Message from the Director

NOMA is honored to announce a major addition to the permanent collection this spring. The gift, Melic Meeting (Spread), 1979 by Robert Rauschenberg, was created during a pivotal period in Rauschenberg’s career and NOMA is delighted to share it with the New Orleans community.

Rauschenberg was featured in NOMA’s 1977 Five from Louisiana, which connects NOMA even more closely to his work of the 1970s. The gift, announced recently by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, was made possible through the Foundation’s Gift/Purchase program—established to give six selected museums the opportunity to acquire a significant work. At a critical point in the process, the Helis Foundation stepped up to make the NOMA purchase component possible.

Our popular collaborations with The NOLA Project resume this spring with a new interpretation of Alice in Wonderland, which will surprise audiences and connect them with the Besthoff Sculpture Garden in fresh, unexpected ways. We’re also hosting a classic cinema series in collaboration with the New Orleans Film Society that will be another opportunity to enjoy the garden’s setting. We will continue to create and develop programs likes these, as we search for new opportunities to bring arts of all disciplines to our diverse audiences.

In May, we will present an exhibition of murals by Hale Woodruff, created in 1938 for Talladega College in Alabama. These works were recently conserved through a collaboration between Talladega College and the High Museum of Art, and will be hanging in NOMA’s Great Hall and surrounding galleries. Visitors will find powerful and poignant images in these murals created for the Works Progress Administration (WPA). An audio guide is planned for the presentation, as well as a supplementary guide to other WPA works in New Orleans.

Behind Closed Doors: Art in the Spanish American Home, 1492-1898, organized by the Brooklyn Museum, will give visitors the experience of walking through the domestic interiors of a Spanish Colonial home. Integrated into the exhibition are objects from our own collection that both complement and enhance the Brooklyn presentation. Behind Closed Doors will also allow NOMA curators to begin planning permanent installation of these collection objects, scheduled for early next year.

Finally, we’re tallying up numbers from 2013, and I wanted to share some of these findings with you. Membership is up 29%, and I believe these statistics reflect the way NOMA has responded to the community’s needs and requests. We are as committed to our public programs as our exhibitions, and we will continue to offer a variety of opportunities for the public to engage with. As always, NOMA’s permanent collection is the point of departure for the museum’s programming, and you will see more in the coming months as we continue to reimagine the presentation of the collection.

The next few weeks will be the last opportunity to see Photography and the American Civil War and Mel Chin: Rematch. I hope to see you in the galleries soon!

next events

Friday Nights at NOMA: UNDERGROUND RAILROAD film screening

5 - 9 p.m.
Concurrent with the current exhibition Photography and the American Civil War,…
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Studio KIDS!: A Bug's Life

10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
This spring, Studio KIDS! classes explore environmental themes in NOMA's galleries…
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NOMA Director Susan M. Taylor
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NOMA Director Susan M. Taylor
“Best Japanese collection I've ever seen. Sculpture garden is spectacular, and I've visited some all over the world.” Karen Wilson