The Whole Drum Will Sound: Women in Southern Abstraction Opens at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art March 22 Celebrating Strong Female Voices in Abstract Art in the American South

NEW ORLEANS Opening March 22 and on view through July 22, 2018 at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art is the exhibition, The Whole Drum Will Sound: Women in Southern Abstraction, curated by Bradley Sumrall, Curator of the Collection at the Ogden Museum.

Drawn primarily from the Ogden Museum’s Permanent Collection, The Whole Drum Will Sound: Women in Southern Abstraction celebrates strong female voices in abstract art in the American South. The title of the show is inspired by French author Amin Maalouf’s book, In the Name of Identity.

“A person’s identity is not an assemblage of separate affiliations, nor a kind of loose patchwork; it is like a pattern drawn on a tightly stretched parchment. Touch just one part of it, just one allegiance, and the whole person will react, the whole drum will sound,” wrote Maalouf.

“The artists included in this exhibition cannot be categorized solely upon their gender or regional affiliation,” explains Sumrall. “The facts that they are female, or Southern or that they create through abstraction are just elements of the patterns upon the drums that they sound. This exhibition seeks to find resonance among these artists, and to trace a trajectory of abstraction in the South through the rise of female voices in the visual arts.”

Artists showcased in the exhibition include, but are not limited to:  Lynda Benglis, Vincencia Blount, Dusti Bongé, Clyde Connell, Sherry Owens, Dorothy Hood, Marie Hull, Bess Dawson, Halcyone Barnes, Lin Emery, Margaret Evangeline, Cynthia Brants, Shawn Hall, Ruth Atkinson Holmes, Jacquiline Humphreys, Valerie Jaudon, MaPo Kinnord, Ida Kohlmeyer, Shawne Major, Anastasia Pelias, Betsy Stewart and Millie Wohl.

Moving from the early Abstract Expressionist paintings of Dusti Bongé to the contemporary constructions of Shawne Major, this exhibition includes work that ranges from the geometries of Ida Kohlmeyer to the gestural canvases of Vincencia Blount; from the stained surfaces of Dorothy Hood and Anastasia Pelias to the biomorphic abstractions of MaPo Kinnord and Shawn Hall.

“Together, these works show a range of studio practices by female artists working in the South within the language of abstraction, and highlights the breadth of the Ogden Museum of Southern Art’s Permanent Collection,” says Sumrall.

The opening reception for The Whole Drum Will Sound: Women in Southern Abstraction will take place at the Ogden Museum on Saturday, March 24, 2018 from 6 – 8 p.m. Free for members, $13.50 for general admission.

For more information regarding this exhibition, please contact Melissa Kenyon at or 504.539.9631.

About the Ogden Museum of Southern Art

Located in the vibrant Warehouse Arts District of downtown New Orleans, Louisiana, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art holds the largest collection of Southern art and is recognized for its original exhibitions, public events and educational programs which examine the development of visual art alongside Southern traditions of music, literature and culinary heritage to provide a comprehensive story of the South. Established in 1999 and in Stephen Goldring Hall since 2003, the Museum welcomes almost 85,000 visitors annually, and attracts diverse audiences through its broad range of programming including exhibitions, lectures, film screenings and concerts which are all part of its mission to broaden the knowledge, understanding, interpretation and appreciation of the visual arts and culture of the American South.

The Ogden Museum is open daily from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. with extended hours on Thursdays from 6 – 8 p.m. for Ogden After Hours. Admission is free to Museum Members and $13.50 for adults, $11 for seniors 65 and older, $7.25 for children ages 5-17 and free for children under 5.

The Ogden Museum is free to Louisiana Residents on Thursdays from 10 a.m. –  5 p.m. courtesy of The Helis Foundation. The Helis Foundation is a Louisiana private foundation, established by the William Helis Family. The Art Funds of the Helis Foundation advance access to the arts for the community through contributions that sustain operations for, provide free admission to, acquire works of art and underwrite major exhibitions and projects of institutions within the Greater New Orleans area.

The Museum is closed Lundi Gras and Mardi Gras, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day.

The Museum is located at 925 Camp Street, New Orleans Louisiana 70130. For more information visit or call 504.539.9650.

About the Ogden Museum’s Permanent Collection

The Museum is based upon the founding donation of more than 600 works from New Orleans businessman Roger H. Ogden’s private collection. Since his original donation the Museum’s collection of paintings, watercolors, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, wood and crafts has grown to include more than 4,000 works donated from individuals and collectors from across the US. The Museum’s collection consists of work by artists from or associated with fifteen Southern states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia as well as the District of Columbia. Among the many artists represented in the Museum’s collection are Walter Anderson, Benny Andrews, Clementine Hunter, George Dureau, William Dunlap, Ida Kohlmeyer, Will Henry Stevens, Kendall Shaw and George Ohr.