New Orleans Museum of Art's Amazing Sculpture Garden Expansion Opens to the Public

  • NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana
  • /
  • May 15, 2019

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Hank Willis Thomas, History of the Conquest, 2017. Bronze.
Sean Scully, Colored Stacked Frames, 2017. Stainless steel, paint.

The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) has opened its newly expanded Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden after 18 months in construction. The six-acre addition builds on the existing five-acre garden within New Orleans City Park and includes innovative architectural elements and showcases 27 new, recent, and commissioned large-scale sculptures. The sculpture garden is free and open to the public, seven days a week.

“Congratulations to the New Orleans Museum of Art on the expansion of the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “This project makes the site more environmentally sustainable going forward, and it will help ensure equitable access to beautiful outdoor art for generations to come.”

“Sydney and Walda Besthoff, along with the NOMA Board of Trustees and museum staff, view this breathtaking garden as a gift to the city of New Orleans,” said Susan Taylor, NOMA’s Montine McDaniel Freeman Director. “This project further advances our efforts to unite, inspire, and engage the New Orleans community with the wonder of sharing landscape and art as one distinctive experience.”

Image by R. Alokhin of Teresita Fernández's commissioned pavilion feature wall.

With environmental impact at the forefront of planning, the sculpture garden expansion emphasizes the distinctive character of the Louisiana landscape while incorporating architectural elements such as the first canal link bridge of its kind in the United States designed by landscape design partners Reed Hilderbrand, an outdoor amphitheater and stage, and a sculpture pavilion created by Lee Ledbetter & Associates.

New commissions include a sculptural drawing by artist and architect Maya Lin, a 60-foot-long mosaic wall by artist Teresita Fernández, and a glass bridge by Elyn Zimmerman; along with sculptures by Larry Bell, Tony Cragg, Johan Creten, Katharina Fritsch, Frank Gehry, Jeppe Hein, Georg Herold, Thomas Houseago, Shirazeh Houshiary, Baltasar Lobo, Robert Longo, Gerold Miller, Beverly Pepper, Pedro Reyes, George Rickey, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Sean Scully, Yinka Shonibare, Frank Stella, Hank Willis Thomas, Bernar Venet, and Fred Wilson. A work by Ugo Rondinone will be installed in the garden in late 2019.

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