It’s hot! What better time to take advantage of some of the best of the best art exhibitions, displays and collections around town. Lagniappe: some are even free!
The New Orleans Museum of Art in the heart of City Park is a great summertime stop. In addition to the museum’s permanent collection, on display now are modern takes on pottery by Katherine Choy, an exploration of aging with a photography series by adventurer and educator Anne Noggle and a new series “Picture Man: Portraits by Polo Silk,” which captures moments in photographs of the Black community in New Orleans. Cap off a visit with lunch or refreshments at Café NOMA, for a full day of art in the A/C. General admission is free on Wednesdays thanks to The Hellis Foundation. Library Culture Pass holders also received free general admission to the museum.
Summer at the Ogden
July is a great time to visit The Ogden Museum of Southern Art’s exhibit “A Summer’s Prayer.” On display through September 22, “A Summer’s Prayer” features photos from the museum’s permanent collection that highlight the mood and feeling of an American summer, through both professional and hobby lenses. From swimming pools to roadside vegetable stands to summer vacations, it is a photographic encapsulation of summer. You can also become a member through the museum’s summer membership sale through August 31 for year-round benefits and lagniappe bonuses. Museum admission is free for members, and is free for Louisiana residents on Thursdays through The Hellis Foundation.
JamNOLA, short for “Joy, Art, Music” encapsulates the New Orleans experience through a series of interactive, bright displays that is fun for all ages. More than 20 local artists’ larger-than-life works are featured throughout the experience, with plenty of opportunities for inspiration, creativity and Instagram-worth selfies. JamNOLA memberships are available, as well as group and private tours. Louisiana residents can save 15% off admission on Mondays and Thursdays with online ticket purchases using the code NOLALOVE.
The Backstreet Cultural Museum recently re-opened its doors at its new location 1531 St. Phillip Street in the Tremé after a long, hard recovery and move prompted by hurricane Ida last year. Originally opened in 1999, the museum’s mission is to preserve, record and document the unique culture of New Orleans Mardi Gras, second line parades, jazz funerals and community culture, inspired by founder Sylvester Frances. Its collection has important artifacts and costumes from Mardi Gras Indians, the Skull and Bone Gangs, the Baby Dolls and much more. Memberships are available and donations are welcome to help to continue the museum’s mission.
French Quarter Full Color
The Historic New Orleans Collection is a great one-stop spot for history, art, artifacts and more. Catch the current art exhibition, “French Quarter Life: People and Places in the Vieux Carré” for a glimpse into the everyday lives of the iconic neighborhood through the eyes of artists from around the world. Carnival life is also on full color display with the collection’s “Making Mardi Gras” exhibit, featuring a behind-the-scenes look at krewes, balls, reviews and more.
If history is more of your thing, visit (or re-visit) some of the city’s best collections at the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum, the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience and the National WWII Museum. Beat the heat and gain some knowledge. It’s a cultural win-win!