Entrance to the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. Photo: Richard Sexton.

New Orleans Museum of Art’s Expanded Sculpture Garden to Feature Twenty-Six New Works

The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) has announced that twenty-six new works will be included in its expanded Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, which will reopen on May 15. Among the new artists whose works will be featured are Larry Bell, Katharina Fritsch, Frank Gehry, Shirazeh Houshiary, Gerold Miller, Beverly Pepper, Pedro Reyes, Hank Willis Thomas, and Fred Wilson. A work by Ugo Rondinone will be installed in the garden in late 2019, and two new commissions will also be showcased: a sixty-foot-long mosaic wall by artist Teresita Fernández and a glass bridge by Elyn Zimmerman.

“The Besthoff Sculpture Garden expansion celebrates NOMA’s primary mission of sharing significant art and artists with the broadest possible public,” said NOMA director said Susan Taylor. “It also incorporates contemporary, innovative approaches for a healthy and sustainable environment into a compelling experience of art. We look forward to sharing with our public new work by some of the most interesting and important artists working today.”

The expansion, which broke ground in December 2017, will increase the garden’s size by six acres, enable NOMA to offer more programming such as educational initiatives that will be held in a new space designated as an outdoor classroom, and include a sculpture pavilion for indoor exhibitions. The garden, which is currently home to sixty-four sculptures dating from the nineteenth century to the present—the majority of which were donated from the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Foundation—is free and open to the public seven days a week.

Commenting on the new works, arts patron Walda Besthoff said: “It has been a collector’s dream, putting together the sculptures that will populate the sculpture garden expansion. Many outdoor collections grow over time, and do not always have the forcefulness or unity of a carefully designed entity within a specifically designed landscape. Sydney and I have had the rare privilege of formulating a plan in collaboration with the New Orleans Museum of Art.”