NEW ORLEANS, La. (Friday, January 30, 2009)--Opening to the public on February 8 and continuing through April 26, the New Orleans Museum of Art presents Frederick J. Brown: New Portraits of Jazz Greats, an exhibition of paintings depicting 20th century musical giants including the likes of Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra and Billie Holiday.
Among other legends included are Thelonius Monk, New Orleans native Sidney Bechet, Ray Charles and Jelly Roll Morton. This latest series was commissioned by Mr. and Mrs. James Flach as a promised gift to the Museum. The exhibition will be on view in the first-floor Ella West Freeman Gallery.
In a departure from his figurative work, Brown also has created a unique abstract composition, The Origins of the Blues, as an introduction to the series.
The New Orleans Museum of Art remains free to Louisiana residents through the generosity of The Helis Foundation. Hours are Wednesdays, noon to 8 p.m., and Thursdays to Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A Members' Preview of Frederick J. Brown: New Portraits of Jazz Greats is scheduled for Saturday, February 7, from 6-9 p.m. Also opening February 8, with a preview on February 7, is Style, Form and Function: Glass from the Collection of Jack M. Sawyer, a major exhibition showcasing a lifetime of acquisitions by the New Orleans collector and celebrating the survival of these objects despite a 30-foot storm surge that inundated Sawyer's Waveland, Miss., home on August 29, 2005. 
About Frederick J. Brown
For Brown, a Georgia native, music has served as an important source of inspiration for his entire life. Like many African Americans during the first half of the 20thcentury, Brown and his family eventually moved from the South to Chicago in search of work and a new way of life. This migration created an urban concentration of aspiration, assimilation and culture-the sort of conditions in which music, and more specifically the blues, flourished.
Brown's childhood home was a place where artistic and musical expression were ubiquitous and highly encouraged, and famous blues men like Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf were often house guests.
In the 1970s, Brown's loft in New York City served as both a painting studio and a performance space, where Brown met and collaborated with musicians, dancers, artists and celebrities, such as Ornette Coleman, Chet Baker and Andy Warhol. This creative and interdisciplinary environment provided Brown the encouragement and confidence to paint not only what he saw, but also what he heard.
About NOMA and the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden
The New Orleans Museum of Art, founded in 1910 by Isaac Delgado, houses more than 30,000 art objects encompassing 4,000 years of world art. Works from the permanent collection, along with continuously changing temporary exhibitions, are on view in the Museum's 46 galleries Wednesdays from noon to 8 p.m. and Thursdays to Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the Museum is free to Louisiana residents through the generosity of The Helis Foundation.
Admission to the adjacent Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, featuring work by 58 artists, including several of the 20th century's great master sculptors, is always free during regular Museum hours.
The New Orleans Museum of Art and the Besthoff Sculpture Garden are fully accessible to handicapped visitors and wheelchairs are available from the front desk.
For more information, call (504) 659-4100 or visit