If you’re looking for a fantastic art museum that won’t break the bank, the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) is the place to go. With low ticket prices and an impressive collection spanning from the Italian Renaissance to modern times, NOMA offers a lot of bang for your buck.

The museum started way back in 1911. Back then, it was called the Delgado Museum of Art, named after Isaac Delgado, a sugar broker from Jamaica who donated the money to get it going. His dream was to create an “art temple” that everyone could enjoy, rich and poor alike.

From Humble Beginnings to Massive Collection

When NOMA first opened, it only had a handful of artworks. These came from Isaac’s aunt, Virginia McRae Delgado. But over time, the museum’s collection grew and grew. Now, it boasts nearly 40,000 pieces!

One painting, in particular, has become the star of the show. It’s called Portrait of Estelle Musson Degas, and it was painted in 1872 by none other than the famous French Impressionist, Edgar Degas. He created it while staying with the Musson family, just a short walk from where the museum stands today. The people of New Orleans loved this painting so much that they started a campaign called “Bring Estelle Home” to make sure it stayed in the city forever.

Degas and Beyond

NOMA has several other works by Degas, too. You can see:

  • Dancer in Green (a pastel from 1878)
  • Three charcoal sketches of dancers
  • A sculpture called Dancer Adjusting Her Stocking (from 1880)

But Degas isn’t the only big name you’ll find here. The museum’s Impressionism to 1945 Collection features paintings by some of his famous friends, like:

  • Pierre-Auguste Renoir (check out Seamstress at Window)
  • Claude Monet (don’t miss Roof Tops Giverny and Snow at Giverny)
  • Camille Pissarro (look for Sun Setting at Eragny)
  • Alfred Sisley (keep an eye out for Spring Time in Veneux-Nadon)

Royalty and Rebels

In the French Collection, you can get up close and personal with royalty. There’s a portrait of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, painted around 1788 by Élisabeth-Louise Vigée Lebrun. And right nearby, you’ll find a portrait of her husband, King Louis XVI, by Antoine-François Callet.

But NOMA isn’t just about the old masters. They’ve got some more modern works that are sure to catch your eye, like:

  • Portrait of a Young Women by Amedeo Modigliani
  • Grand Canal Venice by Felix Ziem

A World of Art

One of the coolest things about NOMA is how they’ve organized their collections. As you wander through the galleries, you’ll feel like you’re taking a trip around the world and through time.

There’s the Art of the Americas Collection, where you can see pieces from Louisiana and Native American artists. Then there’s the African Art Collection, full of fascinating artifacts from across the continent. And don’t forget about the Japanese Art Collection, which will transport you straight to the Land of the Rising Sun.

Take a Stroll Through the Sculpture Garden

Once you’ve had your fill of the indoor galleries, step outside and explore the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. This beautiful outdoor space is right next to the museum and features 63 incredible sculptures. The best part? Admission to the sculpture garden is totally free!

Plan Your Visit

Getting There: NOMA is super easy to get to. It’s located at One Collins Diboll Circle in City Park. Just hop on the Canal Streetcar line and get off at the City Park/Museum stop.

Ticket Info:

  • Adult Admission (Museum): $10.00
  • Admission (Sculpture Garden): FREE

Travel Tip: If you’re driving, don’t worry about paying for parking. NOMA has plenty of free parking spots right in front of the museum and behind the sculpture garden.

So there you have it – a world-class art museum right in the heart of New Orleans. Whether you’re a die-hard art lover or just looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon, NOMA has a lot to offer. With its diverse collections, affordable prices, and stunning sculpture garden, it’s a must-see on any trip to the Big Easy. So what are you waiting for? Grab your walking shoes and get ready to explore!

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