Friday, December 26, 2008

Artist's Studio: Tom Nakashima

Tom Nakashima, great-grandson of a samurai warrior and nephew of furniture legend George Nakashima, recently donated a large collaged print to the Ogden Museum's permanent collection that will be unveiled in January's Recent Acquisitions show. Seen here in his Augusta, Georgia studio, one can judge the scale of these large hand-worked prints. Using a grid method to blow up images to this scale, Nakashima's process is unique in that each square is finished separately and completely before moving on the the next piece. This technique forces the artist to view each square of the grid as a unique and complete surface. A Sansei of Japanese and Canadian descent, Nakashimi works deftly with allegory using symbols drawn from his bifurcated heritage. Photos by David Houston.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Robert Tannen's Georgia O'Keeffe

Robert Tannen is an admired and highly-visible part of the New Orleans art landscape. This seventy-one year old artist, urban-planner, and activist has played important roles in the 1984 World's Fair, the second phase of New Orleans Mississippi River Bridge, hurricane recovery of the Gulf Coast after Camille, the creation of the Contemporary Arts Center, and the list goes on. The 1976 sculpture pictured above is indicative of Tannen's unique vision and incomparable sense of humor. Titled Georgia O'Keeffe, Tannen describes it as a "cannibalistic horse/cow." When the sculpture was being installed in Bob's 2008 Ogden exhibition, Stardust: Objects, Ideas, and Proposals, Tannen told the crew that he sent an image of the work to its famed namesake, along with a letter explaining his admiration of the great Southwestern painter. Georgia sent a letter back that simply stated, "Please do not send this sculpture."

Friday, December 19, 2008

Welmon on the Front Porch

These images of our own Art Brut, Welmon Sharlhorne, were captured by David Houston with a mid-70's Olympus Trip. Welmon is well represented in the Ogden's self-taught collection, and stops by regularly for visits with the staff and patrons. He arrived on the art scene when he left Angola prison with a body of drawings, and headed straight to Barrister's Gallery in New Orleans. His work was subsequently chosen by the Rosenaks for their important exhibition of American folk art at the Museum of L'Art Brut in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

McDonogh 35 at the Ogden

New Orleans native, Lisa Silvestri, began the New Orleans Portrait Project as a way to record the "invisible part of the population; to make them visible and celebrate them." In a way, it was a reaction to the massive loss after Katrina of visual record in the form of personal photos. Lisa used her large format view camera and 19th-century processing to document students at John Mcdonogh High School #35 on Esplanade Avenue from 2006 through 2008. Today, Lisa gave the same students a tour of her exhibition of their portraits which opened at the Ogden October 4, and runs until January 4, 2009. Images by Richard McCabe.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Srdjan Loncar's Tree

Srdjan Loncar's 2006 sculpture, Tree with Owl, has been a popular and welcome guest at the Ogden Museum. Today, Kate Barron treated some second-graders from Maggiore Elementary to an improv artist talk as Srdjan was preparing to move the sculpture to its new home. B&W image by David Houston. Color images by Bradley Sumrall.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Confessions of Mademoiselle G.

Margaret Evangeline's site-specific installation, Confessions of Mademoiselle G., was inspired by the real Mademoiselle G., a young 19th Century French woman documented in medical journals as being pathologically sexualized. The paper atop the table is twisted in a way to conjure images of bedsheets, and burned in places, one is to assume by the heat of Mademoiselle's passions. To delve deeper into her story, read The Erotic Imagination: French Histories of Perversity by Vernon A. Rosario. Confessions of Mademoiselle G. will be on view at the Ogden until January 4, 2009. Photo by David Houston.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Me, Knife, Diamond, and Flower

Above is a shot by David Houston of James Surls' Me, Knife, Diamond, and Flower in front of the Ogden Museum's Goldring Hall. The 26 foot tall steel and bronze sculpture was the first to be installed in a series of public works from the project Sculpture for New Orleans organized and curated by Michael Manjarris. Among others, the project has also brought the work of the incomparable Louise Bourgeois to New Orleans. Thanks Michael.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Richard McCabe, our Chief Preparator, captured these images of a rare occurance, snow in New Orleans. Snow collects on David Bates' Magnolia. Your's truly, Bradley Sumrall, Collections Manager of the Ogden, in the frozen lawn of the Taylor Library. The Ogden's PR Director, Sue Strachan, and our Southern Music Curator, Libra LaGrone, have a snowball fight on the terrace. The lawn around our H. H. Richardson building, the Taylor Library, blanketed in snow.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Artist's Studio: Margaret Evangeline

David snapped these images of Margaret Evangeline's New York studio while organizing the Ogden's current exhibition of her work, Silver Bullets and Holy Water. Margaret is a Baton Rouge native and long-time New Orleans resident. This Annie Oakley of the art world is known internationally as a painter, sculptor, and film-maker. Her monumental reflective floating sculpture, Saved from Drowning, was installed on the River Thames in September. Her site-specific installation, Marksman, will be up through the holidays in the Ogden's newly completed passageway to the Taylor Library.

Jimmy Robinson

Ogden After Hours makes every Thurday night in New Orleans memorable, but for guitar fans, July 31st was astounding. Here is virtuoso Jimmy Robinson performing his original composition, Pain, in the atrium of Goldring Hall.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hunt's Hats

Publication is set for 2009 of Hunt Slonem: Artist and Collector. This companion book for the 2007 exhibition at the Ogden conveys David Houston's journey through Hunt's three plantations, looking at both his works and collections, to the development and execution of a major exhibit at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. This installation of Hunt's collection of 19th and early 20th century top hats was designed by Bradley Sumrall after a consultation with Meyer the Hatter on Canal Street.

Monday, December 8, 2008

American Beauty, South

National Geographic recently posted an article on American Beauty, South, a series of installations along Airline Highway conceptualized by Jack Niven, and executed by eight artists, including the Ogden's own Richard McCabe. Jack has done a great deal of work for the Ogden, including the fabrication of the display table for Sally Mann's ambrotypes in What Remains. See the article here: .

Friday, December 5, 2008

Hale County, Alabama

David Houston captured these images in Hale County, Alabama with a Minox GT-E during a recent visit to Auburn University's Rural Studio. He toured this famous stomping ground of Walker Evans, James Agee, and Bill Christenberry with Sally and Virginia Mann prior to the opening of Sally's exhibition What Remains at the Ogden Museum.

The Greatest to Ever Play the Game

Richard McCabe, our Chief Preparator, explains the importance of William Eggleston to a group of students from the photography program at the Arts Institute International, Minneapolis. The students were given a tour of the Jerry Uelsmann and Maggie Taylor exhibition by David Houston. Richard then led them through a private viewing of works from the permanent collection, including this portfolio of Eggleston's early C-prints.

George Dureau Touches Up

A mainstay of the Ogden Museum, Classical Romantic painter George Dureau touches up a self-portrait while it hangs on the wall of the atrium in Goldring Hall.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Ken Shaw Supports Dali's Mustache

The Ogden's Chief Curator, David Houston, captured this image of Ken Shaw supporting Salvador Dali's mustache during a recent visit to MOMA's Dali retrospective. An important Southern artist and early creator of the Pattern and Decoration movement, Ken is well represented in the Ogden Museum's permanent collection, and is a great supporter of our mission, as well as Spanish mustaches.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


The word Verso is from the Latin for with the page turned, and can refer to the reverse side of a leaf, coin, printed page, or painted surface. It is often the side intended to be viewed second. In the museum world, the verso is where we often find little gems of information needed to support on object's provenance and authenticity, or to give deeper insight into its history. It is with this in mind that we offer Verso.