Current Exhibitions

Ancestors in Stone

on view through August 1st, 2021

A recently acquired akwanshi stone monolith from the Cross River region of Nigeria forms the centerpiece of a focus exhibition featuring stone as a material used in ancestral veneration among West African cultures. Read More

Atomic Number Thirteen: Aluminum in 20th-Century Design

on view through April 17th, 2022

When chemists first successfully extracted aluminum from the earth in the mid-19th century, the raw element was as precious as gold. Today we take this ubiquitous material for granted, though aluminum allows for nearly every facet of modern life through its use in architecture, industry, and flight. This exhibition, drawn from NOMA’s permanent collection, explores the changing role of aluminum in twentieth-century design. Read More

Arte Sacra: Roman Catholic Art from Portuguese India

on view through May 15th, 2022

In the centuries following the arrival of Francis Xavier, a Catholic missionary, in 1542, the state of Goa in western India became the administrative and economic center of a Portuguese empire that extended west to Africa and east to Malaysia, China, and Japan. The vast trade networks established by the Portuguese and Spanish allowed not only for the spread of Christianity, but also an unprecedented artistic exchange within these colonial empires. This exhibition, from the collection of Dr. Siddharth Bhansali, reveals both the global influence of European seventeenth- and eighteenth-century styles, as well as the transformation of these styles in the hands of Indian artists creating a new visual tradition. Read More

The Pursuit of Salvation: Jain Art from India

on view through May 15th, 2022

The Jain faith has been continuously practiced in India since at least the sixth century BCE. Nonviolence, a respect for all living beings, and the belief in the existence of a permanent soul whose true nature is obscured by accumulated karma are core principles of Jainism. Created over a period of more than fifteen hundred years — the second through nineteenth centuries — the sculptures, paintings, and manuscripts on view in this exhibition of works loaned from the collection of Dr. Siddharth Bhansali illuminate iconographic and stylistic change as well as regional variation.  Read More

Rural Occupations: Images of Work in Edo-Period Art

on view through November 28th, 2021

Lively and engaging images of urban and rural workers populate the works of art created during the Edo and Meiji periods on view in this exhibition. In idealized scenes created to confirm governmental authority and societal stability, as well as in closely observed records of individuals undertaking specific tasks, the lives and labors of workers in pre-modern Japan are the focus of the artists’ attention. Read More

Orientalism: Taking and Making

on view through January 2nd, 2022

Drawn from NOMA’s permanent collection, this installation addresses shades of oppression, racism, and superficial cultural understanding layered in 19th-century Orientalist paintings, photographs, and decorative arts. Read More

Upcoming Exhibitions

An aerial photograph shows New Orleans and the Northshore following the opening of the Bonnet Carré Spillway. Land is represented in red and water is represented in blue.

A Brief History of Photography and Transmission

on view starting June 25th, 2021

While it may seem that the story of photography traces an inevitable arc from a unique material experience toward an infinitely reproducible phenomenon, it could be argued that one of the most important “histories” of photography is the history of deliberate efforts to improve how a photograph gets from “here” to “there.” While the stresses and realities of the present moment make the topic more relevant than ever, the portability of a photographic object or the transmission of its image has occupied the thoughts of photographic inventors, artists, and publishers throughout the past two hundred years. Read More


Past Exhibitions

New Photography: Create, Collect, Compile

ended on June 6th, 2021

Over the past two decades, the ways in which we create, collect, and compile photographs have shifted dramatically. In broad strokes, we might define this shift as away from photographs as singular, iconic, and private objects to a ubiquitous, public, and collective phenomenon that is now often immaterial. This exhibition presents the work of four photographers, all of whom work with, and critique, these new practices in photography. Unified by their understanding of the photograph as an ambiguous messenger, each of these artists creates, collects, or compiles photographs to trace narratives about identity, community, and power. Read More


Exhibition Videos