As the The Big Easy’s oldest fine arts institution, the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) in Louisiana is home to an expansive permanent collection of almost 50,000 objects.

“New Orleans Museum of Art is an encyclopedic art museum, which means we feature works of art from all around the world,” said Tracy Kennan, curator of education at NOMA. “Students can see art from a wide variety of cultures and time periods on a visit to NOMA.”

The museum’s collection is known for its strengths in American and French art, glass, photography, and Japanese and African works. Student tours of the museum can either be guided or self-led.

“Guided discussions about works of art encourage students to make observations, build connections and think critically,” Kennan said. “For guided visits, knowledgeable guides engage small groups in age-appropriate discussions. Tours are interactive, conversational and aligned with educational standards for visual arts, language arts, science and social studies. We tailor each tour to the grade level of the students.”

New Orleans Museum of Art
Credit: New Orleans Museum of Art

In addition to its robust collection, NOMA houses the 12-acre Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, one of the most important sculpture gardens in the United States. The garden has more than 90 sculptures situated on a landscaped site amongst meandering footpaths, reflecting lagoons, Spanish moss-laden 200-year-old live oaks, pines, magnolias, camellias and pedestrian bridges.

“Students love to explore the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden,” Kennan said. “Our modern and contemporary galleries also are very popular. Learning about art is learning about humanity. Taking the time to really make observations and discuss works of art with others can help us see things from different points of view.” Guided visits to the museum require two weeks’ notice, and self-guided trips must be booked at least 24 hours in advance.

For more information on the New Orleans Museum of Art, call 504-658-4100 or go to