Upcoming Events


America, Illustrated:…

Nov 28, 2015 - Jan 05, 2016
New Orleans based M.S. Rau Antiques will pay tribute to The Saturday Evening… more

Art on the Spot

Nov 28 - 28, 2015

Ashe Cultural Arts…

Nov 28 - Dec 31, 2015
Join us for Ashe to Amen: the Enduring Spirituality of People of African… more

Bayou Classic

Nov 28 - 28, 2015
The 42nd Annual Bayou Classic will take place in the Dome on Saturday, November… more

Celebration in the…

Nov 28, 2015 - Jan 03, 2016
City Park's annual holiday lighting exhibit and festival returns with one of… more

Double Dose

Nov 28 - 28, 2015
ActionActionReaction and friends keep the dance floor energized with mixes of… more

Educator Appreciation…

Nov 28 - 28, 2015
Teachers get in FREE to NOMA on this day with a valid school ID. Bring your… more

Fats Domino & Dave…

Nov 28 - Dec 27, 2015
Join us at the Carver Theater for a Music Tribute honoring Legendary Musicians… more

Florida Room: Jessica…

Nov 28 - 29, 2015
The Foundation Gallery is excited to present Florida Room by Jessica Bizer … more

Jasper Johns:…

Nov 28, 2015 - Jan 31, 2016
Prints from the Donna Perret Rosen and Benjamin M. Rosen Collection: Jasper… more

Meet the artists…

Nov 28 - 28, 2015
Some of the most talented artists behind Mardi Gras will be present at local… more

Newcomb Art Museum of…

Nov 28, 2015 - Jan 03, 2016
Join us for the  Exhibition: "A Shared Space: KAWS, Karl Wirsum,… more

Patriot, Planter,…

Nov 28, 2015 - Mar 20, 2016
NOMA will present the first exhibition to focus on the works of Pierre-Joseph… more

Saturday Farmers…

Nov 28 - Dec 26, 2015
We are excited to announce the Saturday Farmers Market at the French Market!… more


Nov 28 - 28, 2015
Spark imagination, creativity, and a love of reading. Professional authors,… more

Taylor Scholars…

Nov 28 - 28, 2015
On Taylor Family Day at the New Orleans Museum of Art, Taylor Scholars and… more

The Historic New…

Nov 28, 2015 - Jan 09, 2016
The Historic New Orleans Collection marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane… more

The Photography of…

Nov 28, 2015 - Mar 01, 2016
The Photography of Modernist Cuisine: The Exhibition, a collection of over 50… more

Tim Youd: 100 Novels

Nov 28, 2015 - Feb 21, 2016
Los Angeles-based contemporary artist Tim Youd will visit NOMA to perform the… more


Nov 28, 2015 - Jan 10, 2016
This exhibition features work by the Japanese artist Bidou Yamaquchi. Trained… more

America, Illustrated:…

Nov 28, 2015 - Jan 05, 2016
New Orleans based M.S. Rau Antiques will pay tribute to The Saturday Evening… more

Swoon's Thalassa transforms Great Hall

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call (504) 658-­4100

Swoon's Thalassa transforms Great Hall
Artist takes inspiration from city, sea to create towering 20-foot sculpture suspended from NOMA's century-old ceiling

Tweet Release: Swoon opening party and presentation Friday, June 10. Artist speaks at 6 pm. "Thalassa" soars over the Great Hall til Sept. 25.

New Orleans, LA - On Friday, June 10, the New Orleans Museum of Art unveils a new large scale, site-specific installation by the internationally renowned artist Swoon. This installation, entitled Thalassa, is named for and inspired by the Greek goddess of the sea. The work began with a careful examination of NOMA's Great Hall and was specifically designed for the space. Thalassa will be on display until September 25.

"This exhibition launches a series of commissioned site-specific works for NOMA's Great Hall," said NOMA Director Susan Taylor. "Each summer, the museum plans to work with an artist to create a project for this dramatic space. Whether inspired by New Orleans or the space itself, we hope to engage artists and our community in an ongoing conversation about contemporary art. Swoon's Thalassa is a dramatic, thought-provoking piece that will speak to all audiences."

The twenty-foot tall piece depicts a monumental female deity with extended tentacles rising from the waters, her body comprised of colorful swathes of fabric and aquatic creatures. The work is made of an enormous reinforced linocut enhanced with prints and paper cutouts.

"As an artist known for intricate and evocative work both in gallery spaces and in the streets, Swoon was an ideal artist for NOMA to engage with," said Miranda Lash, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. "Her installation invigorates our Great Hall with powerful imagery, and positions the museum as a window to artistic currents flowing outside our doors. Swoon has a talent for transforming the everyday into the mythical."

Swoon's installation of Thalassa was inspired by New Orleans' ties to the sea. New Orleans depends on water for commerce, transportation, energy, and food. The installation is named after the Greek goddess revered as the mother of all sea creatures. The octopus motif also links the piece to New Orleans' legendary red-light district, Storyville, where denizens of its brothels were likened to many-armed creatures separating sailors from their money. The piece thus connects to both New Orleans' past and present, as well as its complex and deep history as a port city.

During the past three years, Swoon developed a close relationship to the city of New Orleans and several New Orleans-based artists. In 2008, she began wheat-pasting her paper cutouts on walls in the Bywater neighborhood. Since then, she has been involved in an ongoing collaboration with the New Orleans Airlift (an organization dedicated to the cross-pollination of artistic ideas between New Orleans and other countries) on the creation of a musical arts venue and house in the Bywater called Dithyrambalina. "Every city that I go to, I try to absorb a little bit from each place," said Swoon.

Based in New York, Swoon has been recognized internationally for her large-scale paper cutouts which she wheat pastes on the exteriors of buildings. Her work often depicts portraits of families, friends, and residents of local neighborhoods performing everyday activities such as working, cycling, or sitting on stoops. As an artist working extensively in prints and cutouts, Swoon takes inspiration from the German Expressionists of the early twentieth century as well as Indonesian shadow puppetry. In 2005 she began displaying her installations in gallery settings in addition to her outdoor installations.

is made possible thanks to generous support from The Joan Mitchell Center, the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, and Charles L. Whited, Jr.


Swoon will deliver a public lecture in NOMA's Stern Auditorium on Friday, June 10, at 6 p.m. A Where Y'Art closing party for Thalassa will take place on Friday, September 16, starting at 5 p.m featuring music by DJ Kazu.


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 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 at the front desk.