New Orleans Museum of Art Receives Historic Gift of Photographs

Margaret Bourke-White, Chrysler Corporation, 1932. This photograph is included in Freeman’s promised bequest to NOMA.

The New Orleans Museum of Art has announced the largest gift of photographs in its history, a promised bequest of over 1,300 photographs from the private collection of Tina Freeman, who served as the museum’s curator of photography from 1977 through 1982. The gift includes photographs by renowned artists including Richard Avedon, Dorothea Lange, Irving Penn, and Sally Mann, among others.

In a press release, museum director Susan Taylor called the gift “a reflection of [Freeman’s] knowledge and passion for photography and the great photographers that define the medium. It is a milestone moment in the history of NOMA.”

Twenty-three photographs from Freeman’s promised bequest are included in the exhibition “Past Present Future: Building Photography at the New Orleans Museum of Art,” which remains on view through March 17, 2019. The museum plans to produce a full catalogue of the collection in the future.

Russell Lord, the museum’s current photography curator, noted that “Freeman began collecting in the early 1970s, at a time when many museums were not yet paying attention to photography. As a result of her prescient decision, her collection includes many priceless masterworks no longer available to museums and collectors today.”

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