Dear NOMA Friends and Family,
In May 2019—exactly one year ago—the New Orleans Museum of Art opened its much-anticipated expansion of the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. The six-acre addition doubled the size of this world-renowned outdoor space, offering twice as much to experience. Critical acclaim from both art and landscape critics and, most importantly, from our visitors, soon followed, along with record-breaking attendance—a gratifying response to a project that was years in the making. On June 1, we will once again welcome another opening as NOMA’s friends, family, and visitors re-enter the grounds following a 76-day closure in compliance with stay-at-home orders to flatten the curve of Covid-19. New guidelines, admission fees, operating hours and dates respect public health imperatives and help the museum’s financial well-being, but be assured that the experience unique to this beloved place will remain unchanged.
Whether walking along the lagoons or among the lush foliage—which has matured in the newer section—you will have the full experience of viewing ninety-six extraordinary works of art. The canopy of moss-draped live oaks provides ample shade. Pine needles rustle overhead in the breeze. The lagoons reflect the changing mood of the sky. Egrets, herons, geese, ducks, and swans find safe haven. Every turn of the walking paths provides a full vista that includes both art and nature. Nature complements the art and the art complements nature, with works by some of the world’s most lauded sculptors spanning the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries. We welcome you to wander and find awe-inspiring wonder.
On the heels of the reopening of the Sculpture Garden, we encourage you to take note of Give NOLA Day on June 2. For twenty-four hours, nonprofit organizations across the metro region benefit from the generosity of our community. Your gift to NOMA at this pivotal moment will provide crucial general operating support, allowing us to sustain staffing, create innovative virtual content and print materials, and serve our community with initiatives like delivering art kits to our Mini Masters program participants. Your support now ensures that when we do open the doors to the museum in the near future, our ability to provide meaningful encounters with art , ideas, and one another will continue in innovative ways as we adapt to new challenges and opportunities.
Join us as we embark on a new era for the museum. We look forward to welcoming you back. Our visitors are our inspiration.
Susan M. Taylor
Montine McDaniel Freeman Director
Image credits (left to right):
Carlos Rolón (Puerto Rican/American, b. 1970), Losa Criolla (detail), 2018, Ceramic tile on aluminum panel, Museum purchase, Roussel Norman Fund, 2018.9
Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (French, 1755–1842), Portrait of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France (detail), c. 1788, Oil on canvas, Museum purchase, Women’s Volunteer Committee and Carrie Heiderich Fund, 85.90
Quinnie Pettway (American, 1943–2010), “Bricklayer” variation quilt (detail), Corduroy, 1975, 82 x 72 in., Museum purchase and gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection, 2017.170, © Estate of Quinnie Pettaway/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, Image: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio/Art Resource, New York