Paper Revolutions: French Drawings from the New Orleans Museum of Art

NEW ORLEANS, LA – The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) presents Paper Revolutions: French Drawings from the New Orleans Museum of Art, on view through July 14th, 2019. The exhibition traces the politics of draftsmanship in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, featuring works on paper by celebrated painters Jacques-Louis David, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, and Eugène Delacroix, as well as lesser-known artists, such as Nicolas Lejeune. Drawn from NOMA’s permanent collection, Paper Revolutions explores themes of political and stylistic change during the France’s Age of Revolution (1789–1870).

“The political upheaval and instability in eighteenth and nineteenth century France is signified by the rapid shifts in rulers and regimes, as well as the shifts in artistic technique, from Simple, spontaneous sketches to Carefully executed, highlight finished drawings, utilizing a range of materials,” said Susan Taylor, NOMA’s Montine McDaniel Freeman Director. “NOMA invites visitors to explore this period of French history through works on paper, including four drawings that have undergone conservation on the occasion of this exhibition.”

The Age of Revolution in France was defined by political instability. In less than a century, wars and violent uprisings provoked radical changes in regime, from monarchy to republic to empire. This period also witnessed the emergence of new, hybrid styles of art: Neoclassicism, inspired by ancient Greece or Rome, mingled with Romanticism, distinguished by more fluid, expressive responses to nature. While navigating political shifts and experimenting with different forms, artists continued to draw obsessively—producing rough sketches, detailed studies, and independent works on paper.

“These drawings are intimate in scale, and offer profound insight into the artistic practice of great French artists, from David to Delacroix,” said Kelsey Brosnan, Zemurray Curatorial Fellow for European Art at NOMA. 

Paper Revolutions: French Drawings from the New Orleans Museum of Art is organized by the New Orleans Museum of Art and is supported by Jason P. Waguespack and the Zemurray Foundation. The exhibition will conclude with NOMA’s annual Bastille Day Fête, celebrating the beginning of the French Revolution in July 1789, 230 years ago. 

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About NOMA and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden 

The New Orleans Museum of Art, founded in 1910 by Isaac Delgado, houses more than 40,000 works of art encompassing 5,000 years of history. Works from the permanent collection, along with continuously changing special exhibitions, are on view in the museum’s 46 galleries Tuesday through Thursday from 10 AM to 6 PM, Friday from 10 AM to 9 PM, Saturdays from 10 AM to 5 PM and Sundays from 11 AM to 5 PM. NOMA offers docent-guided tours at 1 PM Tuesday – Sunday. The adjoining Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden features work by more than 85 artists, including several 20th and 21st-century master sculptors. NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden is free and open to the public seven days a week: 9 AM to 6 PM. The New Orleans Museum of Art and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden are fully accessible to handicapped visitors and wheelchairs are available from the front desk. For more information about NOMA, call (504) 658-4100 or visit www.noma.org. Museum admission is free on Wednesdays for Louisiana residents, courtesy of The Helis Foundation. Teenagers (ages 13-19) receive free admission every day through the end of the year, courtesy of The Helis Foundation. 

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For additional information, contact Margaux Krane: 504.658.4106 | mkrane@noma.org

Gallery of lo-res images: