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New Orleans Museum of Art celebrates 100th anniversary with 110 new acquisitions
A monumental "Inverted Spiraling Tower," 1987, by American artist Sol LeWitt, exhibiting his trademark repetition of white hollow cubes.

NEW ORLEANS, LA.- "NOMA 100" is the culmination of a five-year acquisition project, celebrating the museum's 100th anniversary with the exhibition of 110 newly acquired objects, ranging from a laminated color C-print by American artist Matthew Barney to a seven-foot long shark headdress from Nigeria.

The exhibition, conceived by Director Emeritus John Bullard and trustee Anne Milling and on view from November 13, 2011 through January 22, 2012, reaffirms the museum's commitment to collecting outstanding works and highlights the dedicated support of the museum's benefactors. "NOMA 100: Gifts for the Second Century" is a celebration of the museum's growing permanent collection and also marks a pivotal moment of transition with the new directorship of Susan Taylor.

"'NOMA 100' is about telling stories: the story of the museum's evolution from an eleven object collection to a wide-ranging encyclopedic collection of over 35,000 works today; that of Director Emeritus John Bullard's enthusiasm and tireless pursuit of extraordinary works; and the stories those works of art tell us about a culture, artist, and moment in time," said Director Susan Taylor.

The museum opened on December 16, 1911 owning nine works of art. Today, the permanent collection is one of the largest in the south.

The "NOMA 100" exhibition features new works across a number of collection categories, including European Art before and after 1900, American Art, Asian, pre-Columbian and Native American, and African and Oceanic, and demonstrates artistic connections across medium, style, time periods, and cultures.

Highlights from the exhibition include:

• An "Untitled" reflective, stainless steel 78 inch tall cube sculpture by British,Indian-born artist Anish Kapoor, created in 1997 and to be displayed outside in the museum's sculpture garden.

• American artist Keith Sonnier's "Fluorescent Room," originally exhibited in 1970 and on view only four times prior to its installation at NOMA. The interactive, site-specific installation made from Styrofoam, phosphorescent pigment, and ultraviolet light explores the effects of light and audience participation, themes central to Sonnier's creative output.

• Minimalism and conceptual art are gaining new ground at NOMA with the inclusion of NOMA's first painting by Frank Stella, the minimalist known for post-painterly abstraction. "Scramble: Ascending Yellow Values, Descending Spectrum," 1978, features Stella's trademark line patterns in a colorful formation.

• "Figure 8 from Black and White Numerals," 1968, a lithograph by American artist Jasper Johns.

• A two-sided charcoal drawing of a hungry child and woman carrying laundry and "Great Lovers II, " 1913, a 28 inch bronze sculpture of two lovers in an embrace both by 20th century German artist Käthe Kollwitz.

• An outdoor gilt bronze statue of "Diana," modeled 1886, cast 1985, by classically-inspired American artist Augustus Saint ­Gaudens.

• 18 color photographs by Canadian artist Robert Polidori including" 5979 West End Boulevard", 2005, from his "After the Flood" series, taken in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

• German Expressionist oil painting, "Main Street in Murnau," 1905, by Gabrielle Münter.

• A monumental "Inverted Spiraling Tower," 1987, by American artist Sol LeWitt, exhibiting his trademark repetition of white hollow cubes.

"The diverse group of works that are NOMA 100 create new points of departure for examining future collecting efforts," said Taylor. "They represent a remarkable gift to the citizens of New Orleans, whom we are committed to serving, and support our role as a center for education and inspiration. We are honored to present these works for the benefit of all of New Orleans and visitors to the city."

"NOMA 100" first began as a project idea in 2006, when Director Emeritus John Bullard and NOMA trustee Anne Milling decided to mark the museum's centennial by underscoring the singularity and strength of the museum's holdings through an expansion of the collection with 100 new works. They brought together a five-member committee to advise on outreach efforts, and over the last several years have engaged 75 generous donors who have either promised or gifted new works to the collection. The new additions represent the dedication to the culture of New Orleans and diverse artistic passions of the museum's benefactors, who include individuals new to the museum as well as those who have previously given transformative gifts.

"When John and I embarked on this journey, our goal was simple: to expand the cultural experiences of visitors to the museum by widening the brilliant spectrum of artworks in the permanent collection," said Milling. "John's emphatic belief and effort in this project combined with the overwhelming enthusiasm of our donors has proven our endeavor more than a success."

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