NOW OPEN: Besthoff Sculpture Garden expansion includes 26 new works of art

Aerial computer model of the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden expansion. Image courtesy of Palmisano

Opening on May 15 at 11 am, the expansion of the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at the New Orleans Museum of Art features 26 new works by artists working primarily in the 21st century. The expansion, which broke ground in December 2017, builds on the success of the museum’s existing five-acre Besthoff Sculpture Garden, widely regarded as one of the top sculpture gardens in the world. The expansion brings the total site to eleven acres featuring more than 90 works by renowned artists from the 19th century to the present.

Artists featured in the expansion include Larry Bell, Tony Cragg, Johan Creten, Katharina Fritsch, Frank Gehry, Jeppe Hein, Georg Herold, Thomas Houseago, Shirazeh Houshiary, Baltasar Lobo, Robert Longo, Gerold Miller, Beverly Pepper, Pedro Reyes, George Rickey, Ursula van Rydingsvard, Sean Scully, Yinka Shonibare, Frank Stella, Hank Willis Thomas, Bernar Venet, and Fred Wilson. A work by Ugo Rondinone will be installed in the garden in late 2019. Two new works have been commissioned for the site: a 60-foot-long mosaic wall by artist Teresita Fernández, and a glass bridge by Elyn Zimmerman.

 “The Besthoff Sculpture Garden expansion celebrates NOMA’s primary mission of sharing significant art and artists with the broadest possible public. It also incorporates contemporary, innovative approaches for a healthy and sustainable environment into a compelling experience of art,” said Susan Taylor, Montine McDaniel Freeman Director. “We look forward to sharing with our public new work by some of the most interesting and important artists working today.” 

The Besthoff Sculpture Garden expansion offers a lush, green space that allows NOMA to celebrate art, and broaden the museum’s opportunities to engage with the community in an inviting and environmentally sustainable way. The new garden showcases contemporary sculpture that has inspired our landscape architects to engage with the work and emphasize the relationship between landscape and art. A sculpture pavilion offers exhibition space for indoor sculpture and other works in NOMA’s collection that complement the garden’s installations. 

 “It has been a collector’s dream, putting together the sculptures that will populate the sculpture garden expansion,” said Walda Besthoff, patron of the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. “Many outdoor collections grow over time, and do not always have the forcefulness or unity of a carefully designed entity within a specifically designed landscape. Sydney and I have had the rare privilege of formulating a plan in collaboration with the New Orleans Museum of Art.” 

Like the existing garden, the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden expansion is free and open to the public, seven days a week. 

Read more about the Besthoff Sculpture Garden expansion in these news articles:

Elaborate bridges, lush landscaping among new features for NOMA’s expanded sculpture garden | The New Orleans Advocate, March 11, 2019

Expanded sculpture garden at NOMA will bring attraction into the 21st century | The New Orleans Advocate, February 8, 2019

Preview of the art in the expanded Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden | Curbed New Orleans, March 13, 2019

Gallery of sculptures in the expanded Besthoff Sculpture Garden: