In celebration of beloved chef, civil rights activist, and art collector Leah Chase, the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) will premiere New at NOMA: Recent Acquisitions in Modern and Contemporary Art, on view from March 10 – October 1, 2017. Through a dedicated fund created by NOMA and funded by members of the New Orleans community to honor Chase on her 90th birthday, NOMA has acquired a group of new works by emerging and underrepresented contemporary artists that honor Chase’s lifelong commitment to art and culture of the South, and strong legacy of political activism and engagement.
New at NOMA: Recent Acquisitions in Modern and Contemporary Art highlights dedicated new acquisitions by McArthur Binion, Leonardo Drew and Mildred Thompson. These works join other recent acquisitions by artists like LaToya Ruby Frazier, The Propeller Group, Keith Calhoun and Chandra McCormick, Dan Tague and Carrie Mae Weems, among others, to offer vital new perspectives on pressing issues in contemporary art and culture.
“These acquisitions reflect NOMA’s commitment to bringing exciting new voices in contemporary art to the New Orleans community. Bringing together the work of both locally and nationally recognized artists, this exhibition offers an exciting opportunity to make New Orleans part of a national art conversation,” says Katie A. Pfohl, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at NOMA.
One of the Crescent City’s most revered figures, Leah Chase is the recipient of countless awards and honors for both her culinary achievements and her efforts during the Civil Rights Movement. Chase has run the kitchen at New Orleans’ famous Dooky Chase’s Restaurant since 1946, where patrons can enjoy world-class soul food among one of the most celebrated personal collections of African-American art.
“Leah Chase believes that art should be relatable, accessible, and uplifting.” says Susan Taylor, Montine Daniel Freeman Director at NOMA. “We’re thrilled to showcase these acquisitions in her name in NOMA’s Frederick R. Weisman Gallery for Louisiana Art and Helis Gallery, and in doing so, celebrate Leah’s long-standing commitment to living artists and their work.”