NOLA Spotlight: New Orleans Museum of Art
People come to New Orleans for a lot of things: to eat, drink, party, and listen to music. One thing that’s overlooked, though, is that we have an amazing museum. The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) was founded in 1910 by Isaac Delgado and has over 40,000 works of art, covering 4,000 years of world art. That’s a lot of art!
I live here and it’s one of my favorite places to be. Especially nice to be surrounded by all of this beautiful art AND cranking air conditioning on a hot summer’s day. Bliss.
Wednesdays are the best because it’s free if you live here. However, be warned, it’s supposed to be a little more crowded on Wednesdays as a result. I spoke with Jacob (nice name!) who works here and he said the difference in a Tuesday versus a Wednesday is major—almost twice as many people one day from the next. And he said, be prepared for lots of little ones in matching camp shirts scooting their way through the museum on this day. Still, I’m here on a Wednesday and it’s not noticeably crowded to me. Just a fair amount of people looking around, but still very quiet. Someone just took a picture of me sitting here writing—I wonder if he thought I was a live installation?? Or maybe just strange…
There are three floors in the museum covering a variety of artists and genres and of course, there are special exhibits and events here all of the time. One of my favorite exhibits was Fernando Botero. He’s the Colombian artist who paints the very large people with a Magic Realism feel. I’m always surprised to see his work when I’m visiting other countries.
So, I can’t describe every room unless, you’d like a book-length post, so here are some of the highlights (for me, anyway). The first room I go to is right when you walk in–the Early Renaissance Art. I guess because I’ve been to Italy a few times and seen many of these works there, especially the Sienese masters, so I really like spending time in this room. Lots of gold and bold gem tones in this room. They were a flashy bunch.
I’m also obsessed with the Modern Art and Impressionism Room. Both super cozy. Joan Miro. Pablo Picasso. Claude Monet. Edgar Degas. Wassily Kandinsky. Amedeo Modigliani. Check, check, check. Very happy in these rooms.
My favorite piece of the day was this one below–Modigliani, Portrait of a Young Woman.
The second floor also contains furniture and objects d’art. I like to look at the beautiful objects people have had in their homes at one point. What it must have been like to live in a room with some of these things!
The museum itself is fairly expansive but its light wooden floors, clean lines, and white walls make focusing on the art easy. I could spend all day here.
The first floor has a very interesting exhibit–some regional focus here.
I really love the expressions and strength of David Bates‘ Saints (Triptych) below.
Oh, before I forget. There’s also a gift shop that’s chock-filled with cool things to purchase. Calendars, jewelry, art books, and more. I don’t allow myself to go in there too often or it could be trouble. I know my own weaknesses…. The café, Cafe Noma, is a new addition here at the museum and is the perfect place to have a snack or a coffee or glass of wine. They have salads, paninis, and flatbread pizzas that are delish. It’s a big airy room with large windows and lots of light.
The New Orleans Museum of Art is located in the middle of City Park—a big beautiful green space in the middle of the city. There is also a sculpture and botanical garden. More on those in another post. Oh, and paddle boats and a small amusement park as well! So lots to do right in this little spot.
Some things people may not know?
- Friday night, NOMA has music and fun events, so check the calendar if you’re around on a Friday.
- Wednesdays are free for Louisiana residents! Just show your i.d. and you have open access to one of the coolest (figuratively and literally) places in New Orleans.
Here are the details. Come visit next time you’re in town!
- Tuesday-Thursday 10 am – 6 pm
- Friday 10 am-9 pm
- Saturday 10 am- 5 pm
- Sunday 11 am – 5 pm
- Closed Monday
$12 adults/$10 seniors/$6 children (6 and under are free)
One Collins Diboll Circle
New Orleans, LA 70124