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 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