It’s no news that City Park is a natural treasure and that tens of thousands of manmade treasures are housed at the heart of the park. The New Orleans Museum of Art at One Collins Diboll Circle was dedicated on March, 22, 1911. It was originally named for Isaac Delgado, who gave $150,000 to the City Park Improvement Association to build the museum.

Winter, spring, summer and fall, the fine arts institution we call NOMA welcomes visitors. This month, the museum will adjust its hours during the Carnival season. It will open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 14 — the day of the Endymion Parade — and will be closed on Mardi Gras, Feb. 17.

Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The museum is closed on Monday. Visitors must arrive at least 45 minutes before closing time

Here’s some good news: admission is free on Wednesday for Louisiana residents, and you can’t beat that. Other times, the cost for nonmembers is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and university students with valid ID, and $6 for children 7 to 17. Children 6 and younger enter free of charge. Annual museum memberships start at $60, and that’s a bargain.

Admission discounts are available for adult groups of 10 or more who make reservations by calling (504) 658-4128. Docent-guided group tours also are available by calling at least two weeks in advance.

Located next to the museum, more than 60 works of art grace the 5-acre Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. Admission is free for all and hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The sculpture garden also will be closed on Mardi Gras, Feb. 17.

More than a museum, NOMA offers a variety of activities for adults and children, including a book club, movie night and summer art camp. Camp registration for members opens Wednesday Feb. 18 and general registration opens Wednesday, March 4.

For information, visit or call NOMA at (504) 658-4100.

EARLY ARTS LEARNING AT NOMA: A guided, hands-on gallery experience for children ages 1-2 and their parents, teachers and caregivers will be offered at 1 p.m. Tuesdays through April 21, except for Mardi Gras, Feb. 17, at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

The Baby Arts Play! program is presented by the Louisiana Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts. Teaching artists will show how to integrate music, movement and drama into everyday playtime to foster children’s development.

The program fee applies only to adults, who may bring a maximum of two children each. The cost is $5 for NOMA members, $5 plus admission for others, or $55 for the entire series. For information or to register, call (504) 658-4128 or email

Lynne Jensen writes about New Orleans community events and people. Contact her at