The grandeur of Venice comes to America's most historic city in "A Life of Seduction: Venice in the 1700s", an exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art February 16 - May 21. NOMA is the sole venue in the United States presenting this exhibition of objects providing a glimpse into the pageantry, ceremony and extravagance of Venetian life in the 1700s. "It is with great pleasure that NOMA brings this remarkable exhibition to our public. Venice is presented through an elegant, multi-disciplinary installation featuring an exceptional selection of objects, costumes, and paintings that illuminate an extraordinary time in the history of Venice", says Susan M. Taylor, Montine McDaniel Freeman Director at the NOMA.

"A Life of Seduction" illuminates 18th century Venetian life and pageantry during the century of Casanova, Canaletto, and Tiepolo, and countless others who spread Venetian taste and style throughout the world. Visitors to the exhibition will see objects depicting the opulence of the time, when the city was a cultural mecca. Three-hundred-year old carnival masks, costumes and robes, shoes, handbags, and regal glass objects are displayed among exquisite paintings by Canaletto and Guardi. The exhibition also includes five rare paintings by Joseph Heintz the Younger (1600-1678) never before seen in this country. "A significant strength of this exhibition is its historical and cultural point of view and the distinctive range of objects that tell the story", says NOMA Curator Vanessa Schmid.

Fittingly, "A Life of Seduction" arrives in New Orleans at a time when parallels between the two cities are apparent: just before Carnival and the spring festival season. Guest-curated by the former director of the Civic Museums of Venice, Giandomenico Romanelli, the exhibition presents four themes: A City that Lives on Water, the Celebration of Power, Aristocratic Life in Town and Country, and the City as Theater. The festivals and celebration unique to Venetian culture are depicted in detailed paintings of a city transformed at carnival. Gondola models illustrate the exquisite craftsmanship and elegance of canal life and travel. Palace and country living are brought to life by resplendent costumes, silk waistcoats, gloves and handbags, as well as furnishings and delicate, rare Venetian glass objects, for which the city is still so well known. Theater and opera, vital elements in Venetian life and imagination, are represented through paintings, decorative arts and a full-scale puppet theater lent by the Casa Goldoni of Venice especially for this exhibition.
"It is our hope that visitors will be inspired by the focus on festivals, pageantry and ceremony that present parallels between Venice and New Orleans", says Susan M. Taylor.

The exhibition is originated by NOMA, organized by the Contemporanea Progetti, and Guest-Curated by Giandomenico Romanelli.

About NOMA and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden
The New Orleans Museum of Art, founded in 1910 by Isaac Delgado, houses nearly 40,000 art objects encompassing 5,000 years of world art. Works from the permanent collection, along with continuously changing special exhibitions, are on view in the museum's 46 galleries Fridays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The adjoining Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden features work by over 60 artists, including several of the 20th century's master sculptors. The Sculpture Garden is open seven days a week: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The New Orleans Museum of Art and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden are fully accessible to handicapped visitors and wheelchairs are available from the front desk. For more information about NOMA, call (504) 658-4100 or visit Wednesdays are free admission days for Louisiana residents, courtesy of The Helis Foundation. (May not include special exhibitions.) Teenagers (ages 13-19) receive free admission every day through the end of the year, courtesy of The Helis Foundation.