First note on “Pride of Place: The Making of Contemporary Art in New Orleans”: Some collectors’ collections I’ve seen in museums were startling in the number of inessential pieces by essential artists, but the exhibition of pieces donated to the New Orleans Museum of Art by gallery owner Arthur Roger represents the included artists well. If the only Willie Birch piece you see is his “An American Family,” you've got a goodidea of Birch is about.
Barry Bostwick’s career started in a grittier place than his best-known roles might suggest. He played Mayor Randall Winston opposite Michael J. Fox in the sitcom Spin City from 1996 to 2002, and before that he played the title character in the mini-series George Washington in 1984.
The subtext of "Lifelike," the new show at the New Orleans Museum of Art, is the art gallery experience. The collected pieces not only rely on the gallery to make them seem special, but they need that context to prompt the right questions.