New Orleans Museum of Art
This is the oldest and grandest art institute in a city that’s long captivated artists. The neoclassical building sits amid the greenery of massive City Park (conveniently at the end of the Canal Streetcar Line). It’s an especially good destination for admirers of Edgar Degas, who spent an extended vacation in New Orleans visiting relatives in 1872; a number of his works are displayed here. Just outside the museum is the beautifully landscaped and well-curated five-acre Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, which perfectly melds the old and new. Some 60 sculptures are arrayed amid reflecting lagoons and 200-year-old live oaks.
By Wayne Curtis
Swoon in New Orleans
Swoon’s artwork stand out in a street art world that’s oft populated with brash, pop art figures. Where some of her guerilla colleagues fill walls with Andre the Giants, cartoon characters, and Andy Warhol wannabes, she creates life-sized paper cut outs of everyday people, realistic rendered in black and white. With her bike nearly for a quick getaway, she wheat pastes these enigmatic souls—women, children, mermaids—at eye level where they interact with people who happen by. Born in Daytona Beach, Florida and trained in fine-arts at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute, Swoon’s illustrations and hand-cut paperwork draw on formal and folk traditions—German Expressionist and Japanese wood block printmaking, Mexican papel picado, and Wayang Kulit, the shadow puppets from Central Java. Connected to several art collectives, including the radical Justseeds, Swoon has a tenuous relationship with the contemporary art establishment. She’s shown in museums and had solo show at key venues but her rogue gallery is most at home installed on neglected buildings and side alleys around the globe—in San Francisco, New York City, Miami, and Berlin. The work is always changing. With time, the newsprint she uses frays at the edges, giving each piece a haunted quality, as if the characters are emerging from the facades.
The Besthoff Sculpture Garden at NOMA in City Park
A visit to the Besthoff Sculpture Garden on a pleasant spring or fall day can result in hours spent casually taking in pure artistic beauty surrounded by Mother Nature. As a matter of fact, if you're lucky, you'll find yourself doing yoga, seeing a play, or watching a movie in this very setting. The Sculpture Garden is also one of our favorite outdoor spots to host private events for our clients.
By Kelley Troia
Spend the Day at NOMA
Regally holding court in City Park, the ornate New Orleans Museum of Art (est. 1911) resembles a majestic Greek temple with its robust pillars, marble terrace, and detailed cornices. Originally called the Isaac Delgado Museum of Art, NOMA has expanded from nine initial artworks in its humble beginning to 40,000 today, including pieces by Renoir, Picasso, and Georgia O’Keefe, as well as a collection of modern and contemporary works by emerging artists from the American South. Don’t forget to walk through their impressive—and shady—Besthoff Sculpture Garden, a five-acre garden and trail lined with 64 sculptures, including famous modernist sculptor Robert Indiana's “Love” typographic installation.
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1 Collins Diboll Cir, New Orleans, LA 70124, USA
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