A relative newcomer to the New Orleans’ tourism and art scenes, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art has become an anchor for both since opening on Camp Street.
The museum, 925 Camp Street, contains the largest collection of Southern art in the world, with paintings, photographs, sculptures, drawings, watercolors and prints from fifteen southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. About 80,000 people visit the museum each year. The collection started with a donation of more than 1,100 works from Roger H. Ogden, a New Orleans’ businessman.
The museum was officially established in 1999. The collection has grown to include more than 4,000 works of Southern art, dating from 1733 to the present. The artists featured in the modern 47,000-square-foot, five-story glass-and-steel structure include locals Ida Kohlmeyer, Clementine Hunter and George Rodrigue.
The adjoining Patrick F. Taylor library, designed by renowned architect H.H. Richardson and built in 1889, is also part of the museum, but it is only currently used for special events. The Ogden frequently works with local groups, including schools and the New Orleans Photo Alliance, to showcase their work. The museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.