Louisiana State Museum operates several of the city’s attractions. // © 2017 Louisiana State Museum
Feature image (above): The National WWII Museum is currently undergoing a $370 million expansion. // © 2017 The National WWII Museum
Unique history, culture and traditions are among the reasons travelers love New Orleans. And the city’s cultural wealth is especially evident while exploring its museums, which highlight everything from music and art to local and international history.
New and Improved
The National WWII Museum is in the middle of a $370 million expansion that is quadrupling the size of the facility, complete with a new entry to its 6-acre campus. Its extensive exhibits, presentations and fleet of vintage warplanes provide a compelling view of the largest war of the 20th century.
Also undergoing upgrades is The New Orleans African American Museum of Art, Culture and History, which is located in the historic Treme district. A five-year capital campaign is currently adding new gallery and event space, a gift shop and more.
Louisiana State Museum
For an equally satisfying dose of history, consider a visit to any of the venues operated by the Louisiana State Museum — including The Cabildo, a Spanish colonial building built on Jackson Square between 1795 and 1799. This landmark is home to a variety of items, including one of only four copies of Napoleon’s death mask and an exhibition about the 1815 Battle of New Orleans. Nearby, Madame John’s Legacy provides a glimpse at life in an 18th-century Creole-style home.
Music lovers, meanwhile, should head to The New Orleans Jazz Museum, which is set inside the historic Old U.S. Mint. The facility’s interactive exhibits are often complemented by live musical performances.
When Art Is the Draw
World-class artwork is held at venues such as the New Orleans Museum of Art, which has an extensive collection of pieces from across the globe. On exhibit through Dec. 31 is “Orientalism: Taking and Making,” which explores themes of racism and cultural understanding through 19th-century paintings, photographs and decorative art.
The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, meanwhile, is located in the Warehouse Arts District. It has the world’s largest collection of artwork from and about the Southern U.S. The pieces showcased represent a surprisingly diverse range of styles, media and eras.