The New Orleans Museum of Art (abbreviated NOMA) is a highly respected fine arts institution that displays an impressive collection of over 40,000 objects including sculptures, paintings, photography, and more from some of the world’s most notable artists. NOMA is located in City Park between Mid-City and the West End. It is just a few minutes from other popular areas of town such as the Central Business and Garden Districts. It is an ideal pairing to explore the museum and then retreat to the peaceful park for a stroll. The museum’s tranquil surroundings in the park provide the ideal setting for one of the most significant sculpture installations in the Unites States.
The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden sits on five acres at NOMA and is one of the most popular New Orleans Art Museum exhibitions. Viewing the sculptures in this setting, among 200-year-old oak trees, magnolias, azaleas, and the other lush vegetation, is possibly the perfect setting to view and contemplate the art in a relaxed state of mind.
The New Orleans Museum of Art is widely known for its extensive collection of European and American art. It is dedicated to presenting works that detail the progression of Western Civilization from pre-Christian times right up to the present. One of the New Orleans Art Museum exhibitions features Louisiana art, and it is evident in this display that the influence of Spain and France is pervasive in much of the art that is considered indigenous to this area. The multicultural makeup of New Orleans has always lent itself to a broad spectrum of artistic expression, and NOMA is a great place to see some of the most notable pieces of art, not only by well-known artists, but also by important local ones as well.
There are works by Edgar Degas who visited New Orleans in 1871 and painted just blocks from where the museum stands. This French Impressionist was one of the forefathers of the movement and the pieces of art on display at the New Orleans Museum of Art are some of the most treasured of the entire $200 million collection. Other notable artists who are on display at NOMA are Picasso, Miro, and Braque.
Another one of the most popular New Orleans Art Museum exhibitions is Art of the Americas. In these displays the museum sets out to exhibit excellent works by artists from Central, South, and North America. From pre-Columbian times to the present, a whole range of impressive works is on display. Heavy emphasis is placed on Mayan art and objects from the Spanish Colonial period. For anyone interested in the history of art in this hemisphere, this is an extremely engaging exhibit. Other permanent installations include Asian Art, Oceanic Art, Decorative Art, and African Art. The seasonal exhibitions change frequently so the best way to stay updated is to check in with the museum’s events calendar.
If you are making a trip to New Orleans, consider stopping by its oldest fine arts museum for an enjoyable day at one of the most popular attractions in the city.
Image: Helena Peixoto (Flickr)