In late June, the NOMA Board of Trustees adopted a comprehensive plan that will guide the museum for the next several years; the culmination of a year-long conversation with trustees, NOMA staff and museum constituents that leaves NOMA well-positioned for the future. At the top of our list are several priorities that we hope will further advance the role of the museum, making NOMA a destination synonymous with the city of New Orleans.

As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

Fundamental to that mission is the importance of the permanent collection, the cornerstone of our plans. By enriching our collection, enhancing the museum’s role in arts education, expanding NOMA’s reach to diverse audiences, and significantly enhancing museum technology, NOMA will continue to respond to the needs of our audiences and the diverse constituencies of the city. With our continued focus on funding opportunities and the responsible stewardship of our resources, we will realize our vision and reach our ambitious goals.

I’m pleased to announce that this fall we’ll have a new public policy officer to help engage our communities, consider our role as a cultural institution, and position NOMA at the center of a conversation about the importance of arts education in all of its manifestations. Dr. Fari Nzinga comes to us as a fellow from the American Council of Learned Societies Public Fellows program, which supports a distinguished group of PhDs seeking experience in a variety of fields. Out of twenty non-profits and government agencies, NOMA is the only art museum chosen to receive a fellow. We look forward to welcoming Dr. Nzinga to the NOMA team.

Summer is once again upon us, and I invite you to escape the hot weather and venture into our galleries. Behind Closed Doors, Art in the Spanish American Home, 1492-1898, Rising Up: Hale Woodruff’s Murals for Talladega College and Alexis Rockman: Drawings from the Life of Pi are on view, in addition to several new installations that highlight the breadth and depth of the permanent collection.

A new display of Orientalist art works from the collection incorporates painting, sculpture, and decorative arts, offering visitors a unique opportunity to explore a variety of media. Sphere of Influence: Pictorialism, Women, and Modernism highlights an influential network of women and their often overlooked important role in ushering photography into its modern era, and Robert Rauschenberg and the “Five from Louisiana” showcases one of NOMA’s newest acquisitions and places it in context with works by other southern artists that were featured in a 1977 NOMA exhibition. I encourage you to visit and explore all of these presentations this summer.

We are constantly thinking about ways we can be more effective and responsive to the needs of our audiences and take advantage of the rich resources found in New Orleans. We welcome your suggestions and look forward to sharing our new initiatives with you. Fall will bring many new opportunities to experience the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Susan M. Taylor
The Montine McDaniel Freeman Director