With so much to do in New Orleans, many forget that the city’s art scene is just as vibrant as the food and music. Fall means exciting exhibits at various museums. Check out the highlighted exhibits below and search our calendar to find even more art in New Orleans.

Liberation Pavilion 

The National WWII Museum opens the highly anticipated Liberation Pavilion, its final permanent exhibit hall, on November 3. Liberation Pavilion explores the end of World War II, the Holocaust, the postwar years, and how the war continues to impact our lives today. The three-story pavilion houses two floors of exhibit space featuring first-person accounts, iconic imagery, powerful artifacts, and immersive environments, as well as a third-floor theater offering audiences a brand-new cinematic experience.

“A Better Life for Their Children: Julius Rosenwald, Booker T. Washington, and the 4,978 Schools that Changed America”

Opening at the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience on November 17, this exhibit memorializes the Rosenwald schools, one of the most quietly successful Black education programs in American history. The program, developed through the partnership of Sears, Roebuck president and noted Jewish philanthropist Julius Rosenwald and Tuskegee Institute founder Booker T. Washington, changed the South and America for the better, narrowing the Black-white education gap that plagued Southern and border states, strengthening Black-Jewish relations, paving the way for the Civil Rights Movement, and helping to build a new African American middle class. See the exhibit through April 2024.

Photo credit: Diego Bernal

“Rich Soil”

Longue Vue House & Gardens presents an outdoor exhibit: Rich Soil. Sculpted from thousands of pieces of wire hooked and looped together, each of presenting artist Kristine Mays’ garments, embodies a fleeting gesture or expression that delivers a message of strength while challenging how we view ourselves and others. Rich Soil challenges people to acknowledge the ancestors, the workers of the land, those deemed lesser than, and the bodies that have been used and disposed of. The artwork moves beyond beauty and decoration– provoking thoughts of spirituality, racial justice, and humanity. The exhibit opened in October and is on view through April.

Photo: Bob Packert, Courtesy of the Peabody Essex Museum.
"Fashioning America: Grit to Glamour"

“Fashioning America” Grit to Glamour”

Currently on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art, “Fashioning America: Grit to Glamour” is all about American fashion from cowboy boots and bathing suits to Hollywood gowns and streetwear. Highlighting experimental art-garments, ready-to-wear classics, and iconic red carpet fashion moments, “Fashioning America” demonstrates the widespread impact of media and celebrity culture through fashion. This bilingual Spanish–English presentation includes more than 100 objects—from a rare 19th-century denim frock coat to a zero-waste wedding dress and Savage X Fenty lingerie—and amplifies the voices of Native American, Black, and immigrant designers who are often left out of dominant narratives of American fashion history. The exhibit closes on November 26, 2023.

Frontline Prophet: James Baldwin 

A traveling exhibit stops at the New Orleans African American Museum on November 9. “Frontline Prophet: James Baldwin” is a traveling show by Sabrina Nelson, co-curated by Ashara Ekundayo and Omo Misha. This energetic series of illustrations reimagines the essence of one of the world's most prominent Black writers and thinkers by humanizing his experience not only as an intellect, but as a creative, a global citizen, a joyful spirit, and a timeless guide into the future. See this special exhibit through January 28.

Image credit: Richard Sexton, “Casa Hinard Parlor, Peter Yokum Residence,” French Quarter 1992, Color pigment print, 20 x 25.5 inches, Collection of the artist
"Elegance & Decadence"

“New Orleans: Elegance and Decadence”  

In a new exhibit at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, "New Orleans: Elegance and Decadence" features 17 photographs by Richard Sexton from the book of the same name, which has become a contemporary classic in the 30 years since its release. The book and this exhibit focus on the interiors, furnishings, art collections, and gardens of a handful of creative people in New Orleans in the 1990s. Catch the exhibit now through November 26.

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