On April 28, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art opens a new exhibition, “Art and Jazz: Preservation Hall at 50.” The show is part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the traditional jazz institution, focusing on the visual art associated with the Hall.
The show includes works by Sister Gertrude Morgan, Lee Friedlander, Barry Kiser, OffBeat contributor Erika Goldring and more. Among the most iconic images associated with Preservation Hall are painter Noel Rockmore’s jazz portraits from the early ’60s. Select Rockmores hang at the Hall, while some are in the Jaffe family’s private collection. “Rockmore is going to play prominently in the exhibition,” says Ogden acting chief curator Bradley Sumrall.
Some artifacts border on the surreal. “We’ve got this large, papier-mâché head of Sweet Emma,” he says. “No one knows where it came from. It just showed up at the hall one day. We could fill this whole museum with Preservation Hall,” he adds, “and still not begin to tell the whole story.”