Ogden Museum of Southern Art

The Ogden Museum of Southern Art is one of the only museums in the entire country dedicated exclusively to showcasing work by artists hailing from approximately 15 southern states. This unique organizing criterion means that the artwork on display here doesn’t conform to traditional markers of style and genre, but rather is united by a sense of geographic place. Located just steps from the National WWII Museum and the Contemporary Arts Center, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art is a can’t-miss destination for art lovers who find themselves in New Orleans.

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Ogden Museum of Southern Art History

The Ogden Museum of Southern Art was established in 1999. The museum is comprised of two buildings, each with its own distinctive history. The primary space occupied by the Ogden is the Stephen Goldring Hall. This modern, five-story structure opened its doors to the public in 2003, and contains nearly 50,000 square feet of gallery space. This is where guests will spend the majority of their visit.

The Ogden has also taken over control of the Patrick F. Taylor Library. The design of this historic structure was based on a plan by the architect Henry Hobson Richardson, and it first opened as the Howard Memorial Library in 1889. It has undergone numerous renovations in the decades hence, and today it’s used primarily as a space for special events.

What’s at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art

The core of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art collection comes from the private holdings of Roger H. Ogden, a wealthy local businessman who bequeathed hundreds of works to establish the facility. Today the museum’s collection includes over 4,000 pieces from notable artists such as Clementine Hunter, Walter Anderson, Ida Kohlmeyer, Hunt Slonem, and more.

In addition to the museum’s permanent collection, the Ogden regularly organizes special exhibitions. By their very nature, these presentations are always subject to change, but recent subjects on display here include everything from photographs that capture the essence of summer to showcases of work by students at HBCU schools to a retrospective on the career of Roland L. Freeman.

The Ogden Museum of Southern Art shop sells a selection of souvenirs whose proceeds go to support the museum’s mission. Here you’ll find boutique jewelry, clothing apparel, and numerous art-centric toys perfect for the little ones. You can also purchase exhibition books, art prints, and much, much more.

Another feature of the museum worth checking out is the Center for Southern Craft & Design. This unique space hosts pop-up art markets, artist spotlights, and happy hours, just to name a few of the events taking place here throughout the year. For more information, be sure and visit the museum’s official website.

Tips for Visiting the Ogden Museum of Southern Art

  • The Ogden Museum of Southern Art doesn’t have its own parking garage, but there are plenty of surface lots to be found in the surrounding area. Visitors may also park in the nearby garage owned and operated by the National WWII Museum.
  • For those guests needing some extra assistance, wheelchairs are available free of charge at the museum’s front desk.
  • Museum docents lead guided tours of the museum at 12:30pm on every second Thursday. If this time won’t work for your schedule, it’s possible to request guided group tours ahead of time via the Ogden’s official website.