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Brooklyn, New York
June 18, 2005
Quite understandably, the garden was practically empty, save for a loitering young couple, a concentrating artist, and an older man relaxing on one of the welcoming benches scattered haphazardly around the surprisingly large expanse of statues, sculptures, and squirrels. Thinking the calm of the South was finally sinking into my tense New York bones, my ears almost becoming used to the tweeting of the exotic creatures called birds, I practically jump across the still pond in front of me upon hearing the whistle of a train. Turning back towards the entrance, I spot the source of the noise, the most darling thing I’ve ever seen: an extended miniature train carrying only one, maybe two families around City Park, the perfect breeze-inducing break for the parents of an energized 4-year-old or train aficionado.
"Arachnophobia" being my favorite movie as a scary-movie-loving child, I’m instantly drawn to the massive sculpture titled "Spider" by Louise Bourgeois, after my attention has been drawn back into the garden. This bronze sculpture of a winding, knotted body and outstretched, knobby legs is the most, for lack of a better word, awesome sculpture I have ever seen (sorry, "David"), and I spend 5 minutes walking around the mass and even, feeling a little childish, through its legs, stopping myself short of acting out a scene from the aforementioned film.
The man resting on the bench now giving me quizzical glances, I giddily move away from the spider and neighboring "Tree of Necklaces," an ode to Mardi Gras with overly large beads hanging from an actual tree, to explore the other mostly bronze pieces by artists from the world over, including Israel, France, and Columbia. Walking past "Tortoise," which might as well be the live animal crawling out from his plant surroundings, I feel a pang of guilt about that turtle soup at Commander’s before smiling at the lucky photo op in front of me – the artist reveling in a smoke while accompanying the realistic "Three Figures and Four Benches." Only briefly disturbing him, I start back through the shushed garden smelling almost of fragrant herbs and encounter "Monkeys," the second most awesome sculpture I have ever seen, one of human arms growing from a group of monkeys atop a granite surface. Hey, "David," maybe you’ll consider trading in the Galleria dell'Academia for some Southern hospitality?
From journal New Orleans without Bourbon
by Amber Autumn
May 18, 2005
New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) is an exciting place to see different styles of art from all around the globe. Many of the traveling exhibits often showcase food, dancing, paintings, photographs, sculptures, movies, and even a celebration day of a heritage from around the world. One culture I remember was a Japanese Heritage Day that had drummers in front of the steps, the Kaminiari Taiko (I think), that played ceremonial drums. Inside was anime cartoons in one corner, a Bonsai display, Ikebana (flower arrangements), a place where they wrote your name in Japanese, and dancers called the Kozakura Japan (classical Japanese dancing).
Anyway, recently in March 2010, NOMA welcomed a new exhibit that everyone from all ages could enjoy. The Dreams Come True: The Art of the Classic Fairy Tales from the Walt Disney Studio had come to New Orleans. I loved seeing the early sketches of what beloved characters we grew up with would later become. The exhibit also showed what went into making the movies of Snow White, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Beauty and the Beast, and even Princess and the Frog. What was equally interesting was the names behind the characters in Princess and the Frog. Tianna, the main character, also happens to be the name of former New Orleans mayor's, Ray Nagin, daughter. And there's a fire fly who lives in the Louisiana bayous named Ray. Coincidence?
Throughout the year, you can find other treasures at NOMA. There are three floors all together. The first floor has Italian art from the 15th to 18th century and Dutch and Flemish art of the 17th century. The second floor has French art, decorative glass, photographs and prints and drawings, European art, American art, Louisiana art, contemporary art, and American furniture, and Faberge eggs! The third floor has Asian art, oceanic art, African art, and Native American art. The Courtyard Cafe has a great view, looking out at a lake near the museum.
NOMA is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10am to 5pm. Thursday is 12:30am to 8:30pm. The museum is closed all legal holidays and Mondays. Children (3-17) are $4, students (full-time) are $7, senior citizens (65+) are $7, and adults are $8.
From journal The Big Easy
las vegas, Nevada
September 10, 2000
From journal "Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez" Let the Good Times Roll
river ridge, Louisiana
December 13, 2007