Le Bon Temps à NOLA: Bonbons at the NOMA 3

Auguste Rodin‘s Monumental Head of Jean D’Aire from The Burghers of Calias

It was just going to be one post on the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA). This is the 3rd installment, which is the sculpture garden.

I had heard years ago, that Rodin had models pose for certain parts of the figures, although in the end the figures assumed more generalized types. Auguste Beuret, Rodin’s illegitimate son with his companion, Rose Beuret, may have been the model for this, as well as the figure with the key In the Burghers of Callais, which I have seen many times. The best in Philly, where people are a little more laid back than I, or those in than Paris.

Henry Moore‘s Reclining Mother and Child

A pleasant Moore, but a disturbing Saar. New Orleans is the South, and art like Travelin’ Light, still reminds one of something we consider not cool, not too far ago. The Southerner in me must remind one, that lynchings occurred as far

Alison Saar’s Travelin’ Light

north as Indiana (I even believe there is an infamous incident in Duluth), and as far West as California. But we all have to remember that dressing up and taking the kids to have your photos taken with the deceased was not normal.

Arman’s Pablo Casal’s Obalisk (left) and Leondro Erlich’s Window and Ladder-Too Late for Help (right).

But then there are lighter sculptures too. Arman’s Pablo Casal’s Obalisk sits directly on the water. And Erlich’s ladder has a piece of plexiglas which makes me think, we do not want you climbing this. Now that would have been a great premise for a sculpture, climbing up the ladder!

Pierre Auguste Renoir* and Richard Guino’s Venus Victorius (left) and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Diana, The Huntress (right).

I have recently found out that Richard Guino was a talented young Catalonian sculptor that collaborated, but never kissed and told, about his work with Renoir. I knew there was an assistant, but assumed it was Maillol, since the style (which Renoir admired) is somewhat related. Guino was also a student of Picasso’s father in Barcelona.

John Robert Ipousteguy’s Grand Val du Grace (left) Antoine Bourdelle’s Hercules the Archer (right).

The Val-de-Grâce is actually a military hospital in Paris, originally the nuns treated Revolutionaries. Which I am wondering about the subject of the piece. There is an interesting complement between the female (above) and male pieces (directly above).

Giacomo Manzù’s Large Seated Cardinal (left) and Laila Pullinen‘s The Wader (right).

Could any contemporary American museum not not have a Manzu? I love the sheer mass, so devoid of texture and it sits not far from The Wader, which is all texture and negative space!

Lynn Chadwick‘s Two Sitting Figures

So many good things to say about this piece. This one is a shame for it is displayed so frontally, that you cannot get a real scope of what the sculpture should be, that is, in the round! NOMA makes this mistake, just like the MoMA does. Scupture needs room so that it can be viewed all over (as in Sculpture 101). Otherwise, this dandy collection and this dandy setting makes it on par with the likes of the Baltimore Museum, or even the Hirshhorn Garden, well a little. And the garden is for free! And they have done a great job!

Eye level also wanted to pass along a remarkable August story from the New Orleans Times Picayune concerning the New Orleans Museum of Art:

“The New Orleans Museum of Art survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath without significant damage.

But when Federal Emergency Management Agency representatives arrived in the area Wednesday, NOMA employees holed up inside the museum were left in a quandary:
FEMA wanted those evacuees to move to a safer location, but there was no way to secure the artwork inside.

Six security and maintenance employees remained on duty during the hurricane and were joined by 30 evacuees, including the families of some employees.”

And that, mes chers, tells you a lot about this wonderful institution and why you should see it and how I wound up writing not 1, not 2, but 3 posts about it!

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*We always referred to him as Auguste, now I see Americans are referring to him as Pierre Auguste. I stand corrected, sort of.

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