Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at New Orleans Museum of Art

Bourgeois spiderNOMA

Louise Bourgeois at Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at NOMA.Photo by Richard Sexton, Courtesy of the New Orleans Museum of Art.

New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), New Orleans’ oldest fine arts institution, hosts an impressive permanent collection of almost 40,000 objects. The collection, noted for its extraordinary works in French and American art, photography, glass, and African and Japanese works, continues to expand and grow, making NOMA one of the top art museums in the south.

The five-acre Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at NOMA is one of the most important sculpture gardens in the United States, with over 60 sculptures situated on a beautifully landscaped site amongst meandering footpaths, reflecting lagoons, Spanish moss-laden 200-year-old live oaks, mature pines, magnolias, camellias, and pedestrian bridges.

The collection includes work by Fernando Botero,  Louis Bourgeois, Deborah Butterfield, Lynn Chadwick, Barbara Hepworth, Jacques Lipchitz, Henry Moore, George Rickey, Alison Saar, George Segal, Kenneth Snelson, and many more.

The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Foundation was created in 1978 by Mr. and Mrs. Besthoff. It is a private foundation dedicated to cultivating public interest in the arts, particularly contemporary sculpture. Sydney and Walda Besthoff won the ISC’s Patron Award in 2004 for their exemplary contributions to the advancement of contemporary sculpture. In an interview with Sculpture magazine in October 2004, Sydney Besthoff talked about the 1976 ISC Conference in New Orleans “We had just bought the K&B building a couple of years before. …At that time, I had already commissioned the [George] Rickey and I had some experience with that. The ISC had a conference here, and I went. I enjoyed it, went to several other meetings, and I’ve been a member ever since.”

Both Sydney and Walda Besthoff grew up in the city of New Orleans and have a fervent history and dedication to art. Sydney Besthoff was a founder of the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans and formerly served as president for its board of directors. He has served on the boards for numerous different organizations, including New Orleans Museum of Art, Boy Scouts of America, New Orleans Symphony, and many others. Walda Bestoff possesses a passion for the performing arts, and has held administrative positions in various ballet groups, and served on the board of the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans. Sydney and Walda Besthoff were selected as one of “100 of America’s Top Collectors” by Art and Antiques Magazine in 2002.

20 Cascade Pool with Graham and Burton (web)

Cascade Pool with Graham and Burton at Sydney and Walda Sculpture Garden Photo by Richard sexton, courtesy of New Orleans Museum of Art

The Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden is open from 10:00AM – 6:00PM Monday through Friday and 10:00AM – 5:00PM on weekends. Admission is free to the public. For more information, visit their website.

You can also get the chance to meet Sydney and Walda Besthoff on October 3, 2014 at the Friday Nights at NOMA reception during the 24th International Sculpture Conference. Join us for cocktails in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at New Orleans Museum of Art, and get a chance to meet Sydney and Walda Besthoff, who will be in attendance. Unique programming will be featured by the New Orleans Museum of Art for their special weekly program. Don’t forget to RSVP to this exciting event!

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