Page 1


New Orleans Museum of Art

September – December 2019




Robert Brammer, Mississippi Panorama (detail), 1842– 1853, Oil on canvas, 29 x 36 in., Collection of Stacy and Jay Underwood On view in Inventing Acadia: Painting and Place in Louisiana, November 16, 2019, through January 26, 2020. See page 8.

LEFT A canal link bridge slopes to the bottom surface of a lagoon, connecting the original Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden with a 6.5-acre expansion that opened in May 2019. Several bridges and pathways ring the central lagoon. Read more on page 14.

In art as well as life, few influences weigh more heavily than the power of place. The many cultures that have come to inhabit Louisiana—a milieu truly unrivaled in its diversity—are all shaped a common factor: the land and its visual impact. Moss-draped oaks, languid bayous, and towering cypress groves characterize our shared habitat. Visitors to the New Orleans Museum of Art this fall will find inspiration in these familiar Louisiana landscapes in a number of ways, ranging from the picturesque views in our recently expanded sculpture garden to two new exhibitions, one of paintings, the other of photographs, that examine our natural surroundings. One celebrates the rich, natural landscapes of another time. The other reminds us of the present fragility and precariousness of our environment. In May of this year, after seventeen months of construction punctuated by forty-five days of rain, we opened the gates on a 6.5-acre expansion of the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. Twenty-seven sculptures from artists working primarily in the twenty-first century enhance the grounds. This public asset is not only a showcase of art, but also an environmentally sensitive case study for land and water management in New Orleans. Numerous individuals and corporate donors made this dream a reality. Chief among them are the Besthoffs, and we invite you to celebrate this remarkable couple during our annual fundraiser beneath the stars, LOVE in the Garden Presented by Hancock Whitney, on Friday, September 27. The bon temps will roll again on Friday, November 15, with our annual Odyssey Ball Presented by IBERIABANK. This year Odyssey will take on an air of intrigue under the theme Mystère Louisiane. More than sixty nineteenth-century landscape paintings from private lenders and NOMA’s permanent collection, as well as American and European museums, will be shown in Inventing Acadia: Painting and Place in Louisiana. This marks the first time in forty years that Louisiana will be the focal point of a landscape exhibition. Visitors will find brushwork as lush as the subject matter in works by Touissant François Bigot, Alfred Boisseau, Richard Clague, William Henry Buck, and others who captured swamps, marshes, riverbanks, and other geographic landmarks on canvas. Beyond the scenic views, these paintings also speak to the complex political and racial dynamics of Louisiana before and after the Civil War. In conjunction with this exhibition, we have invited artist Regina Agu and a collective of photographers known as Southerly Gold to revisit these long-ago settings and create installations that will address man’s impact upon the landscape in our time. Our photography galleries will be filled with works by Tina Freeman, who has spent the past seven years trekking across remote stretches of Louisiana’s coastal zones, and the frozen hinterlands of the Arctic and Antarctic, to create a body of work that links these disparate ecosystems both visually and environmentally. Aptly titled Lamentations, pairings of photographs lay bare the issues of sea-level rise and climate change at latitudes that form the front lines of these global concerns. Related programming for both Lamentations and Inventing Acadia will focus on environmental matters, proving once again that art can address some of the most pressing issues of our time. NOMA will both literally and figuratively broaden horizons in the season ahead, all of which is made possible through you, the community that supports us. As we offer a forum for sharing ideas, or an escape into inner reflection, we encourage you to find your place at NOMA.

Susan M. Taylor The Montine McDaniel Freeman Director

CREATING COMMUNITY Selected highlights from September – December 2019




The NOLA Project theater company presents

Japan Fest

Measure for Measure

An annual favorite at NOMA, Japan Fest ushers in the fall season with cultural activities from the Land of the Rising Sun. Be awed by the booming drums of the Kaminari Taiko, see dozens of anime cosplayers, savor Japanese foods, and shop for an array of imported items.

Twelve performances on select dates from

SEPTEMBER 10 – 29, 7:30 P.M.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Fourteen performances on select dates from OCTOBER 16 – NOVEMBER 10, 7 P.M. See page 23 for details. For tickets, visit

$5 | Free for NOMA members, and visitors age 19 and under


Family Field Day In a continuing series of family-oriented festivals, NOMA welcomes visitors of all ages to a day of outdoor art-oriented activities in the expanded Besthoff Sculpture Garden. Free for all visitors. Read more about the Besthoff Sculpture Garden on page 14.


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 Patron Party | 6:30 – 8 p.m. Garden Party | 8 p.m. SYDNEY AND WALDA BESTHOFF SCULPTURE GARDEN

New Orleans Museum of Art | NOMA Magazine



Wedgwood, manufacturer and Daisy Makeig-Jones, designer, Vase, 1916–1931, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Sydney Besthoff III, 2007.70

Fairyland Lusterware Radiantly glazed and richly imaginative, Fairyland Luster pottery represents one of the most extraordinary technical achievements in the modern ceramic industry. Wedgwood designer Daisy MakeigJones (1881–1945) combined whimsical children’s illustrations with a demanding glaze process to create these enchanting and often strange ornamental porcelains, on view in the second-floor elevator lobby. Read more at


4 Recent acquisitions and exhibitions in NOMA’s decorative arts collection FEATURE

8 Inventing Acadia: Painting and Place in Louisiana EXHIBITIONS

12 Southerly Gold documents Louisiana landscapes 13 Ancestors in Stone


Artist Perspective with Wilmer Wilson IV

16 Tina Freeman: Lamentations


18 Inspired by NOMA: Michael Boudreaux

Wilmer Wilson IV, among the eleven artists included in the exhibition Bodies of Knowledge, will discuss his film installation Black Mask. The video depicts Wilson slowly obscuring his face with black Post-it notes alongside a series of books in which he documents a series of performances around the world, including New Orleans. Wilmer Wilson IV, American, b. 1989, Black Mask, 2012, Single-channel video, Edition 3/5, Museum purchase, Augusta Jourdan Fund, © Wilmer Wilson, 2019.10.1

14 Besthoff Sculpture Garden blends art and nature

Bodies of Knowledge closes October 13. For more information, visit


19 Creative Careers interns visit Crystal Bridges Museum 20 Engaging incarcerated students with NOMA+ EVENTS

22 Safar concerts blend east and west 23 NOLA Project fall performances 24 Youth and family classes 25 Fall films at NOMA 26 Events by date 29 Reimagining African American silent films THANK YOU

LEFT 20130223 BrownBluff WeddellSea 031, A tabular iceberg in the Weddell Sea, about two kilometers long, archival inkjet print, © Tina Freeman RIGHT 20140101 Avoca Island 216, Near Morgan City, southwest of New Orleans, a lake that formed on a former island due to a man-made breech in the levee, archival inkjet print, © Tina Freeman


Public Panel Discussion: Water in Two Physical States

30 NOMA Donors

Visit for exclusive online content.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 6 P.M. In conjunction with the exhibition Tina Freeman: Lamentations, Photography Curator Russell Lord will moderate a discussion about climate change and its effects upon Louisiana with photographer Tina Freeman, and environmental advocates David Muth, director of the Gulf Restoration Program of the National Wildlife Federation, and Brent Goehring, assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Tulane University. A book signing for the exhibition catalog will follow the discussion.


Beauty and Function

Recent Acquisitions and Exhibitions in NOMA’s Decorative Arts Collection 4

New Orleans Museum of Art | NOMA Magazine

Additions to NOMA’s permanent collection are driven by a deep knowledge of our existing holdings and a full understanding of the strengths and weaknesses in each area. The accessions highlighted here are tangible manifestations of NOMA’s strategy to acquire transformative works of art. Each of these recent additions to the decorative arts collection fills a significant gap: The George R. Kravis II Collection redresses the absence of twentieth- and twenty-first-century design objects; the Gee’s Bend quilts are the first of these celebrated works to enter our collection; and the Sargent Johnson Teapot is a rare example of mid-century Modernist design by a noted African American artist. While celebrating the new, we also honor our traditional strengths by presenting our outstanding Latter-Schlesinger collection of British portrait miniatures, part of NOMA’s collection since 1974.

THE K R AV IS DE SIGN GIFT NOMA is proud to stand among museums selected for a remarkable gift of industrial design from the collection of broadcasting executive George R. Kravis II (1938–2018). This gift will transform the museum’s twentieth-century decorative arts collection with works that represent a broad spectrum of modern design. The Kravis Design Center was established in 2014 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to house a preeminent collection of more than 4,000 everyday objects like furniture, dinnerware, clocks, and radios that exemplify the practical beauty of well-designed, but sometimes overlooked, consumer goods. Kravis’s collection covers industrial design from 1900 to the present, with special attention to the Modernist era of the 1930s and ‘40s. Kravis was a strong proponent of sharing design through public exhibitions and educational programming. After his death in 2018, the Kravis Estate honored his wish to distribute this unparalleled collection to museums that share this mission. NOMA joins such institutions as the Cooper-Hewitt (Smithsonian Design Museum), the Wolfsonian Museum, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art as beneficiaries of this generous gift.

Curators worked closely with staff at the Kravis Design Center to identify objects that would fill gaps in NOMA’s collection and complement the museum’s strengths. Special attention was paid to increasing diversity with regard to gender, race, and nationality, and to production glass that augments NOMA’s notable historic glass collections. The 93 objects donated to NOMA include chairs, lamps, teapots, clocks, a telephone, a stapler, a clothes iron, six cocktail shakers, and even a dish-drying rack. The gift includes traditional materials well represented within NOMA’s collection—ceramic, glass, and silver—while also expanding the collection to include material innovations of the 20th century, with designs in stainless steel and aluminum, a variety of plastics, heatresistant glass, and rubber. Wellknown designers like architect Zaha Hadid, Walter Dorwin Teague, Marc Newson, and Philippe Starck are represented, along with contemporary brand-name manufacturers like IKEA, Alessi, and Swatch. Thanks to this Kravis gift, NOMA’s collection now includes a structural cardboard chair, Experimental Edges “Sitting Beaver” (designed 1979) by superstar architect Frank Gehry, and a

Little Sun solar-powered light (2012) designed by artist Olafur Eliasson. Both Eliasson and Gehry have works in NOMA’s Walda and Sydney Besthoff Sculpture Garden and Pavilion. Though we may not recall the name of its designer—Peter Schlumbohm—we are all familiar the dynamic outline of his iconic Coffeepot, manufactured by Chemex (at left, designed 1941). Its hourglass shape of heat-resistant glass wrapped with a wood belt has become a common fixture in millions of kitchens. Another item that has become so ubiquitous we sometimes overlook its striking design is the Lunt Company’s “Contrast” flatware (1956), recognizable for their black nylon handles, a bold mix of 20th-century plastic with traditional sterling silver. From rare to ubiquitous, from iconic to unknown, great works of design show the power of thoughtful consideration to the combination of feel, function, material, manufacturing, and beauty. This gift from the George R. Kravis II Collection allows NOMA to celebrate as fine works of art the useful designs we use to live, work, and play. Mel Buchanan, RosaMary Curator of Modern of Decorative Arts and Design

View additional objects from the Kravis Collection at ­—Continues on page 6

Designed by Peter Schlumbohm (German, 1896–1962), Produced by Chemex Corporation (United States), Chemex Coffeepot, designed 1941, Pyrex glass, wood, leather, 9 7⁄16 x 5 7⁄8 x 5 7⁄8 in., Gift from the George R. Kravis II Collection, 2019.8.16




Nicholas Hilliard (English, 1547–1619), Portrait of an Elizabethan Court Lady, c. 1590, Watercolor on parchment, Gift of Shirley Latter Kaufmann in memory of Harry and Anna Latter, 74.337

Richard Cosway (British, 1742–1821), William Pitt the Younger, English Prime Minister, c. 1785, Wash on card, Gift of Shirley Latter Kaufmann in memory of Harry and Anna Latter, 74.385

Horace Hone (British, 1754–1825), Mrs. Edward Brown, 1785, Watercolor on ivory, Gift of Shirley Latter Kaufmann in memory of Harry and Anna Latter, 74.458

Cradled in the palm of a hand or worn close to the heart, portrait miniatures functioned as intimate tokens of love, loyalty, or memorial. These tiny portraits capture remarkable details of lace, jewelry, magnificent hairstyles, royal adornments, and military regalia, all executed by artists who sometimes used a single hair as a brush. The Latter-Schlesinger Collection of Portrait Miniatures, from the sixteenth through nineteenth centuries, were given to NOMA in 1974 by Shirley Latter Kaufmann in honor of her parents, Harry and Anna Latter. Portrait miniatures were the passion of New Orleans collectors, English-born Harry Latter and his wife Anna Shushan Latter of Garyville, Louisiana. In 1957, Latter travelled to London to oversee a government project at the request of President Eisenhower. Joined on the trip by their daughter Shirley Latter Kaufmann and her children, Lee and Lisa Schlesinger, the family dedicated the trip to the pursuit of English portrait miniatures. After her parent’s passing, Kaufmann gifted the magnificent collection to NOMA, where she was a

trustee for more than twenty years and board president from 1978 to 1979. The earliest handheld paintings evolved when the highly-skilled Medieval artists illustrating religious texts (illuminated manuscripts) liberated images from the bound page. In the 1520s, these miniatures became essential communication tools in European court life. The earliest miniatures were painted onto vellum (animal skin) or cardstock. The earliest on view in NOMA’s collection was made around 1520, depicting Ulrich von Hutten, a scholarly Protestant follower of Martin Luther. Though the specific artist of this work is unknown, they were working similarly to Hans Holbein (German, 1497/8–1543). Holbein immigrated to England in 1532 to serve as Henry VIII’s court painter, famously supporting the king’s use of portrait miniatures to assess beauty of potential wives. Through the tumultuous seventeenth-century, the English court continued to rely on the power of image for political and diplomatic purposes. The collection includes two

works by Nicholas Hilliard (English, 1547–1619), the official court limner (portrait painter) to both the Virgin Queen, Elizabeth I, and her successor, James I. Under both monarchies, wealthy subjects wore jeweled royal images as a sign of loyalty. The eighteenth-century was the apex of the art form in England. Artists like Richard Cosway painted watercolor portraits on thin sheets of ivory for a flattering luminescence of high-society subjects. NOMA’s collection includes unforgettable likenesses of the glamorous (and scandalous!) Henrietta Ponsonby, Countess of Bessborough, circa 1780, and King Louis XVI of France, 1780–1785, framed in diamonds. This permanent collection installation of more than 100 portrait miniatures is on view in a new, speciallydesigned cabinet in the Decorative Arts Galleries. A digital tablet details stories behind these celebrities of their day, the highly-skilled craft of miniature painting, and the Latter family collection.


This installation was made possible with the support of the Milton H. Latter Educational and Charitable Foundation.

New Orleans Museum of Art | NOMA Magazine

THE QUILTS OF GEE’S BEND Within the small, remote community of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, four generations of African American women have produced patchwork quilts. These quilts were born from resourcefulness, with fabric salvaged from worn-out clothes and feed sacks, but in the hands of Gee’s Bend women such everyday materials evolved into marvels of individual expression. Thanks to a recent partnership with the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, NOMA’s permanent collection gained five masterful examples of the renowned quilts. In 2017 NOMA participated in the Souls Grown Deep gift/purchase program, a partnership designed to strengthen the representation of African American artists from the Southern United States in leading museum collections. Long before their quilts were celebrated around the world, women in Gee’s Bend (also called Boykin) started a quilting tradition as far back as the

early 1800s, when the community was the site of a cotton plantation owned by Joseph Gee. Enslaved women pieced scrap cloth to make bedcovers and passed along their design techniques to daughters and granddaughters. The women of Gee’s Bend adhere to a fiercely independent design process. Their geographic isolation and a tight kinship network of shared enslaved ancestors brought remarkable cultural continuity across generations. Many of the Gee’s Bend quilters recall being encouraged as young women to create their own designs rather than follow established quilting patterns. Though they would occasionally adhere to structured, named patterns, the most celebrated Gee’s Bend quilts follow no known pattern. The Quilts of Gee’s Bend will be on view in the Elise M. Besthoff Foundation Gallery through March 15, 2020. This exhibition is supported in part by The Elise M. Besthoff Foundation.

Nettie Young (Gee’s Bend, Alabama, 1916–2010), Stacked Bricks quilt, 1928. Cotton and corduroy; 82 1⁄4 x 67 3⁄4 in. Museum Purchase, and Gift of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation from the William S. Arnett Collection, 2017.167. © Estate of Nettie Young/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Image: Stephen Pitkin/Pitkin Studio/Art Resource, NY

SA RGENT JOHNSON TEA POT With a body like a polished stone and a handle reminiscent of indigenous Mexican animal figures, a recently acquired teapot made in 1941 by prominent African American sculptor Sargent Claude Johnson seems to be of both nature and man, at once ancient and modern. Johnson was best known as a sculptor who incorporated cultural influences from Mexico, Latin America, and West Africa into his own embrace of Modern abstraction. Born in 1888 to a father of Swedish ancestry and a mother with both part Cherokee and black ancestors, Johnson chose to live his life as a black man while his six siblings identified racially as Native American or Caucasian. The six Johnson children were orphaned at a young age, and when Sargent was only fifteen he went to live in Washington, DC, with an uncle who was married to the respected African American

artist May Howard Jackson. Jackson directly addressed the black American experience in her sculptural work, and was undoubtedly a formative influence for Johnson to consider nonwhite themes through his artistic practice. Primarily working from San Francisco from 1915 on, Johnson supported himself as a picture framer while experimenting with painting, printmaking, wood, copper, marble, and ceramics. Between 1926 and 1935, the artist was a regular exhibitor with New York’s Harmon Foundation, one of the first major supporters of African American artists and an important part of the Harlem Renaissance. In 1944 and 1949 Johnson traveled to Mexico, where he studied culture and art. While still incorporating the motifs of indigenous peoples, his work became increasingly more abstract until his death in 1967.

Sargent Johnson (American, 1888–1967), Teapot, 1941. Earthenware; 5 x 8 1⁄2 x 4 in., Proposed museum purchase, William McDonald Boles and Eva Carol Boles Fund, 2019

These spotlights are written by Mel Buchanan, RosaMary Curator of Decorative Arts and Design. Read more about these works at


Inventing Acadia



New Orleans Museum of Art | NOMA Magazine

FROM THE EARLY NINETEENTH CENTURY ONWARDS, THE ALLUVIAL DELTAS, DENSE FORESTS, AND IMPENETRABLE SWAMPLANDS OF SOUTH LOUISIANA—BRANDED AS ACADIE AFTER THE FRENCH ACADIAN REFUGEES WHO SETTLED HERE— REPRESENTED THE APOTHEOSIS OF THE AMERICAN FASCINATION WITH UNTAMED WILDERNESS. Artists from around the world were drawn to this subtropical terrain, and here they formed a new school of landscape painting influenced by both artistic and political movements of the era. Inventing Acadia: Painting and Place in Louisiana, opening November 16, will be the first major exhibition on Louisiana landscape painting in more than forty years. It is also the first to place Louisiana landscape painting in a wider national and international context. The exhibition reveals Louisiana’s role in creating—and exporting—a new vision for landscape art vastly different than that found in the rest of the United States and Europe. As a point of convergence for artists from Europe, the Caribbean, and the broader United States, Louisiana became a testing ground for new ideas about landscape representation in the nineteenth century. The painters who came to this region envisioned Louisiana’s enigmatic natural scenery as both a natural paradise and a place profoundly marked by forces of history. In 1847, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow proclaimed Louisiana’s unique place within the American imagination in his epic poem Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie, calling Louisiana a land of “exile without end, and without example in history.” Paintings such as Robert Brammer’s Mississippi Panorama (see cover) and Touissant François Bigot’s Alchapalia, Louisiana captured the complexities of Lousiana’s landscape by using innovative compositional forms to portray wetland ecology. In his abolitionist painting Uncle Tom and Little Eva, which sets two characters from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s consciousness-raising novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin along the shores of Lake Ponchartrain, painter Robert Seldon Duncanson captured the ways in which the region’s landscape was marked by the entangled histories of slavery and colonialism. In Louisiana, artists encountered a landscape utterly unlike the forests and mountains of the Northeast around which the very idea of the American landscape had been formed. In 1829, Louisiana’s scenery struck one writer for The Western Recorder as “of a character altogether different from anything ever seen in the Northern half of our Union.” In 1851, the New Orleans historian Charles Gayerré promoted the great “variety and wilderness” of the state’s natural scenery in his widely read book Gayerré’s Louisiana, which to him spoke not only to the quagmire quality of its semiliquid terrain, but also to a newly enlarged and internationalized view of American culture, a place where “the imagination may riot in the poetry of mysterious migrations [and] human transformations.” In the 1820s, French émigré painters such as Bigot and his contemporaries Alfred Boisseau and Richard Clague made New Orleans a major center for the French Barbizon, a school of artists who were among the first to make landscape painting the primary subject LEFT Richard Clague, American, 1821–1873, Back of Algiers, c. 1870–1873, Oil on canvas, 21 x 27 in., Gift of Eugenia Uhlhorn Harrod in memory of her husband, Major Benjamin Morgan Harrod, 13.5



Asher Brown Durand, Forenoon, 1847, Oil on canvas, 60¼ x 48¼ in., Gift of the Fine Arts Club of New Orleans, New Orleans Museum of Art, 16.4

George David Coulon, Spirit of Louisiana, 1894, Oil on canvas, 44 x 27 inches, Gift of the Fine Arts Club of New Orleans on the occasion of their 60th Anniversary, New Orleans Museum of Art, 76.69


Joseph Rusling Meeker, After a Storm—Lake Maurepas, 1888, Oil on canvas, 20½ x 32¼ in., Gift of the Phi Gamma Chapter of the Chi Omega Society, Louisiana State University Museum of Art, 98.14

of their art. Clague created Louisiana landscape scenes that mined Barbizon’s vanguard approach to landscape representation, evident in paintings like Back of Algiers whose composition and subject matter references paintings such as Theodore Rousseau’s Groupe de chênes, depicting the forests of France. By the mid-to-late nineteenth century, Northeastern landscape painters like Thomas Cole and Asher Brown Durand had exhibited their work in New Orleans, where their paintings influenced
 and inspired an emerging group of landscape painters that included Joseph Rusling Meeker, Marshall J. Smith, and William Henry Buck. When Meeker began creating his famed paintings of Louisiana’s bayous and swamps, he looked to the example of his teacher, Asher Brown Durand. In paintings such as After a Storm–Lake Maurepas, Meeker reimagines and reconfigures the twisted trees of Durand’s Northeastern scenes such as Forenoon (1847) to suit the very different environment and ecology of the swamp. Meeker, like many of those that painted Louisiana

during this period, had to reimagine American landscape painting traditions to capture the unique landscape and ecology of the Gulf South—a place that is defined as much by water as land. The artists in Inventing Acadia capture the complexities and contradictions of Louisiana’s landscape, grappling with questions that continue to inform our contemporary connection to the environment, culture, and history of the region. By drawing from NOMA’s permanent collection, and bringing together works from private and public collections across Louisiana and the US, Inventing Acadia shows the connections not just between North and South, but between the region’s present and past, showing the ways in which the history of landscape painting can help shape our relationship to land today. Because Louisiana landscape paintings have, up until recently, been less widely known, they have not been as carefully researched, documented and preserved as landscape art from other places. Many paintings from this genre have been lost to fires, floods, and the ravages of time. New Orleans Museum of Art | NOMA Magazine

Regina Agu, Sea Change, 2016, Vinyl print, 6 x 70 feet (approximately), Installation view at Project Row Houses, Houston, TX. Photo credit: Alex Barber © Regina Agu 2019

Robert Seldon Duncanson, Uncle Tom and Little Eva, 1853, Oil on canvas, 27¼ x 38¼ in., Gift of Mrs. Jefferson Butler and Miss Grace R. Conover, Detroit Institute of the Arts, 49.498

Due to the dedication of public museums and private collectors from this region, many of these paintings have survived to be shared with the public for this exhibition. Roger Houston Ogden, founder of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, is one of the most important early collectors and champions of Louisiana landscapes. He began collecting such paintings in the 1960s, many of which will be on display in Inventing Acadia. As he shared with NOMA, “When I started collecting Louisiana landscape painting, it was not recognized nationally, let alone internationally, and was only minimally known even in the state itself. I started saving this historical art, recognizing its value for art history.” A catalog authored by four scholars will offer additional insight into this newly appreciated genre of landscape painting. Katie A. Pfohl, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, and Allison Young, Mellon Curatorial Fellow of Modern and Contemporary Art

Inventing Acadia will be on view in the Ella West Freeman Gallery from November 16, 2019, through January 26, 2020. The exhibition is organized by the New Orleans Museum of Art and is sponsored by Hyatt Regency New Orleans, the Eugenie and Joseph Jones Family Foundation, The Robert Lehman Foundation, Bill and Martha Gunther, Robert J.A. and Norris S.L. Williams, Sally E. Richards, Neal Auction Company, and Amanda Winstead Fine Art. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The accompanying catalog is made possible by Roger Ogden and Ken Barnes. Research for this exhibition was supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art.

A CONTEMPORARY ARTIST REVISITS SITES PAINTED IN THE PREVIOUS CENTURY Inventing Acadia: Painting and Place in Louisiana will be accompanied by a sitespecific contemporary art installation in NOMA’s Great Hall by Regina Agu, an artist who grew up in Houston, Louisiana, and Nigeria. Having ventured into contemporary Louisiana wetlands, the artist will create a large-scale photographic panorama that will wrap the museum’s Great Hall, similar to a past work she created at Project Row Houses in Houston, including Sea Change (above). Through a partnership between NOMA and A Studio in the Woods, Agu will have the opportunity to spend time in residence in Louisiana, revisiting many of the sites painted in a previous century by artists in Inventing Acadia. Through a dynamic installation of printed fabric that will drape, fold, and move through the Great Hall, Agu will combine these historical reference points with contemporary landscape imagery from the region. The installation will create an immersive environment that responds to the unique architecture of the Great Hall while highlighting the distinctive cultural and political geographies of the Gulf Coast. Agu’s project is created in partnership with A Studio in the Woods through an artist residency. Regina Agu will join Ryan N. Dennis, curator and art programs manager at Project Row Houses in Houston, in conversation about the art installation on Wednesday, December 18, at 6 p.m. This artist talk is free and open to the public, courtesy of The Helis Foundation.




In conjunction with the exhibition Inventing Acadia: Painting and Place in Louisiana, the New Orleans-based artists ensemble known as Southerly Gold has been invited to create an installation for the Evelyn L. Burkenroad Creative Concept Studio on NOMA’s first floor. Comprised of three female photographers — Aubrey Edwards, Ariya Martin, and Elena Ricci—Southerly Gold has photo-documented much of Louisiana’s natural and built environments. In addition to gallery exhibitions, the trio published a collection of books project titled God’s Country, each a visual field guide to seven of the state’s border parishes: Caddo, Plaquemines, Cameron, and the combinations of East and West Carroll and West and East Feliciana. The three photographers spoke about the project they envision at NOMA, which will open on November 16. Elena Ricci: When we started working as a group in 2011 we would pursue an umbrella concept. Each of us would go out and shoot our own personal work that was an interpretation of a bigger idea. Then we’d show it together. Our process has evolved since then, and our work is now based on a more collaborative method. Aubrey Edwards: That’s something process-wise I think is really interesting as far as collaboration goes. It sometimes confuses people when they see our work on the walls. Someone will ask, “Oh, which one is yours?” And I respond, “None of it, and all of it actually.” For many of the images, we compose together, all taking turns adjusting the composition of the image before we make the photograph. These images are taken together. It is a collective eye and a collective ownership of work.


Cone/Plaquemines Parish, 2016, from the book project God’s Country by Southerly Gold

Ariya Martin: We had one show where we handmade all the frames for a large gallery exhibition, which was very taxing. We’ve since shown work in different ways. Over the past year, we started playing around with wallpaper—large-scale images that can go directly onto a wall. For the Creative Concept Studio, we’ll be doing layers of wallpaper, covering an entire wall of different landscapes from Acadiana and south Louisiana. Aubrey Edwards: We’re revisiting the locations that are shown in the paintings that were created in the 1800s—Algiers, Bayou Plaquemines, Lake Maurepas—and photographing them in present day. We will capture how the landscapes have changed from when they were romanticized in these paintings. Our images will be shown as a wallpaper with accompanying found objects and audio recordings. Elena Ricci: In creating God’s Country, we came to see that Louisiana varies greatly from north to south, but there are also elements that tie the state together. Boundaries blur and

borders are arbitrary. Plaquemines, at the tip of the Mississippi River, has so much water, and efforts at water mitigation, along with oil extraction. Caddo, in the far northern corner, is also shaped by the boom-and bustcycles of oil. There’s not necessarily a hard delineation between north, south, east, or west in the state. Elena Ricci: None of us, in our personal work, focus on landscapes. That being said, we each pull our individual backgrounds and expertise as photographers when we document these landscapes. By shooting the land, or the sea, and the evidence of human activity, we’re creating a picture of this place, and how this place has been used over time. Why did people come here? What was the industry? What were the resources that were extracted there? What was the evolving relationship with the people that lived on that land? How can we capture that in imagery? To learn more about Southerly Gold, visit their website: Copies of God’s Country will be for sale in the Museum Shop.

New Orleans Museum of Art | NOMA Magazine


Ancestors in Stone showcases a rare, recently acquired sixteenth-century akwanshi monolith from the Cross River region of Nigeria, along with figures and objects collectively made with stones. The exhibition speaks to the significance of stone both as a natural element and as a significant material in the veneration of African forebears. Akwanshi stone sculptures were first documented by British anthropologist Charles Partridge at the turn of the twentieth century. In his book Cross River Natives (1905), he identified their presence within the Ikom area. However, it was Allison Philip, a British-colonial forestry specialist, who conducted the first organized research on the monoliths in the late 1960s. Based upon archaeological studies in the area, Eyo Ekpo, director of Nigeria’s Department of Antiquities and head of Nigeria’s National Museums, suggests a plausible date that compares with the Nok culture (c. 300 BC). But it is a combination of the aesthetic appeal and the source and meaning encoded in the monoliths, which are yet to be fully deduced, that continues to intrigue and excite many scholars and collectors. Akwanshi (stone of ancestors) are carved to depict a human face (mostly male). Facial features are characterized by round or lentoid eyes, and an oval mouth. The nose on some stones is depicted as simple modeled vertical lines, while in others it forms a molded raised triangle. Eyebrows sometime appear, but it is difficult to be certain that there is any deliberate attempt to represent ears. Besides the upper part of the monoliths that suggest facial features, the abdominal area is mostly untouched but for some inscriptions in the form of scarification and other types of decorative markings. Some scholars have suggested that these markings align with an ancient

secret writing system within the area popularly referred to by the Ejagham people as nsibidi. Others have associated some of the markings on the stones to other forms of writing. Some stones have entered the art market while others have been desecrated in situ. Currently, the stones suffer due to poor site management. The absence of serious conservation practices is compounded by a lack of government funding to care for these antiquities. Vandalism by way of bush burning, deliberate destruction and defacing, and mindless theft of the akwanshi from their original sites are but some of the problems that the remaining stones face. The ancestral stones are at eventual risk of nearly total loss due to these conditions. In many African cultures, visual representation of ancestors was done with ephemeral and perishable materials. This was predicated on the thinking that impermanence of material helps to capture the essence of the spirit. They are supposed to return only when their services are needed in the community. Indeed, after consecration and use, the indwelled spirit goes away and the object is left to disintegrate. For example, mbari mud sculpture dwellings, created by the Igbo people for the propitiation of Ala, a female earth deity, are intentionally abandoned upon completion. It is considered taboo to maintain or step inside these sacred structures, and they are purposely left to decay in the elements. What happens when ancestral figures are rendered in a more permanent material such as stones? Will they still be left to disintegrate after they have exhausted their relevance? Is the use of stones and other permanent materials another way of making the presence of the spirit more permanent?

Ejagham artist, Nigeria, Akwanshi, c. 16th century, Stone, Museum purchase with Françoise Billion Richardson and Gordy Funds, 2019.11

Ancestors in Stone includes objects in stone, terracotta, and other materials. The display includes a miniature nomoli stone figurine—loaned from Charlie and Kent Davis—and another stone ancestral figure from the Mambila people of Nigeria/Cameroon. — Ndubuisi Ezeluomba, François Billion Richardson Curator of African Art

Ancestors in Stone is on view in the second-floor Stafford Focus Gallery through Summer 2020.



Elyn Zimmerman, American, b. 1945, Mississippi Meanders, 2019, Laminated tempered glass, steel and aluminum supports, © Elyn Zimmerman, Gift of Sydney and Walda Besthoff, 2019.7

NOMA Director Susan Taylor, Sydney Besthoff, and Walda Besthoff officially opened the Besthoff Sculpture Garden expansion on May 14.


By the mid-nineteenth century, the bustling port city of New Orleans was in need of a park. The teeming, densely populated core of the city, tightly squeezed against high ground along the Mississippi River, gave way to undeveloped, mosquito-infested marsh and swampland in what was colloquially called the “back of town.” The death of entrepreneur and substantial landholder John McDonogh in 1850, combined with the emergence of a nationwide campaign to provide picturesque respite from urban congestion, provided the impetus to turn cow pastures, backswamp, and live oak groves into what is today’s City Park, a civic resource now enjoyed by more than five million visitors a year. An editorial in the Daily Picayune of September 1851 called upon city leaders to introduce “the matter of a public park in the rear of the city.” Clearing the existing mosquito-infested swamps, the newspaper proclaimed, would destroy “a nursery of disease” and allow breezes to flow “uninterruptedly” from Lake Pontchartrain to the residential and business districts. By 1858 the city gained clear title to the

land, and though progress was slow, in 1872 two staff engineers from the famed landscape architecture firm of Fredrick Law Olmsted were employed to draw up plans that would provide for public amusements in an eye-pleasing landscape of lagoons, groves of ancient live oaks, shell roads, and bridges. By 1911 the park was selected as the site for the Isaac Delgado Museum of Art (today’s NOMA), founded by its namesake philanthropist. Nearly a century later, in 2003, two additional benefactors, Sydney and Walda Besthoff, would provide the seed money and initial works for a sculpture garden that fits harmoniously within the existing landscape. Their eponymous gift to the city has become one of the most renowned outdoor art environments in the world. Building upon this success, in 2017 NOMA embarked upon a 6.5-acre expansion of the Syndey and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden around a lagoon to the north of the museum. The site opened in May 2019 and includes twenty-seven works by artists primarily working in the twenty-first century. New Orleans Museum of Art | NOMA Magazine

Additional innovative architectural elements include the first canal link bridge of its kind in the United States, an amphitheater, a sculpture pavilion, and an outdoor learning environment. “These elements are entirely new to the museum, and we look forward to realizing their potential for our public,” said Susan Taylor, NOMA Director. “Our many outdoor festivals, film screenings, concerts, and performances throughout the year will only be enhanced by these new venues.” A 5,000-square-foot indoor sculpture pavilion created by Lee Ledbetter & Associates serves as a landmark for the expansion, offering exhibition space for indoor sculpture and other works in NOMA’s collection that complement the garden’s outdoor installations. The pavilion’s elliptical shape is reflected inside through curving walls, encouraging movement around the installations. Three site-specific works in the sculpture garden by women artists are inspired by the environment. A 60-foot-long mosaic wall by Teresita Fernández, titled Viñales, stretches along a curved wall outside the pavilion, its blue and green tiles creating a “landscape within a landscape,” according to the artist. Elyn Zimmerman’s Mississippi Meanders is a 70-foot glass bridge with swirling, multicolored lines reflecting the ever-changing path of the river as documented in historical maps by Harold Fisk. Inside the pavilion, Maya Lin has created a wall- and ceilingmounted installation from thousands of glass marbles that depicts the course of the Mississippi and its tributaries. Paying homage to the lush character of the site, the expansion incorporates vegetation indigenous to south Louisiana, including

existing live oaks, along with new plantings of palmetto, ginger, sweetbay magnolia, bald cypress, Louisiana iris, and swamp lily. The central lagoon was reshaped to emphasize the expanse of open water, and revitalized to capture, clean, and aerate water as a healthy and sustainable resource. A weir allows for changes in water level to address flooding potential and re-oxygenate the system. The weir was funded by the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation. “The many years I have been involved with NOMA made me aware of the great love, dedication and contributions of Sydney and Walda Bestoff to the artistic culture of our community,” said the Foundation’s chairman, Phyllis Taylor. “The Foundation’s support of the expansion of the Bestoff Sculpture Garden was, first and foremost, a small tribute to them.  Additionally, even before Hurricane Katrina, I have had an interest in the role of water in our daily lives.  The Trustees of the Foundation, sharing that interest, have supported numerous projects that involve water.  So, selecting the installation of the weir was an easy choice, and an exciting one.” Other donors have expressed delight at the result of this $15 million project: “The original Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden is an exquisite combination of art and landscape. It has been a significant addition to the NOMA and the city of New Orleans. The new expansion is itself a real gem. The sum is now greater than its parts and will be appreciated by all who see it.” — ROBERT HINCKLEY

“The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden expansion represents to me a space of art, beauty, peace, and reflection. It has been a great personal satisfaction to be a donor.” — NURIA ROWLEY “The Eugenie and Joseph Jones Foundation supports the sculpture garden expansion because the Foundation places a strong focus on  the arts.  This expansion is such an asset to our city, and free public access is integral in promoting  arts and educating the entire community.” — SUSU STALL “I grew up playing by the lagoon and remember feeding ducks there as a child. When I was in graduate school, I interned at NOMA and loved seeing this place of nature and serenity when entering and exiting the main building. As much as I love art and supporting living artists, which is the focus of this expansion, I was worried how changing the environment of the lagoon and its environs would affect the wildlife. But after speaking with NOMA staff and learning about the water filtration system, that helped sway my decision. I wanted to be certain that the expansion would not only provide a new home for art, but a safe environment for the birds, fish, and plants that live in it.” —CLAIRE THRIFFILLY You can play a role in the historic expansion of the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden by making a gift to support the project. A number of naming opportunities are available, and gifts may be pledged over a number of years. For more information, please contact Anne Baños, Deputy Director, at or Jenni Daniel, Director of Development, at




20180402_Svalbard_103 Sea ice breaking up in late winter

Over the past seven years, Tina Freeman has photographed the wetlands of Louisiana and the glacial landscapes of the Arctic and Antarctica. In Lamentations, Freeman pairs images from each place in a series of diptychs that function as visual stories about climate change, ecological balance, and the relationship of natural phenomena across time and space. Images are paired aesthetically and practically, demonstrating how the rising waters along the coast of Louisiana are both visually and physically connected to the melting glaciers at the poles, despite the separation of vast distances. The large, color photographs in Lamentations make evident the crucial global dialogue about water in two physical states.


It is a simple construct: two pictures, side by side, each informing the other in a broad sweeping narrative about melting ice caps and rising sea levels. But Lamentations is anything but simple: it addresses the central issues of our time and does so in a form that wrestles with its own limitations. Put another way, this project profoundly engages with both its message and its messenger, with both the precarious existence of glaciers and wetlands and with photography itself. The diptych structure in Lamentations introduces a series of urgent narratives in a way that a sequence of individual photographs could not. The meaning of any particular photograph is often incredibly slippery, subject to a variety of interpretations.

Throughout history photographs have been used, by opposing parties, to argue both sides of the same story. The challenge for any photographer, especially one with a specific story to tell, is to somehow direct the viewer toward his or her way of seeing the image, to control the narrative. In magazines and newspapers this is done, often inelegantly, with captions—text that necessarily explains what a picture is about and why it is there. Freeman accomplishes it without text, using pictures alone to tell their own story. In each pair of images, one from the Arctic or Antarctic and its companion from Louisiana, the meaning of each individual image is framed and provoked by the other. A fallen tree in a swamp echoes the contours of a

New Orleans Museum of Art | NOMA Magazine

20170404_Wetland_Aerials_002 Louisiana wetlands southeast of New Orleans on the east side of the river, south of the Caernarvon diversion

musk ox skeleton on the tundra, for example, with both becoming specters of loss. Each work becomes a declarative sentence, almost shouting that we cannot possibly understand this without that. When we begin to understand that this is the life-threatening loss of coastal refuge, and that is the increasingly fast dissolution of glacial ice, the global stakes truly come into focus. The images are beautiful, but the beauty of each picture is quickly and constantly qualified by the presence of its partner. The wild irises of the Louisiana wetlands may seduce us for a moment, but that elation is quickly tempered by the adjacent threat to their existence. In this sense, each image is persistently haunted by its neighbor, with some pairings emphasizing the beauty that

might be lost and others emphasizing the balance between disparate areas. In one diptych, for example, melting mounds of ice face off with a parade of cypress tree knees, but the quick realization that the first is shrinking while the other is growing underscores a fragile balance, and the fact that melting ice and sea-level rise is a zero-sum equation. Each pair also effectively erases the vast distances that physically separate the subjects, forcing us to confront, in a single viewing, subjects that are directly connected but not normally apprehended together. This often results in unexpected relationships. Without this work, for example, who would have considered that in both Louisiana and the Arctic, the dead cannot be truly buried, as both lack permeable and

stable ground in which to do so? This is a story about life and death, and how thin the line between them actually is. The title, therefore, is almost prophetic, suggesting a world in which that line has been irrevocably crossed. Lamentations carries with it associations of mourning, of weeping—a powerful metaphor for the melting of ice—and of what happens in the wake of profound loss. Russell Lord, Freeman Family Curator of Photographs

Tina Freeman: Lamentations is on view in the Templeman Galleries on NOMA’s second floor from September 11, 2019, to March 8, 2020. A catalog is for sale in the Museum Shop and online at




Michael Boudreaux outside San Pietro Martire.

St. Agatha Visited in Prison by St. Peter and St. Jerome in the Wilderness comprised the exhibition Veronese in Murano, on view at NOMA in 2018.

Michael Boudreaux is one of nearly eighty docents who volunteer to lead tours and perform other vital services at NOMA. While on vacation in June 2019, he sought out two sixteenth-century altarpieces at a church in Murano, Italy, by Paolo Veronese that were on view at NOMA for five months in 2018 following extensive conservation. How long have you been a NOMA docent ? Almost four years. I retired from the furniture business, where I did a little bit of everything in retail. My wife decided that she and a friend were going to be docents and she said, Come with us, you’re going to be a docent. And I said, No, I’ll drive you. I honestly didn’t know what a docent was. Anyway, we came and I was apprehensive, but I stuck through the training and I said, Hey, I like this. When the Veronese works arrived at NOMA, they obviously left an impression upon you. I was mesmerized by them. It could have been the style, the colors, the subject matter, the massiveness of the canvases and frames. I learned much about the paintings from Curator Vanessa Schmid, and I did some research on my own about Paolo Caliari, the Renaissance artist who became known as Veronese. Then I started talking to a friend of mine who’s a priest. He explained a lot about the saints in these paintings, Jerome and Agatha, and some of the symbolism. 18

On the wall in the painting of Saint Agatha, there’s a little goblet with a little pitcher of wine, and some bread, representing the Holy Spirit. Then I started studying about the subjects themselves. Saint Agatha, she was the patron for breast cancer, or breast disease. Saint Jerome wrote the Vulgate. NOMA was one of only two museums in the world to display these paintings outside of their home church in Murano, Italy. I gave a number of tours related to these works and enjoyed sharing my discoveries. What was your feeling when you saw them in their original location? One of my daughters and sonin-law gifted us with a trip to Italy for our fiftieth wedding anniversary. We made it a family trip. I knew that we were going to Venice, and that we would visit Murano, the island famous for glassmaking, and I said, Well, I’m going to find the Veronese paintings. My daughter had a GPS on her phone and we walked around until we found the church, San Pietro Martire.

I was thrilled to see them, but I was also surprised to discover that the paintings were open to the elements and there was no air conditioning. As altarpieces, they were hung much higher than the exhibition at NOMA. There were only a few tourists, but I’m sure I was the only one there who sought out these works. I made sure my grandkids heard my tour again! If you were to encourage others retirees to become docents, what would you say? I tell them that besides being fun, you’ll learn. Some people I know don’t want to learn anymore. Well, I’m finding that it’s keeping me active. It’s keeping my mind active, which keeps my body active. After back surgery a few years ago, throughout physical therapy and walking in the neighborhood, I came to convince myself that the more I do, the more I can do. The more I can do, the more I want to do. The more I want to do, the more I will do.

New Orleans Museum of Art | NOMA Magazine

CR E ATI V E CA R EER S IN TER NS V ISIT CRYSTA L BR IDGE S For teenagers in New Orleans, NOMA might serve as a destination for field trips or family outings, but few are likely aware of the professional work that goes on largely out of sight from the galleries. Creative Careers seeks to introduce high school juniors and seniors to the many career options available within the museum field. Funded with an initial threeyear grant from the Walton Family Foundation in 2016, and expanded by an additional two-year grant in 2019 from the Walton and Ford Foundations, to date more than 45 students have participated

in the paid internship program. Following upon initial success from recruiting students at KIPP Renaissance High School, in the summer of 2019, Creative Careers included students from Cohen College Prep, the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), and Eleanor McMain High School. Interns shadow museum staff as they complete their daily responsibilities. Local business leaders also provide mentoring sessions for interns, focusing on topics such as resume building, interview skills, and leadership. At the end of each

workday, interns reflect and record their experiences in a journal. Creative Careers interns visit many museums in New Orleans, but in July of 2019, thanks to additional grant funding, the students also traveled to northwestern Arkansas to visit the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, where a similar highschool level internship program was developed in partnership with NOMA. Founded in 2005 by Alice Walton in her hometown of Bentonville, Crystal Bridges takes its name from an Ozark Mountain spring on the site and the museum’s bridge-like overwater construction, designed by worldrenowned architect Moshe Safdie. The museum’s permanent collection features American art from the colonial era to the contemporary period. Jayla Washington, from Eleanor McMain, was surprised to discover the diversity of art and visitors at both NOMA and Crystal Bridges. “I thought it might be all old European-style art,” she said. “When you think of an art museum, you might think it’s just for a certain type of art or person, but they represent everyone in the community.” Johanna Murcia, from KIPP Renaissance, appreciated the bilingual labels at Crystal Bridges. “That really surprised me, that Spanish was included. There was also a studio where you could make your own art.” Alexander Talbert, also from KIPP Renaissance, said the internship “opened my eyes…there’s so much more to the museum than what you see. As a visitor you see paintings and art and guides giving tours, but I never knew it took so many other departments to make a museum function.” For more information about Creative Careers and other internships, visit internships. NOMA also hosts a Professional Pathways college-level internship program aimed at students of color also funded by the the Walton Family and Ford Foundations’ Diversifying Art Museum Leadership Initiative.





ABOVE Tina Girouard (American, b. 1946), Ogou, 1992, Sequins, beads, fabric, Collection of the artist RIGHT A work-in-progress created by a student at Travis Hill School was influenced by the Ogou flag previously on display in the exhibition Bondye: Between and Beyond.


New Orleans Museum of Art | NOMA Magazine

The school is named in honor of deceased New Orleans jazz trumpeter Travis Hill, also known as “Trumpet Black,” who was briefly incarcerated as a young man before finding success as an internationally touring musician. It was established in 2017 under the auspices of the Orleans Parish School Board in partnership with the national nonprofit Center for Educational Excellence in Alternative Settings. Incarcerated juveniles and young adults ages 18 to 21 who were close to getting a high school degree at the time of their arrest engage in a typical school curriculum within a very atypical setting. Aziz became familiar with the prison school through Elishia McAllister, a staff member from Travis Hill who visited a NOMA+ activation at the Ellis Marsalis Center in New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward. Since its inception, NOMA+ has visited community centers, schools, festivals, and other civic events and institutions, serving the metro area with activities built around exhibitions at NOMA. In coordination with Travis Hill art teacher Patricia Laing, Aziz designed a lesson around an exhibition of sequined Haitian Vodou flags, titled Bondye: Between and Beyond, that he had co-curated at the museum. Many factors had to be considered, including art-making tools or personal items that could be considered contraband—including a laptop computer or a cellphone—and security protocols for visitors and staff. Entry into the prison was jarring. “The moment I arrived at the Orleans Parish Prison, I knew it would be an extremely emotional and visceral experience as this was my first time in an adult prison,” said Aziz. After passing through metal detectors and the reinforced double doors of the jail, Aziz met with a room of fellow African American men, just a few years younger than himself. These students wore orange jumpsuits and ankle shackles. The lesson began with a display of photographs depicting scenes from present-day New Orleans and Haiti, providing examples of the kindred architectural and cultural connections between the two and allowing students to guess the locale. Aziz explained that much of New Orleans’s housing stock, cuisine, music, and rituals—including the practice of Vodou—derives from the diaspora of Haitians who fled the French-Caribbean colony as refugees during the San Domingue Revolution of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The uprising, which began in 1791 among enslaved Africans at a Vodou ceremony, led to Haiti becoming the first independent black republic in the world in 1804.

Along with a history lesson, the students studied the symbolism within these Vodou flags that were created by Louisiana artist Tina Girouard in collaboration with Haitian artists Georges Valris and Edgar Jean-Louis in the 1990s. Each of the creations on view in Bondye represented a different lwa (spirit) who serve as spiritual intermediaries between humans and Bondye, the supreme being who represents unity and the highest principle in the universe. In text for the exhibition, Aziz wrote “these works prompt us to consider the ways we all exist between different cultures, contexts and experiences and explore our many points of connection with the rest of the human family.” He noted that “the workshop was a kismet manifestation of this interpretation of the exhibition. The students and I existed together in that room at this unique point of congruence, finding points of connection despite the differences in our current lived experiences.” Aziz was determined to instill a sense of pride in the accomplishments of those long-ago Haitian freedom fighters among, as he wrote in a blog, “these students who were existing in an environment that too often diminishes their value within this human family.” With a myriad of beads and sequins, students were encouraged to design their own personal flag. Aziz asked, “What are you most passionate about ?” or “What about yourself do you most want to portray to others?” Many took inspiration from the one devoted to Ogou, an lwa associated with power and strength who is cited as the most influential in the Haitian Revolution. As the art-making workshop concluded, one student approached Aziz and said, “I really like art and what it can do for your mind…I like where your head’s at.” As Aziz reflected, “This two-day experience at Travis Hill School was undoubtedly one of the most moving experiences of my life.” Having previously worked on a city commission aimed at reducing homicides in New Orleans, he felt this interaction at Travis Hill School was the realization of sidelined goals to connect art with crime reduction and economic opportunity. “In addition to the insight I gained from my interactions with the students, my eyes were also opened to the extremely emotionally taxing nature of that environment for all involved, from the random instances of screaming during altercations to counting pencils to ensure that none are removed from the classroom. “Perhaps the root of liberation for these students can be found in the example and spiritual strength of those who fought for freedom in other times and places.”

Read more about NOMA+ in a blog by Nic Aziz at NOMA+ is both a community engagement program and a roving studio/ museum on wheels. The fold-out trailer studio was funded by Scott and Marjorie Cowen. A 2018 Chevy Tahoe used to tow NOMA+ was purchased with grant funds from the Selley Foundation and Mossy of Picayune. For more information on supporting the community engagement goals of NOMA+, contact Jenni Daniel at, (504) 658-4107.




In conjunction with the exhibition Bodies of Knowledge, Mahmoud Chouki will create a new musical composition and series of site-specific performances collectively titled Safar (Arabic for to travel). This series explores how music can speak across cultural divides to create new forms of dialogue between East and West. Chouki’s original compositions incorporate musical influences from across the globe, ranging from European classical, Andalusian from Southern Spain, Levantine music from the Middle East, Maghrebian music from North Africa, Latin American music, and New Orleans jazz. He spoke with Jennifer Williams, Public Programs Manager. Safar concerts will take place on the following dates: Wednesday, September 11, 3 – 4 p.m., with chamber folk singer/songwriter and harpist Jesse Autumn. Friday, September 13, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., with guitarists Georgie Petrov and Sam Dickie Wednesday, October 9, 3 – 4 p.m. with saxophonist Dan Oestreicher Mahmoud Chouki

When did you begin playing music? I started playing music at a very young age. I grew up in the city of Larache in North Morocco where I was drawn to guitar and music theory. At the age of 14, I was giving performances. I was invited to a conference in the United Arab Emirates and won a prize. I decided early on to be a professional musician. After high school and music school, I traveled around Morocco. I went to school to study music education, and my first job at age 20 was as a high school music teacher. I feel lucky to be around so many great musicians in the city of New Orleans. There are many musicians here that enjoy creating music together, that’s great because not all musicians are collaborative. There is an affinity for those that you can learn from and exchange ideas and work on with no ego and be open to others’ contributions. We find compromise in making music and a line that we can follow together. What is most important to you in your practice as a musician and how does cultural interplay impact that? Meeting and working with different artists makes you more open minded and more accepting of others universally. When you travel to experience other cultures and when you collaborate you become 22

Friday, October 13, the Safar series will conclude with an ensemble concert from 6 to 8 p.m.

more considerate of each other. I encourage people to travel. One of the artists that influences my music is Paco de Lucía, a master Spanish guitarist, along with other classical guitarists. I’m also influenced by traditional folk music around the world. I can play many other string instruments from Latin American, Middle Eastern, and North African origins. I speak a variety of languages, including classic Arabic, French, Spanish, English, and, of course, Moroccan. My music is a fusion of North African, Moroccan, and Mediterranean influences. The Safar series is musical communication among international musicians and New Orleans music. Music is the most important language for translating emotions. Most people don’t remember what you play but they remember the moments, the smiles, and the feeling. How do you meet and begin working with other musicians? When I travel I visit many music clubs and I talk with many of the musicians. The first time I came to New Orleans, I was invited by a music studies program to give a talk, do a workshop and perform at Snug Harbor. This was in March 2017 and I moved to New Orleans in September 2017.

During that first visit to the US, I went on a road trip from Maine to Austin, visiting Asheville, Nashville, and many other cities and listening to local music. For the past eight years, I have worked with a foundation in Switzerland that invites six musicians from different countries and cultures for a week-long residency at Chateau Mercier in the city of Sierre. Music is often the only language we share. This past summer I joined musicians from Thailand, Algeria, Switzerland, Holland, and Spain. What was the most impactful experience in New Orleans? The contact with the people and the city itself. You feel like everyday there is something new. So many festivals with music, Mardi Gras, you feel like everyday in New Orleans is special. What projects do you have coming up in the near future? Currently, for the first time, I’m composing the score for a movie. The director asked to utilize works from my past album, Mood. I’m also composing for the story from the script. I feel comfortable with telling stories and taking on the challenge of trying something new.

New Orleans Museum of Art | NOMA Magazine

This fall, the NOLA Project theater company returns to both the Great Hall and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden for their ninth year of collaboration with the New Orleans Museum of Art with productions of a William Shakespeare classic and a new adaptation of Washington Irving’s gothic story from early America. Tickets may be purchased in advance at or at the door as space allows.

SEPTEMBER 10 – 29 IN NOMA’S GREAT HALL SHOW STARTS AT 7:30 PM DIRECTED BY MARK ROUTHIER ​ When depravity and debauchery threaten to corrode the whole of Vienna, a strong, willful, religious purist is handed the reigns of power in order to set things straight again. But is all as it seems? And will new power lead to moral purity, or to ultimate corruption? TICKETS NOMA MEMBERS $25



PERFORMANCE DATES: SEPTEMBER, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 24, 25, 28, 29

This production is supported by a generous grant from the Hitz Foundation.


PERFORMANCE DATES: OCTOBER 16, 17, 18, 20, 23, 30, 31, AND NOVEMBER 3, 6, 7, 8, 10

Seating is not provided for outdoor productions. Please bring blankets or lawn chairs. A food truck will be parked near the entrance. For additional details, visit

The NOLA Project is an ensemble theatre company striving to challenge, entertain, and engage diverse New Orleans audiences through high-quality and innovative performances of relevant great works, the development and production of new plays, and comprehensive theatre education opportunities.




NOMA is for kids Get Creative with Studio KIDS! Ages 5 – 10 Select Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Baby Artsplay!

This fall, Studio KIDS! presents “Text and Textures” art classes for kids. Perfect for students ages 5 to 10 who want to get creative and learn art-making techniques. Studio KIDS explore art in NOMA’s galleries or the Besthoff Sculpture Garden as inspiration for an art project they complete in each session.

Instill a love of art at a young age through a guided, hands-on gallery experience. Young Audiences Wolf Trap teaching artists will present a series of 6 free workshops for caregivers and children ages 0 – 3 in sessions on Saturday mornings. Learn how to integrate music, movement, and drama into everyday playtime to foster children’s developmental growth. RSVP at Baby Artsplay! is funded by the Helis Foundation.

Each class features different media and techniques. Register for one class or the entire series. Please register in advance to ensure a spot.

NEWBORNS/INFANTS, AGES 0–3 Saturdays at 10:30 a.m.

Call (504) 658-4128 or email to register or for more information.

NOVEMBER 2 | Lesson 1 – Oh, What a Feeling! (Emotional Development)

Cost per class: $25 members/$30 nonmembers

NOVEMBER 9 | Lesson 2 – Hello, Friend (Social Skills)

Quilt Design September 7

NOVEMBER 16 | Lesson 3 – Express Yourself (Early Language) NOVEMBER 23 | Lesson 4 – Tiny Motor Scooters (Fine Motor Skills)

Explore The Quilts of Gee’s Bend and discover pattern while designing a “quilted” square in mixed media.

NOVEMBER 30 | Lesson 5 – Baby Balancing Acts (Bilateral Integration)

Text Base September 21

DECEMBER 7 | Lesson 6 – Tiny Household Helpers (Multiple Development Areas)

Recycle pages from a book as a base for ink drawings of wrought iron designs that explore line and shape.


Grayscale Collage October 5

Participate in a hands-on art-making activity during every Friday Nights at NOMA.

Create a collage using found words and images in black, white, and shades of gray.

Sketchy Skeletons October 19 Learn to draw a skeleton then place him in front of a structure of your choosing.

Fall Landscapes November 2 Create a landscape using oil pastels in the shades of autumn.

Batik Cloths November 16 Create a napkin or handkerchief using the Batik technique.

Pen and Zen December 7 Zentangles are pen drawings made from one continuous line. Have fun with pen and ink and learn this relaxing process.

Stained Glass Windows December 14 Make your own winter window using colored cellophane to create a stained glass effect.

FAMILY FIELD DAY Enjoy free admission and a wide range of outdoor family-oriented activities in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden on Saturday, November 23, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.



New Orleans Museum of Art | NOMA Magazine

Every Wednesday through October 9, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Filmmaker and photographer Shirin Neshat is among the eleven international artists represented in the exhibition Bodies of Knowledge. Her largely addresses stereotypes of Islamic femininity. Three of her short videos will be shown continuously on loop in Stern Auditorium every Wednesday through October 9 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Turbulent (1998), Rapture (1999), and Fervor (2000) feature contrasts found in modern Iran and stark divisions between the segregated realms of men and women.


While I Yet Live

The Quiltmakers of Gee’s Bend

Friday, September 13, 7:30 pm This 14-minute documentary short filmed in 2018 captures the work of five acclaimed African American quilters from Gee’s Bend, Alabama, a rural community that played a pivotal role during the Civil Rights Movement. Five quilts from Gee’s Bend are on view in NOMA’s Elise M. Besthoff Charitable Foundation Gallery through March 30, 2020.

Coming in Spring 2020



This Emmy-winning film documents the extraordinary lives, inspirations, and history of these quilt artists, and also follows them on a touching bus journey to see their quilts exhibited at The Milwaukee Art Museum.

ARTIST’S CHOICE FILM SERIES In conjunction with Bodies of Knowledge, artists represented in the exhibition have selected films that have informed their artistic practice. The series concludes with:



What Lola Wants


Saturday, September 14, 2 p.m.

Saturday, October 5, 2 p.m.

This 2007 French-Canadian romantic stars Laura Ramsey as an American postal worker who travels to Egypt to seek lessons from a legendary belly dancer.

This 1980 American teen musical set in New York chronicles the triumphs and hardships of students attending the High School of Performing Arts, from freshmen auditions to their senior year.


Unexpected Modernism: The Wiener Brothers Story Friday, November 8, 7 pm In conjunction with An Ideal Unity: The Bauhaus and Beyond, the New Orleans Museum of Art will host the premiere of Unexpected Modernism: The Wiener Brothers’ Story, a film screening in partnership with the Louisiana Architecture and Design Foundation. The film tells the story of Samuel G. and William B. Wiener, half-brothers and Shreveport-based architects whose Modernist designs on residential, institutional, and commercial buildings in the 1930s and beyond made Shreveport a hub of twentieth century architectural innovation.









Every Saturday at 8 a.m. in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden

Every Monday at 6 p.m. in NOMA’s Great Hall

Join us for guided tours of the collection daily at 1 p.m.

Fridays, Saturdays, and Mondays at noon



12 p.m.

12 p.m.

GALLERY TALK on Tina Freeman: Lamentations with Curator Russell Lord

3 p.m.

GALLERY TALK on An Ideal Unity: The Bauhaus and Beyond with Curatorial Associate Anne Roberts

3 p.m.

GALLERY ACTIVATION of Manon Bellet’s Bréve braises with musician Justin Peake

6 p.m.

BODIES OF KNOWLEDGE Artist Adriana Corral in conversation with Hector Dominguez-Ruvalcaba, associate professor at University of Texas at Austin; Sponsored by The Helis Foundation

GALLERY TALK on Ancestors in Stone with Curator Ndubuisi Ezeluomba


OPERA NOUVELLE presents a preview of Carmen


STUDIO KIDS! Quilt Design




12 p.m.

7:30 p.m. The NOLA Project presents MEASURE FOR MEASURE

GALLERY TALK on Inspired by Nature with Curator Lisa Rotondo-McCord

1 – 3 p.m. GALLERY ACTIVATION of Wafaa Bilal’s 168:01 1 – 2 p.m. SAFAR MUSIC SERIES with Mahmoud Chouki and Jesse Autumn






PANEL DISCUSSION Water in Two Physical States with Tina Freeman and contributing authors to the exhibition catalog for Tina Freeman: Lamentations, David Muth Director of the Gulf Restoration Program National Wildlife Federation, and Brent Goehring, Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Tulane University. A book signing of will follow.

5 – 8 p.m. ART ON THE SPOT


5:30 p.m. SAFAR MUSIC SERIES with Mahmoud Chouki, Georgi Petro, and Sam Dickie

10 a.m.

6 p.m.

GALLERY TALK on Bodies of Knowledge with Curator Katie Pfohl,

7 p.m.

GALLERY TALK on Gee’s Bend Quilts with Curator Mel Buchanan


7:30 p.m. The NOLA Project presents MEASURE FOR MEASURE

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 7:30 p.m. The NOLA Project presents MEASURE FOR MEASURE

7:30 p.m. FILM While I Yet Live (2018)



12 p.m.

2 p.m.

7:30 p.m. The NOLA Project presents MEASURE FOR MEASURE

ARTIST’S CHOICE FILM SERIES Whatever Lola Wants (2007) with an introduction by Mahmoud Chouki

7:30 p.m. The NOLA Project presents MEASURE FOR MEASURE

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 7:30 p.m. The NOLA Project presents MEASURE FOR MEASURE

BOOK CLUB de Kooning, An American Master

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 12 p.m. GALLERY TALK on Portrait Miniatures with Curator Mel Buchanan 1 p.m.

GALLERY ACTIVATION Wafaa Bilal’s 168:01

3 p.m.

GALLERY TALK African art Ndubuisi Ezeluomba


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 Patron Party | 6:30 – 8 p.m. Garden Party | 8 p.m. SYDNEY AND WALDA BESTHOFF SCULPTURE GARDEN love-garden-2019

7 p.m.




6 p.m. TALK AND BOOK SIGNING with Lee Ledbetter about Art of Place: Architecture and Interiors

12 p.m.

GALLERY TALK on Gee’s Bend Quilts with Curator Mel Buchanan

7 p.m.

1 p.m.

GALLERY ACTIVATION of Wafaa Bilal’s 168:01




10 a.m.



5:30 p.m. GALLERY TALK on Bodies of Knowledge with Curator Katie Pfohl

3 p.m.

OPERA NOUVELLE in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden

6:30 p.m. ARTIST PERSPECTIVE with Wilmer Wilson

7 p.m.


7:30 p.m. GALLERY ACTIVATION of Manon Bellet’s Bréve braises with musician Justin Peake



12 p.m. GALLERY TALK on Inspired by Nature with Curator Lisa Rotondo-McCord

10 a.m.

STUDIO KIDS! Grayscale Collage

2 p.m.

ARTIST’S CHOICE FILM SERIES Fame (1980) introduced by Edward Spots


GALLERY ACTIVATION of Wafaa Bilal’s 168:01

1 p.m.

SAFAR MUSIC SERIES with Mahmoud Chouki and Dan Oestreicher

3 p.m. GALLERY TALK on An Ideal Unity: The Bauhaus and Beyond with Curatorial Associate Anne Roberts

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 12 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. JAPAN FEST See page 2.


SAFAR MUSIC SERIES Closing Night Performance with Mahmoud Chouki and special musical guests


ARTIST PERSPECTIVE with Dawn DeDeaux on Tina Freeman: Lamentations

7 p.m.


STUDIO KIDS! Sketchy Skeletons

6:30 p.m. The NOLA Project presents THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW




BOOK CLUB The Last Painting of Sara De Vos


ARTIST PERSPECTIVE Tina Freeman on Lamentations

6:30 p.m. The NOLA Project presents THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW



SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. MINDFULNESS Intensive two-day course with Dr. Jayashree Rao 10 a.m.

STUDIO KIDS! Fall Landscapes

10:30 a.m. BABY ARTSPLAY! (Ages 0 – 3)

7:30 p.m. The NOLA Project presents MEASURE FOR MEASURE


New Orleans Museum of Art | NOMA Magazine

FRIDAY NIGHTS AT NOMA is supported in part by grant funds from the Azby Fund; Ruby K. Worner Charitable Trust; New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation; and the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council. SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 3




10 a.m. – 5 p.m. MINDFULNESS Intensive two-day course with Dr. Jayashree Rao

12 p.m. GALLERY TALK Tina Freeman: Lamentations with Curatorial Fellow Brian Piper

10 a.m.

STUDIO KIDS! Stained-Glass “Windows”

12 p.m.

FILM SERIES Fragmented Landscapes

GALLERY TALK on Inventing Acadia with Curator Katie Pfhol

7 p.m.

2 p.m.

12 p.m. 6 p.m.

IN CONVERSATION Regina Agu and Ryan Dennis


WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6 12 p.m. GALLERY TALK on Ancestors in Stone with Curator Ndubuisi Ezeluomba






FILM Unexpected Modernism: The Wiener Brothers’ Story

7 p.m.


SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 9 10:30 a.m. BABY ARTSPLAY! (Ages 0 – 3)



WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 13 12 p.m. Gallery Talk on Inspired by Nature with Curator Lisa Rotondo-McCord

GALLERY TALK Inventing Acadia with Curator Katie Pfohl


LECTURE 19th-Century Louisiana Landscape Painting with Curator Katie Pfohl

7:30 p.m. GALLERY TALK with artist Regina Agu

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. FAMILY FESTIVAL— NOMA FIELD DAY Enjoy free admission and a wide range of outdoor family-oriented activities in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden. 10:30 a.m. BABY ARTSPLAY! (Ages 0 – 3)


STUDIO KIDS! Holiday Workshop

12 p.m. GALLERY TALK on Portrait Miniatures with Curator Mel Buchanan

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 30 10:30 a.m. BABY ARTSPLAY! (Ages 0 – 3)

WEDNESDAY,DECEMBER 4 12 p.m. GALLERY TALK on Ancestors in Stone with Curator Ndubuisi Ezeluomba


STUDIO KIDS! Pen and Zen

10:30 a.m. BABY ARTSPLAY! (Ages 0 – 3) 2 p.m.

FILM SERIES Fragmented Landscapes


ARTIST PERSPECTIVE Lily Brooks on Tina Freeman: Lamentations

3 p.m

GALLERY TALK Gee’s Bend Quilts with conservator Howard Sutcliffe

6 p.m.

ARTS & LETTERS Speakers discuss environmental justice


STUDIO KIDS! Batik Cloths

10:30 a.m. BABY ARTSPLAY! (Ages 0 – 3)


BOOK CLUB Sea of Poppies


6 P.M.

PHOTONOLA Keynote Speaker

PhotoNOLA is an annual festival of photography in New Orleans, coordinated by the New Orleans Photo Alliance in partnership with galleries, museums and photographers citywide.

Visitors to Bodies of Knowledge, on view through October 13, will encounter a large bookshelf containing blank white books that are gradually giving way to donations of colorful printed books by NOMA visitors. These donations will replenish a university library in Baghdad, Iraq, destroyed during the 2003 military overthrow. Artist Wafaa Bilal explains the charitable purpose behind this installation and its symbolically numeric title, 168:01. During the Islamic Golden Age of the thirteenth century, an invading Mongol army set fire to all the libraries of Baghdad, including the famed House of Wisdom, or Bayt al-Hikma. Legend describes the invaders throwing the entire library into the Tigris River to create a bridge of books for their army to cross. The pages bled ink into the river for seven days—168 hours—at the end of which the books were drained of knowledge. The first minute after grief is the starting point from which 168:01 takes its name—signaling the struggle to move forward and rebuild anew. More recently, during the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the College of Fine Arts at the University of Baghdad lost its entire library due to looters who set fire to the collection. Sixteen years later, the students at the college continue to only have a few remnants of books from which to study.

There is still a long way to go, but my hope is to continue to restage this sculpture in galleries and museums, and acquire and shelve the 70,000 books that were lost in the repository during the invasion of Baghdad. Historically, and to the present day, museums function in multiple ways: they house archives of humanity’s history and culture, while providing a social platform for political and social projects. The conceptual framework of 168:01 is coupled with a tangible sculptural object that implicates the visitor. As the participant interacts with the sculpture, by way of removing a book that is void of knowledge and replacing it with a tome saturated with knowledge, one’s position shifts from passive spectator to active agent of social change. Visitors may purchase a book at the Museum Shop to swap for one of the blank books in 168:01.




FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 27 Patron Party | 6:30 – 8 p.m. Garden Party | 8 p.m. – Midnight SYDNEY AND WALDA BESTHOFF SCULPTURE GARDEN chairs Julie and Ted George Cammie and Charles Mayer Aimée Farnet Siegel and Mike Siegel

honoring Sydney and Walda Besthoff

For event and ticket information: #LOVEINTHEGARDEN2019 | #HancockWhitneyLOVE

Organized each year by the NOMA Volunteer Committee, these two fundraising events contribute more than $500,000 annually to NOMA’s programs. In addition to enjoying a night of lively entertainment and food, event supporters are providing critical funding for the museum’s operations.


New Orleans Museum of Art | NOMA Magazine


Garrett Bradley (American, b. 1986), America, 2019, Double-projection, multi-screen, ultra HD video, 16 minutes, © Aubin Pictures, Inc., Collection of the artist

The Library of Congress estimates that more than seventy percent of the motion pictures made in the earliest decades of the recording medium have been lost. Included in this number were movies made for and by African Americans in the early twentieth century. With this vanished artistic history in mind, filmmaker Garrett Bradley created an installation at NOMA that counters this loss through the creation of new works. Her immersive, multi-channel film America, on view in the exhibition Bodies of Knowledge through October 13, reimagines this lost archive through a corpus of new largely silent films entirely cast with New Orleanians. The artist spoke with Curator Katie Pfohl. Bodies of Knowledge marks the first time that as a filmmaker you are creating an art installation for an art museum. Can you share why it was important to you that America exists as an art installation? From the beginning, as far back as 2015, I understood that part of the power of this project is that it is dealing with a chronologyspecifically, a hidden chronology in American cinema. In addition to honoring a cinematic space—a seated, two-dimensional theatrical experience—there was also room to

expand on time in a way that could be physical. I was interested in the possibilities that were presented in being able to move through and inhabit this less visible, hidden history. I was interested in offering multiple experiences … one that could allow for single viewership of one film, while also understanding it’s relationship to a broader context and chronology. Projecting the film onto a semi-transparent fabric allows for this visual chronology to exist both as individual moments, which also collapse and fall into the parts of the film that are before and ahead. For me, this is a way of understanding our relationship between our past and present moment. Initially, I envisioned something more linear, but eventually I arrived at the idea of projecting the film onto four intersecting white flags, which became an interesting way to connect the film’s subject matter with the physical form of the work. I wanted people — especially young people — to be able to circle the piece, to find angles or sections of a frame or overlapping moments unique to their own experience of the installation, so that moving through the work enacted a level of discovery that was a result of one’s own curiosity and autonomy in the space.

America is structured around your own research into little-known chapters in African American history, as well as histories of early film. What drew you to these stories, and how did you choose which ones to focus on in your film? I think of the project as a cinematic omnibus rooted in New Orleans with the aim to reveal and reinterpret a lost history in black cinema—or American cinema. I came to the project out of a response to the MoMA’s recent discovery of the Bert Williams film Lime Kiln Club Field Day—the oldest known surviving film featuring African Americans—as well as a 2013 survey conducted by the Library of Congress, which stated that seventy percent of the American silent feature films made between 1912 and 1929 had gone missing. America works off the assumption that the stated seventy percent included a breadth of work made by and for black filmmakers, in a context that may also have been socially progressive. America aims to provide contemporary iconography and does not seek to remake or replace the little that exists, but rather, to reinvigorate an invisible era through the proposition of its continuation in a modern realm. I was interested in challenging ideas of black cinema as a wave or movement in time—proposing instead, a continuous thread of achievement and contribution.

Bodies of Knowledge is organized by the New Orleans Museum of Art and sponsored by Pia and Malcolm Ehrhardt, Drs. Joy and Howard Osofsky, Margo and Clancy DuBos, Carol and Byron Crawford, Kenya and Quentin Messer, and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.




NOMA gratefully acknowledges our donors who make exhibitions, programming and daily operations possible.

NOMA’s highest levels of membership, Circles members support the museum’s exhibitions, programs, and operations through their membership gifts.

$500,000 and above

$20,000 – $49,999

President’s Circle

Patron’s Circle

Succession of H. Russell Albright

Jay and Andree Batt

Mr. and Mrs. Sydney J. Besthoff, III

Dr. Siddharth K. Bhansali

Sydney and Walda Besthoff

Bryan Batt and Tom Cianfichi

Mr. and Mrs. Ralph O. Brennan

Virginia Besthoff

E. John Bullard

Ms. Susan Carruth and Mr. Dennis Ryan

Charitable Lead Annuity Trust Under the Will of Louis Feil

Caroline and Murray Calhoun

Mr. and Mrs. David F. Edwards Mrs. Marla Garvey

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Coleman

Collins C. Diboll Private Foundation

The Garden Study Club of New Orleans, Inc.

Mr. and Mrs. Charles B. Mayer

Dr. and Mrs. Scott S. Cowen

Mrs. Jeri Nims

Mr. and Mrs. James J. Frischhertz

Ella West Freeman Foundation

Michael and Carolyn Christovich

The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Foundation

Julie and Ted George

Donna Perret Rosen and Benjamin M. Rosen

Estate of Mrs. S. Herbert Hirsch

The Benjamin M. Rosen Family Foundation The Frank B. Stewart, Jr. Foundation Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Zemurray Foundation

Dathel and John Georges Louisiana Division of the Arts The Marcus Foundation Cammie and Charles Mayer Al and Carol Merlin

Ms. Anne Gauthier

Director’s Circle

Mr. and Mrs. G. Anthony Gelderman

Mr. and Mrs. John D. Bertuzzi

Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Heebe

Mrs. Katherine Boh

Ms. Lucy Burnett and Mr. Gregory Holt

Mr. and Mrs. Murray Calhoun

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Lemann

Mrs. Isidore Cohn, Jr.

Dr. Edward D. Levy, Jr.

Elizabeth and Willy Monaghan

Ms. Juli Miller Hart

National Endowment for the Arts

Mr. and Mrs. J. Thomas Lewis

$100,000 – $499,999

Jeri Nims

Ms. Adrea D. Heebe and Mr. Dominick A. Russo, Jr.

Roger Ogden and Ken Barnes

Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Heymann

Ms. Josie McNamara

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Dr. James and Mrs. Cherye Pierce

Mr. and Mrs. Hunter G. Hill

Ms. Louise H. Moffett

The Azby Fund

Nuria R. Rowley

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hinckley

Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Orth

Carey Bond and Henry Lambert

Jacki and Brian Schneider

City of New Orleans

Mr. and Mrs. Gray S. Parker

Phillip Y. DeNormandie

Aimée Farnet Siegel and Michael J. Siegel

Ms. Sharon Jacobs and Mr. Leonard A. Davis

Goldring Family Foundation

Suzanne and Robert Thomas

Hancock Whitney

Catherine Burns Tremaine

The Helis Foundation Tina and Robert Hinckley IBERIABANK Institute of Museum and Library Services Sara and David Kelso Lois and Lloyd Hawkins, Jr. Foundation Janice Parmelee and Bill Hammack Nancy Rathborne Rathborne Land Company Pixie and Jimmy Reiss

Dr. Elisabeth H. Rareshide and Dr. Ronald G. Amedee

Be-Be and Ken Adatto

Mrs. Charles S. Reily, Jr.

A Friend of NOMA

Mr. and Mrs. James J. Reiss, Jr.

AOS Interior Environments

Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin M. Rosen

Ms. Celia Weatherhead

Mr. and Mrs. Edward Shearer

Mr. and Mrs. D. Brent Wood

Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Siegel

Dr. Zannie Giraud Voss and Dr. Glenn B. Voss

The Booth-Bricker Fund Lois W. Brupbacher Evelyn L. Burkenroad Foundation Mrs. Isidore Cohn, Jr. Leonard Davis and Sharon Jacobs

Mr. and Mrs. Frank B. Stewart, Jr. Mr. Stephen F. Stumpf, Jr. Ms. Catherine Burns Tremaine

Mr. and Mrs. Lynes R. Sloss Mr. Michael Smith Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. Steeg

$50,000 – $99,999

Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Thomas

Tim L. Fields, Esq.

Ms. Susan Zackin

Cathy and Morris Bart

Peggy and Timber Floyd

Marjorie and Scott Cowen

Dr. and. Mrs. Richard Gilder, III

Eugenie and Joseph Jones Family Foundation

Bill and Martha Gunther

Adrea D. Heebe and Dominick A. Russo, Jr.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert Shelton

$10,000 – $19,999

Sam and Cindy Farnet

Katherine and Tony Gelderman

Mr. and Mrs. Brian A. Schneider

Dr. and Mrs. James F. Pierce


Marla Garvey

Mr. and Mrs. William Ryan

Drs. Joy D. and Howard Osofsky

Mr. and Mrs. Bruce L. Soltis

The Ford Foundation

Mr. and Mrs. James C. Roddy

Mrs. and Mr. Joseph Jaeger, Jr.

Pia and Malcolm Ehrhardt

The RosaMary Foundation

Mr. and Mrs. Michael McLoughlin

Juli Miller Hart J. Edgar Monroe Foundation Kit and Ed Landry Steven Montgomery and Brian Weatherford




Sally E. Richards

AOS Interior Environments

Crescent Capital Consulting

Hyatt Regency New Orleans


Robert and Mary Lupo

The Robert E. Zetzmann Family Foundation

New Orleans and Company

Gulf Coast Bank and Trust

The Ruby K. Worner Charitable Trust

International-Matex Tank Terminals

New Orleans Theatre Association

Samuel H. Kress Foundation


Jones Walker

Sheila and Britton Sanderford

Regions Bank

Mrs. Charles S. Reily, Jr.

New Orleans and Company

Mimi Moyse-Schlesinger and Claude Schlesinger

Valentino Hospitality

The Selley Foundation Liz and Poco Sloss

Robyn and Andrew Schwarz


Susu and Andrew Stall

Smoothie King


Robert and Pamela Steeg

Jane and Rodney Steiner

Hotel Monteleone

The Walton Family Foundation

Allison and Ben Tiller

Laitram, LLC

Dr. and Mrs. Harris Hyman, III The Lupin Foundation

Janet and David Rice

Neal Auction Company

Robert J.A. and Norris S.L. Williams

This list includes donors who made gifts between August 1, 2018 and August 1, 2019. If you have any questions, or would like information about supporting NOMA, contact NOMA’s Development Department by calling (504) 658-4127.


New Orleans Museum of Art | NOMA Magazine

2019 BOARD OF TRUSTEES Janice Parmelee, President

James J. (Jimmy) Reiss, Jr., At-Large

Sydney J. Besthoff, III, Vice-President

Marshall Hevron, At-Large

Stephanie Feoli, Vice-President

Michael J. Siegel, Immediate Past President

Rob Steeg, Secretary

Julie Livaudais George, Appointed

Lynes R. (Poco) Sloss, Treasurer

Suzanne Thomas, Appointed

Robert Hinckley, At-Large


Dathel Coleman Georges

Pamela Reynolds Ryan

Gayle M. Benson

Adrea D. Heebe

Jolie Shelton

Elizabeth Boh

Hunter G. Hill

Susu Stall

Elizabeth Boone

Joseph Jaeger, Jr.

Frank Stewart

Caroline Calhoun

Tarun (TJ) Jolly, M.D.

Catherine Burns Tremaine

Michael Christovich

David Kelso

Zannie Voss

Henry Coaxum

Louis J. Lupin

Brent Wood

Scott S. Cowen

Robert E. Smith Lupo

Leonard A. Davis

Cammie Mayer

The Honorable Mayor LaToya Cantrell

Margo DuBos

Kenya LeNoir Messer

David Edwards

Juli Miller Hart

Tim L. Fields

Howard J. Osofsky

Penny Francis

Thomas F. Reese

Tony Gelderman

Garner Robinson

Joe Giarrusso, New Orleans City Council Member Jennifer Heebe, NVC Chairman



Jerry Heymann

Mrs. James (Cherye) Pierce

Mrs. Carmel (Babette) Cohen

Herbert Kaufman, M.D.

Mrs. Billie Milam Weisman

Mrs. Mason (Kim) Granger


J. Thomas Lewis

Harry C. Stahel

Sandra Draughn Freeman

Mrs. Harold H. (Matilda) Stream

Kurt A. Gitter, M.D.

Mrs. J. Frederick (Beverley) Muller

Mrs. Erik (Barbara) Johnsen

Mrs. Robert (Jeri) Nims

Mrs. John N. (Joel) Weinstock

Richard W. Levy, M.D.

Mrs. Charles S. (Banana) Reily, Jr.

Mrs. James L. (Jean) Taylor

ISA AC DELGADO SOCIETY Thank you to those who have remembered NOMA in their estate plans or have made a planned gift to the museum. Wayne Amedee

Sandra D. Freeman

Jeri Nims

Larry W. Anderson

Sarah and Richard Freeman

Judith Young Oudt

Honorable Steven R. Bordner

Mrs. Charles S. Reily, Jr.

E. John Bullard

Tina Freeman and Philip Woollam

Joseph and Sue Ellen Canizaro

Dana and Steve Hansel

Polly and Edward Renwick

Mrs. Carmel Cohen

Abba J. Kastin, M.D.

Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen

Folwell Dunbar

Lee Ledbetter and Douglas Meffert

Brian Sands

Prescott N. Dunbar Lin Emery William A. Fagaly Randy Fertel Lyn and John Fischbach Tim and Ashley Francis

Pixie and Jimmy Reiss

Jolie and Robert Shelton

Thomas B. Lemann

Margaret and Bruce Soltis

Dr. Edward D. Levy, Jr. John and Tania Messina Anne and King Milling

Nancy Stern Suzanne and Robert Thomas Mrs. John N. Weinstock

William Monsted

Mercedes Whitecloud

James A. Mounger


New Orleans lost one of its most beloved personalities with the passing of restaurateur, activist, and longtime NOMA Trustee and volunteer Leah Chase on June 1, 2019. In 1977, Mrs. Chase joined the Board of Trustees, and she served as an Honorary Life Member in her later years until her death. She robustly served as a member of the NOMA Volunteer Committee (NVC) for many years, well into her tenth decade of life. With the NVC, she acted as Activities Chair from 1981 to 1982, the Hospitality Committee Co-Chair for a remarkable 30 years, from 1983 to 2013, and as the Artist’s Palate Café Co-Chair from 1983 to 1989. Mrs. Chase’s commitment to opening all eyes to art was given a major boost in 2013—upon the occasion of her 90th birthday—when an acquisition fund was inaugurated in her name. Contributions large and small from more than 300 donors allowed NOMA to purchase works by emerging and underrepresented African American artists. Her memorial service on June 10 concluded with a jazz funeral procession to the steps of NOMA. NOMA Magazine (ISSN 0740-9214) is published by the New Orleans Museum of Art, 1 Collins Diboll Circle, New Orleans, LA 70124

The New Orleans Museum of Art is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. EDITOR

David Johnson


Mary Degnan


Roman Alohkin Sesthasak Boonchai

Brian Lanker, Leah Chase, from the series I Dream a World, 1988, Gelatin silver print, 20 x 24 inches, Gift of the New Orleans Museum of Art Volunteer Committee, 94.274, © Brian Lanker Archive

© 2019, New Orleans Museum of Art. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or reprinted without permission of the publisher. Every effort has been made to acknowledge correct copyright of images where applicable. Any errors or omissions are unintentional and should be notified to NOMA’s Publications Department, who will arrange for corrections to appear in any reprints or online editions.


THE M USEU M SHOP Many of NOMA’s exhibitions through the close of 2019 focus on the natural environment. The Museum Shop stocks an array of items, from jewelry and china to books and bow ties, inspired by nature. NOMA SKYLINE DINNER PLATE This branded black-and-white ceramic dinner plate is part of an exclusive eight-piece collection from NOMA’s collaboration with Fishs Eddy.


PETE’S PAPERCRAFTS STREETCAR 3D DIORAMA A meticulously laser-cut and handpainted cardboard model of the St. Charles Avenue streetcar beneath moss-draped live oaks is among the 3D dioramas from Pete’s Papercrafts.

VISUAL VOYAGES: IMAGES OF LATIN AMERICAN NATURE FROM COLUMBUS TO DARWIN Daniela Bleichmar’s lavishly illustrated book explores the entwined histories of art and science in the Americas and Europe from 1492 to 1859.




This sculpted dodo bird on a floral box is handcrafted by local artist Susan Bergman. She uses mid-range terracotta with oxides, slips, and glazes in the creation of her one-of-akind pieces celebrating flora and fauna.



This cuff from local artist Brandi Couvillon’s capsule collection was inspired by NOMA’s East of the Mississippi exhibition. This organically shaped, handcrafted sterling silver cuff is made by manipulating raw sheet metal through heat image transfers and other unique processes.

One-of-a-kind bow ties from artisans based in Charleston, South Carolina, are made from actual bird feathers. Every feather is hand selected, making no two ties exactly alike.

$290 DOMINIQUE GIORDANO OYSTER NECKLACE Local artist Dominique Giordano created this silver-plated brass oyster shell pendant, inlaid with hand-tinted pearlized resin and a freshwater pearl.




Find additional merchandise at


NOMA members receive a 10-percent discount (some restrictions apply).

New Orleans Museum of Art | NOMA Magazine

COMING IN SPRING 2020 NOMA will be host to Buddha and Shiva, Lotus and Dragon: Masterworks from the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection at Asia Society, from March 12 through June 20, 2020. This exhibition of nearly seventy of the finest examples of Asian art in the United States is co-organized by the American Federation of Arts and Asia Society Museum. It includes an extraordinary range of bronzes, ceramics, and metalwork that John D. Rockefeller 3rd and his wife Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller thoughtfully assembled between the 1940s and the 1970s. With highlights including Chinese vases, dynamic Indian Chola bronzes, and Southeast Asian sculptures, the exhibition reveals great achievements in Asian art spanning more than two millennia.

Budda and Shiva, Lotus and Dragon: Masterworks from the Rockefeller Collection at Asia Society

Made in India, Tamil Nadu, Ganesha, Chola period, 11th century Copper alloy, Asia Society, New York: Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, 1979.26, Courtesy American Federation of Arts



P.O. Box 19123 New Orleans, LA 70179-0123 Follow us! Instagram @NewOrleansMuseumofArt Facebook NOMA1910


This holiday season, remember that special person with a gift of a NOMA membership. Your gift funds dynamic programming, ground-breaking exhibitions, and innovative educational opportunities. The lucky gift recipient takes advantage of all you make possible here at NOMA. Benefits include free wellness classes and member previews, and discounts on classes, art camps, and purchases in the NOMA Shop. For more information, please call (504) 658-4130, e-mail, or purchase online at


Profile for New Orleans Museum of Art

NOMA Magazine, September – December 2019  

Triannual magazine of the New Orleans Museum of Art, covering the months of September through December 2019.

NOMA Magazine, September – December 2019  

Triannual magazine of the New Orleans Museum of Art, covering the months of September through December 2019.