New Orleans Museum of Art

Stop 4 of 13 in the City Park tour

Opened as the Isaac Delgado Art Museum in 1911, it was renamed the New Orleans Museum of Art in 1971. In the early 1900's, wealthy sugar broker Isaac Delgado wrote to the City Park Board about his intention to build an art museum. "I have been lead to believe that you would willingly donate in the park the site for a building I propose erecting to be known as the ‘Isaac Delgado Museum of Art.' My desire is to give to the citizens of New Orleans a fire proof building where works of art may be collected through gifts or loans and where exhibits can be held from time to time by the Art Association of New Orleans". The board approved his request and designated the circular area at the end of what would become Lelong Avenue for the museum.

In 1970, The Edward Wisner Foundation funded the Wisner Education Wing, which is a three level addition to the left side of the original building. In 1988, Lin Emery's kinetic sculpture was donated to the museum and mounted in a pool of water lilies in front of the museum entrance. In 1993, the museum underwent a $23 million expansion and renovation project that added exhibition space to the right and rear of the original building.

As you pass the museum on your right, you will cross the City Park Railroad tracks and view the entrance of the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. In the late 1990's, New Orleans drug store magnate Sidney Besthoff (K&B Drugs) donated his personal sculpture collection to the museum.

Images

Looking out from the front steps of the Delgado Museum (since renamed the New Orleans Museum of Art) towards the Monteleone Gates. Statue shown is "Hebe." Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. View File Details Page

Printed in booklet "Souvenir of New Orleans - the City Care Forgot" published by the St. Charles Hotel, New Orleans, 3rd edition, 1917.

Printed in booklet "Souvenir of New Orleans - the City Care Forgot" published by the St. Charles Hotel, New Orleans, 3rd edition, 1917.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons View File Details Page

Dec. 16, 1911, issue of The Daily Picayune, via Times-Picayune archives

Dec. 16, 1911, issue of The Daily Picayune, via Times-Picayune archives

On December 11, 1911, the Isaac Delgado Museum of Art opened its doors. Issac Delgado did not attend the opening due to medical issues; he died soon after on January 4, 1912. This legacy lives on in City Park today and into the future. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons View File Details Page

Postcard from 1920s.

Postcard from 1920s.

Image courtesy of Kimberly Jochum. View File Details Page

Handwritten postcard with a 1923 postmark.

Handwritten postcard with a 1923 postmark.

Image courtesy of Kimberly Jochum. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Kimberly Jochum , “New Orleans Museum of Art ,” New Orleans Historical, accessed March 23, 2017, http://neworleanshistorical.org/items/show/108.

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