Gracing the main entrance to City Park since 1911, this traditional fine-arts museum draws from classic Greek architecture, with several modern wings that bring additional light and space to the grand old building. NOMA now has 46 galleries housing an outstanding permanent collection. Made up of nearly 40,000 objects, the installations and exhibits represent historical periods from the Italian Renaissance to the best of the contemporary world. A wealth of American and European art—French, in particular—makes up much of the collection, with works by Monet, Renoir, Picasso, Cornell, and Pollock. Louisiana artists are also well represented, and the museum boasts photography, ceramics, and glassworks from cultures around the globe, plus outstanding holdings in African, pre-Columbian, and Asian art. In addition, the museum offers a year-round schedule of traveling and special exhibitions, events, tours, and public programs.
Henry Moore's handsome Reclining Mother and Child
greets visitors at the entrance of the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. Most of the garden's 60-some sculptures, representing some of the biggest names in modern art, were donated by avid local collector Sydney Besthoff. Meandering trails and bridges carry visitors over bayou lagoons and past a fascinating combination of famed traditional sculpture and contemporary works, including major pieces by Jacques Lipchitz, Barbara Hepworth, and Joel Shapiro. The garden is open daily from 10 to 4:45; admission is free.