
On display before you in its the entirety are Queen Nancy Jean’s royal robes – the collective term for a monarch’s formal ensemble. For a queen, a train, gown, collar, crown, and scepter comprise a complete set of royal robes. At first glance the Queen’s train is the most eye-catching component of her royal robes, but component of the larger ensemble is unique, and layered with symbolism.
Trains are special. The Mobile Carnival Museum is known collection of that genre of textile. The Museum has the world’s largest collection of said garments. As with floats, trains are informed by themes. They are storytelling devices. Queen Nancy Jean’s theme was family. Motifs and colors are two ways a theme can be translated. For instance, the pinecones and the color green reference the Queen’s family’s landed status and their prominence in the timber industry. Like most trains, Queen Nancy Jean’s features her initials, as well as a depiction of her crown.
The Queen’s actual crown rests atop a silver platter on stand to the side of train and gown. The crown is one of two exacting replicas of real royal crowns in the Museum’s collections. Queen Nancy Jean’s crown is an exact replica of a diadem or lady’s crown belonging to the Royal House of Hannover.