Upcoming Events


"Let Them Eat Cake!"…

Oct 26 - Nov 9, 2016
Join us for Exhibition for "Let Them Eat Cake!"  Fine Art… more

Art is the Driving…

Oct 26 - Dec 30, 2016
Art has a power that reaches beyond personal visual expression. This exhibition… more

Comedy Gold hosted by…

Oct 26, 2016 - Jan 07, 2026
In The Voodoo Garden, All Ages (content may not be appropriate for all ages).… more

Danse Macabre- The…

Oct 26 - 30, 2016
The Historic New Orleans Collection will be offering a special Halloween-themed… more

David Hansen's Garden…

Oct 26, 2016
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

Dean's List

Oct 26 - Dec 28, 2016
Dean's List is a variety show of a most unusual kind. This show blends improv,… more

Education Gallery…

Oct 26 - Nov 27, 2016
Artists and Sense of Place Residency Show featuring artwork created by students… more

Evenings with Enrique

Oct 26 - 26, 2016
Join us for Evenings with Enrique! This series features entertainment, and… more

Happy's Running Club…

Oct 26 - Dec 28, 2016
Join us every Wednesday  for a  fun 5k or close at the Happy's Irish… more

Historic New Orleans…

Oct 26, 2016 - Apr 09, 2017
The Historic New Orleans Collection is gearing up for an exciting new… more

Le Meridien New…

Oct 26 - 26, 2016
Join us for "Art + Aperitifs," a fun, interactive painting class… more

Light Up the Night…

Oct 26 - 26, 2016
Visiting the city, whether from afar or from just across the bridge? Looking to… more

Live Opera…

Oct 26 - 26, 2016
Opera Returns to Bourbon Street. Enjoy FREE opera entertainment at the Puccini… more

Ogden Museum of…

Oct 26 - Nov 8, 2016
Each year, the Ogden Museum celebrates Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead),… more

Ogden Museum of…

Oct 26 - 26, 2016
Be a key member of the Ogden Museum team by serving as a Docent! An Ogden… more

Opera on Tap

Oct 26 - 26, 2016
Now in its 10th season, Opera on Tap presents the finest young local and… more

Oscar and The Blues…

Oct 26 - Dec 28, 2016
This bands plays Blues music, which guest musicians will sit in and play with… more

Royal Carriages…

Oct 26 - 26, 2016
Join us in celebrating Royal Carriages 75th Anniversary. For  the first… more

Saenger Theatre…

Oct 26 - 30, 2016
Join us for the Illusionists- Live from Broadway. This mind blowing spectacular… more

The Maison Presents -…

Oct 26, 2016 - Jul 26, 2017
The New Orleans Jazz Vipers play a free dinner show at The Maison every… more

"Let Them Eat Cake!"…

Oct 26 - Nov 9, 2016
Join us for Exhibition for "Let Them Eat Cake!"  Fine Art… more

Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World's Fairs, 1851-1939


Inventing the Modern World:
Decorative Arts at the World's Fairs, 1851-1939
An Exhibition Highlighting the Ingenuity and Innovation of
Works Presented at the World's Fairs
On view at NOMA from April 12 to August 4, 2013

(New Orleans, LA) - From furniture and metalwork to jewelry and glass, the New Orleans Museum of Art's upcoming exhibition, Inventing the Modern World, highlights the extraordinary artistic and industrial ingenuity of works presented at world's fairs from 1851 to 1939.  On view from April 12 to August 4, 2013, the exhibition spans the most dynamic period in craftsmanship and manufacturing history, and is organized chronologically and thematically around the concept of innovation. Through an astonishing selection of decorative and design objects, Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World's Fairs, 1851-1939, showcases the technological and scientific invention, cross-cultural influence, national pride, modernism and historicism that defined the world's fairs, and which is especially resonant in New Orleans, the home of the 1884 and 1984 World's Fairs.   

The exhibition includes approximately 200 objects shown at world's fairs from the London exhibition in 1851 to the 1939 New York fair, carefully chosen through a generous research grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Many of the featured objects will be seen in the United States for the first time.

World's fairs were the most important vehicle for debuting technological and stylistic advancements on an international stage. They functioned as showcases and marketplaces for design on a global, national and individual level. Above all, they democratized design unlike any previous or concurrent forum. Due to the impermanence of the fairs, decorative arts shown at the events are sometimes the only surviving elements. Decorative arts, particularly objects crafted in ceramic, metal, glass and wood, were the physical manifestation of the progressive ideals embodied in the fairs.

"Curators looked at thousands of works from around the globe to find the objects that most compellingly represented innovation," Susan M. Taylor, Director of NOMA said. "Inventing the Modern World brings them together for the first and only time, providing visitors with an opportunity to relive the sense of discovery and energy of the world's fairs. NOMA is committed to creating an immersive experience that transports our audiences into those times and places, recalling the city's own special history with the Fairs."

The exhibition includes works made by noted international artists and manufacturers, ranging from a monumental 1850s Gothic Revival cabinet to a 1930s streamlined Art Deco glass chair, as well as masterworks of jewelry and objects in glass, silver, and porcelain by such world-renowned artisans and designers as Baccarat, Tiffany, Cartier and Sèvres. Other examples of innovation include a Thonet rocking chair that demonstrated new bentwood processes at the 1862 London International Exhibition; a vase with a complicated Black Iris glaze and electroplated mounts created by the Cincinnati-based Rookwood firm shown at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle; and a lighted plate glass radiator by the Saint-Gobain manufactory from the 1937 Paris fair.

Inventing the Modern World is co-curated by Catherine L. Futter, the Helen Jane and Hugh "Pat" Uhlmann Curator of Decorative Arts at the Nelson-Atkins, and Jason T. Busch, Curatorial Chair for Collections and the Alan G. and Jane A. Lehman Curator for Decorative Arts and Design at the Carnegie Museum. Following NOMA's presentation, the exhibition will travel to the Mint Museum in Charlotte, NC, in 2013. 

A full-color catalogue, written by international scholars of the 19th and 20th century decorative arts will accompany the exhibition.

Exhibition Sponsors
Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World's Fairs, 1851-1939 is co-organized by the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

In conjunction with Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World's Fairs, 1851-1939, NOMA is proud to present Spectacle and Spectator: Joshua Mann Pailet's Photographs of the 1984 World's Fair in New Orleans. These large-scale prints, many never before seen, have been recently produced from original negatives that Pailet made while serving as an official photographer for the U.S. pavilion for the 1984 World's Fair in New Orleans.

This exhibition is made possible with a generous grant from national presenting sponsor Wells Fargo, the Windgate Charitable Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Support for the presentation at the New Orleans Museum of Art is provided by:
Jolie and Robert Shelton, International Well Testers, Inc., Lois and Lloyd Hawkins Jr. Foundation, The Gulf Tourism and Seafood Promotional Fund, and The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.

NOMA Admission
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.

About NOMA and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden
The New Orleans Museum of Art, founded in 1910 by Isaac Delgado, houses over 35,000 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 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The adjacent Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden features work by over 60 artists, including several of the 20th century's master sculptors. The Sculpture Garden is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. until 4:45 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 about NOMA, call (504) 658-4100 or visit