New Exhibits Coming to NOMA
The New Orleans Museum of Art announces new exhibitions for 2024, which will showcase NOMA's curatorial scholarship and the museum's impressive collection that spans across many genres.
Works by Wangechi Mutu
The first NOMA exhibit of 2024 is a solo exhibition of works by Wangechi Mutu, which begins on January 31 and lasts until July 14. The exhibition will consist of nearly 100 sculptures, paintings, collages, drawings, and films by Mutu. Each of the artworks shows Mutu's practice as a Kenyan-American artist, a practice that Mutu has carried out from the mid-1990s to today.
Mutu's piece, Intertwined, is to be displayed. This artwork shows connections between recent changes in Mutu's practice and decades worth of exploration into the histories of colonialism, globalization, as well as African and diasporic cultural traditions. Many of Mutu's works from this exhibition will be installed in NOMA's Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden and in the garden's indoor pavilion, which will give new perspectives to the artworks. Also featured in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden are two large-scale bronze sculptures by Mutu that are on permanent display at the museum.
Rebellious Spirits Exhibit
The exhibit Rebellious Spirits: Prohibition and Resistance in the South will open on March 1 and will last until January 5, 2025. This exhibit takes a look into the how the South, particularly New Orleans, dealt with the 18th Amendment, which banned the manufacture and sale of alcohol in the U.S.
On display will be over a dozen works taken from NOMA's permanent collection, as well as historical memorabilia, documents, advertisements and glassware that has been loaned to the museum by local institutions. The displayed collection of artifacts highlights the traditions within design and culture that were altered during this time in history. The exhibit tells a story of resilience and invention as Americans created methods to continue the production and distribution of illegal spirits.
History of Photography and Text
Show and Tell: A Brief History of Photography and Text will open as an exhibit on March 29 and last until September 29. Show and Tell expresses how photographic images and written language have been interconnected since the introduction of photograph technology. The exhibit will highlight the ways in which photographers used this medium to represent written word and will do so through a display of a range of processes and formats.
Beginning with an early talbotype demonstration made in 1848, the exhibit will proceed with its display and end with born-digital photographs manipulated into contemporary memes. When observing the exhibit, viewers are to consider how photographs and language can add depth to our understanding of the world, also, how visual and verbal elements can be used to spread misinformation. Show and Tell, which is part of NOMA's "Brief Histories of Photography" series, provokes visitors to think about the photography they observe in their everyday lives. The artists featured in the exhibition include Berenice Abbott, Margaret Bourke-White, Roy DeCarava, Francis Frith, Thomas Augustine Malone, Gordon Parks, Aaron Siskind, and Hank Willis Thomas.
History of Glass Exhibit
Sand, Ash, Heat: Glass at the New Orleans Museum of Art will be on display at NOMA from August 30, 2024 until February 10, 2025. This exhibition delves into the history of glass, spanning over 4,000 years, and consists of glass from around the world. By exploring the history of glass, and how the material inspired innovation, the exhibit shows how the history of glass intersects with scientific discoveries and artistic innovations. The exhibit will feature a range of works from NOMA's glass collection and will connect the works throughout the museum and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden.
The glass collection includes many forms and artistries of glass works, from Egyptian pieces to contemporary works. There will also be a acquisition by Fred Wilson and commissions from Sharif Bey. The display will present different perspectives regarding how glass is connected to histories of scientific discovery and artistic innovation. The accompanying catalogue will convey the perspective of a glass artist, a laboratory scientist, a member of New Orleans' tradition of Black Masking Indians, a sculpture conservator, as well as historians and curators.
Carla J. Williams Exhibit
In the fall of 2024, the NOMA will present a solo exhibition by photographer Carla J. Williams. Williams' volume, Tender, was recently awarded a 2023 PhotoBook Award by Aperture. Williams' exhibit will include vintage photographs from Tender that were made between 1984 and 1999. This exhibition will be the first time many of these photographs will be displayed in a museum, as well as in Williams' home city.
The photographs are primarily self-portraits and demonstrate the artist's utilization of historically popular genres, such as pin-up photography, as well as Williams' approach to making a picture. The exhibition will also illustrate the artist's lifelong exploration of the materiality and visual impact of photography throughout its history.
"The depth and breadth of this year's program reflects NOMA's mission to bring internationally renowned exhibitions to New Orleans and present new ideas and scholarship with exhibitions developed by our curators," said Montine McDaniel Freeman Director of the New Orleans Museum of Art Susan Taylor in a press release. "From ancient works to contemporary commissions, this complement of exhibitions sheds new light on human creativity, ingenuity, and artistic achievement across time periods and cultures. I want to thank our donors, partners, staff, and the greater New Orleans community, without whom this work would not be possible."