NOMA Book Club

Join NOMA staff and fellow book lovers as we read and discuss fiction and nonfiction books related to art, artists, art museums, NOMA’s collections and exhibitions.

The Book Club is an informal group. You do not have to attend every meeting and we understand if you have to leave a discussion or program early. The book club offers several types of programs: a book discussion group that meets once a month (no reading in December), curatorial programs, field trips, and Meet the Author receptions. Participants are expected to purchase their own copies of the selected titles.

RSVP for the meetings you wish to attend so we can prepare the meeting space. Remember to send your suggestions for “reads” throughout the year. They may appear in the following year’s schedule.

Please contact NOMA’s Learning and Engagement Department at or call 504.658.4113 for information about joining the NOMA Book Club.

The following is a list of selections for 2019.



The Brilliant History of Color in Art by Victoria Finlay
J. Paul Getty Museum, 2014, ISBN: 978-1606064290

The Brilliant History of Color in Art by Victoria Finlay covers the development of art and color through the ages. Packed with fascinating detail and beautiful illustrations, this book combines colorful imagery with smartly-written text. Most of the publication’s 166 color illustrations represent works from the J. Paul Getty Museum collections. They exemplify the power of pictures to convey meaning, and Finlay’s informative text blends seamlessly with these high-quality reproductions. The matte-finished pages show them to good advantage. —Foreword Review

Thursday, August 22, 12 – 1 p.m. | Book Discussion Group



de Kooning: An American Master by Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan
Alfred A. Knopf, 2006, ISBN: 978-0375711169

Willem de Kooning is one of the most important artists of the twentieth century, a true “painter’s painter” whose protean work continues to inspire many artists. In the thirties and forties, along with Arshile Gorky and Jackson Pollock, he became a key figure in the revolutionary American movement of abstract expressionism. Of all the painters in that group, he worked the longest and was the most prolific, creating powerful, startling images well into the 1980s.

Friday, September 13, 12 – 1 p.m. |

Tuesday, September 24, 12 – 1 p.m. | Book Discussion Group



The Last Painting of Sara de Vos: A Novel by Dominic Smith
Picador, 2017, ISBN: 978-1250118325

Amsterdam, 1631: Sara de Vos becomes the first woman to be admitted as a master painter to the city’s Guild of St. Luke. Though women do not paint landscapes (they are generally restricted to indoor subjects), a wintry outdoor scene haunts Sara: She cannot shake the image of a young girl from a nearby village, standing alone beside a silver birch at dusk, staring out at a group of skaters on the frozen river below. Defying the expectations of her time, she decides to paint it.

Tuesday, October 29, 12 – 1 p.m. | Book Discussion Group



Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
Picador, 2009, ISBN: 978-0312428594

This historical novel crammed almost to the bursting point with incidents and characters, but Amitay Ghosh deftly keeps everything under control. It’s 1838, and Britain is set on maintaining the opium trade between India and China as a buttress of its economic, political and cultural power. Ghosh orchestrates his polyphonic saga with a composer’s fine touch. He lays out multiple narrative lines, initially separate, that eventually conjoin on the Ibis, a schooner bound from Calcutta to China across the much-feared “Black Water.”…The density of settings, from rural India to teeming Calcutta to the Sudder Opium Factory, is historically convincing, and the author pays close attention to variations in speech, from the clipped formality of the educated class to a patois (“the kubber is that his cuzzanah is running out”) that definitely requires the glossary that Ghosh provides. —Kirkus Reviews

Friday, November 8, 12 – 1 p.m. | Curatorial Program with Lisa Rotondo-McCord, Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs/Curator of Asian Art

Tuesday, November 19, 12 – 1 p.m. | Book Discussion Group