NEW ORLEANS, LA. — The New Orleans Museum of Art presents “Visions of US: American Art at NOMA,” on view through January 24, the first exhibition in the museum’s history to highlight the full breadth of its American art collection.
American art, with a particular emphasis on artists working in Louisiana and the South, has long been one of the museum’s key collection strengths. Through paintings, sculptures, photography and decorative arts, “Visions” explores evolving ideas about American cultural identity from the Eighteenth through the Twentieth Centuries to tell a rich and inclusive story about how people imagine and represent the United States.
“Visions of US” is the first major American art exhibition in the country to place the work of acclaimed artists from the Northeast such as Jonathan Singleton Copley, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jackson Pollock and Frank Stella alongside that of their lesser-known counterparts from the South and West like Alfred Boisseau, Josephine Crawford, Sam Francis and John T. Scott. American art is often largely defined by the work of artists from the Northeast, and this exhibition shows how American artists working elsewhere — and especially the international port city of New Orleans — significantly broadened the range and scope of what we consider American art today.
“Visions of US presents an extraordinary range of American art that demonstrates the diversity of ideas and images that define as well as defy the American tradition,” said Susan M. Taylor, NOMA’s director. “The bringing together of artists’ work from across the country is only possible given the rich holdings of NOMA’s collection. It is an exhibition that reveals an extraordinary collection while presenting a compelling argument for the differences that define the history of the American artistic experience.”
“For the last two centuries,” said Katie Pfohl, the museum’s curator of Modern and contemporary art, “American artists have captured many different conceptions of the country and its people, from colonial American portraits that showcase the country’s early diversity, to the broad range of materials and forms to be found in Twentieth Century American art. This exhibition celebrates the multitude of people and perspectives that make up our vision of the United States.”
Working in places as far afield as New York, New Orleans and New Mexico — and Paris, Tokyo and Havana — American artists have shown the country to be a place defined by nothing so much as its diversity. The exhibition uncovers dynamic points of connection between American artists working across the country — and even world — to craft the many different Visions of US that compose the country today.
The New Orleans Museum of Art is in City Park at 1 Collins C. Diboll Circle. For more information, 504-658-4100 or www.noma.org.