Upcoming Events


" Enduring Legacy,…

Oct 22 - 22, 2016
The Louisiana Creole Research Association presents a special collaboration of… more

Annual Susan G. Komen…

Oct 22 - 22, 2016
Help Fight Breast Cancer! The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Series raises… more

Art is the Driving…

Oct 22 - Dec 30, 2016
Art has a power that reaches beyond personal visual expression. This exhibition… more

Backyard Grooves

Oct 22, 2016 - Jan 10, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages.   more

Boo at the Zoo

Oct 22 - 29, 2016
Bring your little ghosts and goblins to Boo at the Zoo Presented by Bryan… more

Danse Macabre- The…

Oct 22 - 30, 2016
The Historic New Orleans Collection will be offering a special Halloween-themed… more

DJ Sam

Oct 22 - 22, 2016
Dj Sam will put on an extraordinary light show that played from… more

Double Dose

Oct 22, 2016 - Jan 10, 2026
ActionActionReaction and friends keep the dance floor energized with mixes of… more

Education Gallery…

Oct 22 - Nov 27, 2016
Artists and Sense of Place Residency Show featuring artwork created by students… more

Ghosts in the Oaks

Oct 22 - 23, 2016
Join us at the Amusement Park & Storyland for this family friendly… more

Historic New Orleans…

Oct 22, 2016 - Apr 09, 2017
The Historic New Orleans Collection is gearing up for an exciting new… more

Krewe of BOO! Parade…

Oct 22 - 22, 2016
This spooktacular Halloween event is unlike any other parade in the world and… more

Louisiana Music…

Oct 22 - 22, 2016
Come and listen to music by Dick Deluxe. more

Louisiana Music…

Oct 22 - 22, 2016
Come and listen to music by Valerie Sassyfrass. more

Mama's Music

Oct 22, 2016 - Jan 10, 2026
In Big Mama's Lounge. 21+ with valid photo I.D. 7-string guitarist Justin… more

Modgun by Robert…

Oct 22 - Dec 18, 2016
The public is invited to tour the newly installed ModGun by Robert Tannen, the… more

New Orleans Kidney…

Oct 22 - 22, 2016
Kidney Action Day is coming to New Orleans on Saturday, October 22! Take action… more

New Orleans Secrets…

Oct 22 - 22, 2016
Part ghost hunt, part séance...there's nothing else in New Orleans like… more

Ogden Museum of…

Oct 22 - Nov 8, 2016
Each year, the Ogden Museum celebrates Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead),… more

Oktoberfest NOLA

Oct 22 - 22, 2016
Cost $8 - children 12 and under free - tickets available at gate … more

" Enduring Legacy,…

Oct 22 - 22, 2016
The Louisiana Creole Research Association presents a special collaboration of… more

Ancestors of Congo Square: African Art in the New Orleans Museum of Art

Media Contact:
Grace Wilson
Director of Communications & Marketing
New Orleans Museum of Art

(504) 658-4106

Ancestors of Congo Square: African Art in the New Orleans Museum of Art
Exhibition celebrates NOMA’s extensive permanent collection of African art,
connects African ancestry of New Orleans

Tweet Release: “Ancestors of Congo Square” keeps the African / New Orleans connection alive @NOMA1910 May 13 – July 17.

New Orleans, LA - The New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) presents Ancestors of Congo Square: African Art in the New Orleans Museum of Art on May 13 to July 17. In keeping with the spirit of NOMA’s centennial year, the Museum will be highlighting one of the most impressive areas of its permanent collection: its extensive holdings in African art. Additionally, the exhibition will look at the strong artistic and cultural connections between New Orleans and Africa.

The title of the exhibition and its accompanying book is a nod to the historic Congo Square adjacent to the French Quarter in New Orleans, where African American slaves would gather to socialize, make music and dance in the 18th and 19th centuries. Like Congo Square itself, the exhibition is a metaphor for the process of people coming together from different areas of Africa to create a common spirit and culture. Both the book and the exhibition are dedicated to the musicians and dancers who gathered in Congo Square, and to the artists (most whose names were not recorded) whose artworks are featured in both the exhibition and the book.

The exhibition will be marked by the publication of a 376-page book about NOMA’s collection of African art, produced by the New Orleans Museum of Art and published by Scala Publishers of London. Exhibition curator and catalogue editor William Fagaly has been curator of African art at NOMA for over four decades.

"Many times an exhibition will inspire a book. In this instance, it was truly African art curator William Fagaly's book that has inspired this exhibition," said New Orleans Museum of Art director Susan Taylor. Fagaly adds, “There are over 225 color illustrations of pieces in the book, including a number of field photographs of similar works in their native Africa. This will be one of the first publications to include CT scans and x-rays revealing the contents of African terra cotta sculptures.”

Along with catalog entries by 48 prominent scholars from North America, Europe and Africa, containing information not published previously, the book represents the most recent research about what is known about these works of art and the state of the field. “Ancestors of Congo Square” will prove to be a seminal work in the field of African art, and students, scholars, African enthusiasts and the general public alike will enjoy this book both for its educational significance as well as its aesthetic value. The book is available in the Museum Shop for $75.

While over 200 works of art will be featured in the book, the exhibition will focus on 100 of the most important ones. Dan Kershaw will design and install the show. Gallery displays will feature video footage of a CT scan revealing the inside contents of a rare terra cotta sculpture by the Djenne people. There will also be video footage of African dances featuring works similar to the ones on view in the exhibition. Nearly a dozen photographic enlargements will show Africans dancing similar masks featured in the exhibition.

Friday, May 13 - 6 p.m.
Opening ceremonies with music from Bamboula 2000
7p.m. - Walk-through by curator William Fagaly

Friday, June 3 - 6 p.m.
Kristina Van Dyke, Menil Collection: "Making Mute Objects Speak: New Approaches to Malian Antiquities"

Friday, June 17 - 6 p.m.
Roslyn Walker, Dallas Museum of Art: "Olowe of Ise: A Yoruba Sculptor to Kings"

Friday, June 24 - 6 p.m.
Freddi Williams Evans, "New Orleans' Congo Square: A Cultural Landmark"

7 p.m. - Conversation with Lolis Eric Elie and Jessica B. Harris

Friday, July 8 - 6 p.m.
David Binkley, "Kuba Art and Loyola University's Frère Joseph-Aurélien Cornet Archives"

Friday, July 15 - 6 p.m.
Walk-through of the exhibition by Dr. Sara Hollis Director/Professor, M.A. Museum Studies at Southern University at New Orleans (SUNO)

Wednesdays are FREE for all museum visitors. Adults, $10; Seniors (65 and up) and Students, $8; Children 7-­17, $6; Children 6 and under, free. Free Wednesdays are made possible through the generosity of The Helis Foundation.

The New Orleans Museum of Art, founded in 1910 by Isaac Delgado, houses more than 30,000 art objects encompassing 4,000 years of world art. Works from the permanent collection, along with continuously changing temporary exhibitions, are on view in the museum's 46 galleries Fridays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Tuesdays to Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the adjacent Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, featuring work by over 60 artists, including several of the 20th century's great master sculptors, is free. The Sculpture Garden is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. except for Fridays when it’s open until 8:45 p.m. The New Orleans Museum of Art and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden are fully accessible to handicapped visitors and wheelchairs are available from the front desk. For more information, call (504) 658-­4100 or visit