Students Should Enjoy Tulane’s Newcomb Art Museum • The Tulane Hullabaloo

The Newcomb Art Museum is ranked among the top 10 art museums in New Orleans. (Gabi Liebeler)

When Tulane University’s Newcomb Art Department expanded and renovated its facilities in 1996, the Newcomb Art Museum was established as an exhibition space dedicated to the display of contemporary and historical works of art.

Tulane’s Newcomb Art Museum, located in the Woldenberg Art Center here on the Uptown campus, exists today as one of the school’s most impressive resources. In fact, the Newcomb Art Museum is ranked among the top 10 art museums in New Orleans.

Despite the credibility and scope of the museum, many Tulanians fail to take advantage of the exquisite art they are blessed with access to.

Art History and Architecture student Emma Clark Luster said: “I don’t think enough people are aware of the incredible flow of exhibits within the Newcomb Museum, or the vast collection of art that we have on campus. Although a good portion of our student body will have at least one class in Woldenberg during their time at Tulane, few take the opportunity to investigate what is housed in the discreet but very valuable museum inside!

Luster is a student who certainly appreciates the arts, but the Newcomb Art Museum features some incredible works of art that will likely appeal to a variety of curious Tulane students.

The houses of the Newcomb Art Museum more than 8,000 objects in its permanent art collection. The university’s extensive art collection includes a range of works including sculptures, historical and artistic prints and drawings, paintings, historical photographs and contemporary photographic works, new acquisitions, art Asian, decorative arts as well as works from the founding collection of Tulane University.

The museum’s extensive collection includes works, ancient and contemporary, from renowned artists many students and staff are likely familiar with: Andy Warhol, Kara Walker, John Gadsby Chapman among many others. The museum is also known for its stunning array of Tiffany stained glass, some of which are installed in various locations on the Tulane campus.

Gabi Liebeler

In addition to the permanent collection, the Newcomb Art Museum contains temporary seasonal exhibitions. These original exhibits explore socially engaged art, civic dialogue, and community transformation that allow students to explore diverse artistic disciplines.

In addition, the museum pays homage to The Legacy of Newcomb College by highlighting the artistic contributions of women through these exhibitions.

Past exhibits have drawn attention to important social, political and economic issues and highlighted specific cultures in inspiring and artistic ways. For example, in 2019, the Newcomb Art Museum presented the exhibit “PER(SISTER): Incarcerated Women in Louisiana,” which drew attention to the state’s incarceration issues. Anyone can view these past exhibitions, as well as the permanent art collection, online via the Newcomb Museum of Art website.

The museum’s current exhibit, “Core Memory: Louisiana Native American Basketry,” will remain at the Newcomb Art Museum until June 25. This exhibit, curated by Dayna Bowker Lee and Teresa Parker Farris, features works from five distinct Indigenous nations, all based within the present-day boundaries of Louisiana. “Basic Memory: Native American Basketry of Louisianafeatures the works of 36 different artists, including six contemporary weavers, each featured in the exhibition.

The works of these artists, made from natural materials, serve as emblems that transmit cultural identity through generations. Students are encouraged to visit this culturally and historically significant exhibit.

Luster details his experience with the museum’s seasonal exhibits like this – “The exhibits feature mostly works by local artists, which gave me insight into our city’s rich history and culture that I would have probably been blind otherwise,” she said.

Students and faculty should model Luster’s appreciation for these artworks and exhibits and use the Newcomb Art Museum. Students are welcome to enter the Woldenberg Art Center at their leisure but can also make an appointment with specific requests via email [email protected]. Additionally, teachers can make appointments for class visits at the same email address. For more information on this, visit the Newcomb Art Museum website.

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