Edgar Degas House Creole Impressionist Tour

Edgar Degas House Creole Impressionist Tour

Edgar Degas House Creole Impressionist Tour
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About
Once Home to the French Impressionist Edgar Degas, the Degas House Historic Home, Courtyard & Inn is a master-piece of history and hospitality. It is the only home or studio of Degas anywhere in the world that is open to the public, beautifully restored and located on majestic Esplanade Avenue just eleven blocks from the famous French quarter. Daily Tours HOSTED BY THE GREAT-GRAND NIECES OF EDGAR DEGAS or Docent. Daily 9 am Gourmet Creole Made-to-Order Breakfast including a Bloody Mary or Mimosas, (compliments of Edgar Degas Foundation) approx. 3 hours; Daily Tour Only 10:30 am or 1:45 pm approx. 2 hours; Plus on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday we offer Painting Classes with Great-Grand Niece "Micey Moyer". Our gift shop offers high quality remembrances of your visit. If a school or any groups, girlfriend trips, wedding or special event is in your plans, our lovely courtyard and grand parlors will provide the perfect setting for unique and treasured memories for guests and families.
Duration: 2-3 hours
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  • Brendan S
    Arlington, Virginia2,040 contributions
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting history here
    This house is a trivia fact: did you know that Edward Degas visited New Orleans for 6 months early in his career? He did, and stayed at this house, painting 18 pieces, some of which ended up in major museums. The house is now two buildings and is occupied as a bed and breakfast, but tours are offered even if you aren’t a guest. The tour was about an hour long. It starts with a long video and then the guide took me (I was the only one on the tour) to two rooms in one house building and the room that was Degas’ studio on the other. On the one hand, I really learned a lot about an interesting episode in Degas’ life and the paintings he finished while here. On the other hand, the historical interest was limited. Degas lived to be 81 and painted 3,000 works. His time in New Orleans was significant but brief. There are no Degas paintings here. Everything is a replica. There are no Degas furnishings - everything is period pieces. The house doesn’t look like it did - it has literally been split in two. There are some trees that were saplings while he was here that are now huge. That’s about it. Also, this house is not close to anything else. It’s easily 1.5 miles from the French Quarter. So while it’s worth doing if you are interested in Impressionism and history, it shouldn’t be at the top of a New Orleans itinerary.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written February 19, 2024
  • Janice C
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A unique experience
    Our trip to Degas House was such a wonderful experience! It exceeded our expectations in every way! We thoroughly enjoyed our experience walking through the home and rooms where Degas painted and lived so many years ago! An experience we’ve never had before! Our tour guide was a wealth of information, knowledgeable and so very kind to show us the neighborhood and tell us about its significance also! An absolute must if you love Impressionist Art! Janice and Mary Jean Clarkson
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written March 1, 2024
  • sripoche
    Rambouillet, France5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Absolutely amazing
    Finding out about this famous French painter while in New Orleans was an experience in itself.☺️ David the owner has made an amazing work at reproducing what the house looked like when it sheltered Degas’ studio. President Macron himself came for a visit and David was rewarded Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his fantastic research. We were lucky enough to hear the story from his own voice but if you book the tour you will hear it through Degas’ great great niece. Do make sure that you are expected to the place though as a shortage of staff makes the opening hours difficult. Thank you loads again David for a very special visit.🙏
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written April 15, 2024
  • Elizabeth D
    32 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful Hidden Gem
    The tour was very informative. The guide was actually the Great grand niece of Degas, and she was a trip. She give a nice mix of the history of the family and the art of Edgar Degas. A wonderful little hidden gem.
    Visited May 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written May 12, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles205 reviews
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Janice C
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Family
Our trip to Degas House was such a wonderful experience! It exceeded our expectations in every way!

We thoroughly enjoyed our experience walking through the home and rooms where Degas painted and lived so many years ago!
An experience we’ve never had before!

Our tour guide was a wealth of information,
knowledgeable and so very kind to show us the neighborhood and tell us about its significance also!

An absolute must if you love Impressionist Art!

Janice and Mary Jean Clarkson
Written March 1, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sripoche
Rambouillet, France5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
Finding out about this famous French painter while in New Orleans was an experience in itself.☺️
David the owner has made an amazing work at reproducing what the house looked like when it sheltered Degas’ studio.
President Macron himself came for a visit and David was rewarded Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his fantastic research.
We were lucky enough to hear the story from his own voice but if you book the tour you will hear it through Degas’ great great niece.
Do make sure that you are expected to the place though as a shortage of staff makes the opening hours difficult.
Thank you loads again David for a very special visit.🙏
Written April 15, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Elizabeth D
32 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Solo
The tour was very informative. The guide was actually the Great grand niece of Degas, and she was a trip. She give a nice mix of the history of the family and the art of Edgar Degas. A wonderful little hidden gem.
Written May 12, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

L S
New Orleans, LA7 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019 • Friends
I was really disappointed in this tour to say the least... the tour guide talked alot about the wealth of the family and how they invested so much in the Confederate South and how they so sadly lost it all and of the families misfortune without mentioning about how the family aquired the wealth in the first place. Musson was a cotton broker, whats that I asked? "I'm not sure..." "Did they own slaves?" "No..." But what about their slave quarters at their mansion in the Garden District...? And no mention of slavery at all in the entire tour?!? I'm so tired of these tours of these homes and plantations that glamorize the wealth and the sob story how they lost it all after the civil war and skim over slavery as if it was some kind of just unfortunate event, not even needing a mention. I urge all tour guides in New Orleans to go to the Whitney plantation so they can learn and teach people the truth about slavery in New Orleans instead skipping it and romanticizing it, it's your moral responsible as historians.
Written January 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Fernando B
2 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
This was awkward and embarrassing. The house works as a B&B, a wedding venue and a "museum" - but there's nothing there to see really.
They only have 3 pieces of original furniture from the time Degas lived there (for a bit more than 4 months btw) and no original works by the artist are exposed. Even the few furniture replicas that fail to fill the space are very cheap looking and in really bad shape. The house is completely redone so you also can't see how it looked like back when Degas visited.
Wasn't that enough, there's a very sloppy attempt to make up for the lack of anything to show for by displaying some color copies of his paintings, printed in white paper and fixed to cardboards spread all over the house. Plates for "best wedding venue pick" are put together with a worn out book with some of Degas' work and you see photos of the current owner hanging on the walls next to some more photocopied works of Degas. The tour guide was constantly apologizing for the condition of the house and didn't seem to know much about the artist's life. It was a sad, sad, sad tour that took long 2,5 hours of torture.

I paid 29 dollars for the tour plus 21 for a breakfast that was actually quite good, but way overpriced. All I was offered was an omelette, oj and coffee. The whole experience cost me 50 dollars and I felt the most stupid human being for falling in such a scam. Its not a matter of personal taste, believe me. The thing is a fraud. Stay away from this. Really. Buy 10 beers with that money and you will see as much Degas in the streets of NoLa as I saw inside that house.
Written November 21, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We would like to address the points you stated in your review because it is our feeling that you do not understand what Degas House is all about. We thank Trip Advisor for giving us the opportunity to state what we have at Degas House in an attempt to educate you and for future tour attendees. Degas House is the only home or studio of Edgar Degas in the world open to the public. The HOUSE ITSELF is the artifact. We have been in business for 19 years and the tours are conducted by the great grand-nieces of Edgar Degas. Some of what is in the tour comes from their personal experience as this was their family home. Additionally, the French Minister of Culture decorated us with the French National Order of Arts and Letters. The film, “Degas in New Orleans, a Creole Sojourn” won 3 film festival awards designated by the American Library Association. So we know that we have a good product, also evidenced by the many 5-star ratings we have received on Trip Advisor. To address some of the other points in your review: • Degas House is not a furniture tour, nor is it advertised as one. • The antique furniture displayed dates back to 1860. Admittedly, it is not in perfect shape which is why it is roped off. However, since it was the original furniture and was used on a daily basis over 150 years ago, one would not expect it to look new. • Regarding the house itself, it was restored consistent with the way it looked in the 1872 time period when Degas was here, except for one wing which was moved, as explained in the tour. Even the paint colors are correct in that they were established through color analysis and testing. • The artwork displayed in the home is beautifully framed in accordance with today’s standards and is not color copies pasted on cardboard. • The plates with the “Best of Wedding” awards won in 2013 and 2014 and soon to be 2015 are not worn in that they were given to us at the time we won the awards bestowed on us by The Knot, a prestigious wedding service. • In any structure such as this, whether historical or modern, there is ongoing maintenance, thus there is the occasional need for ladders and equipment. In fact, the exterior of the home has just been painted. Apparently, the tour guide was kind enough to apologize for the work being done at the time. It is our feeling that this review was done in a mean-spirited attempt to intentionally sabotage Degas House and the writer was insincere and out of touch with what Degas House represents. We thank Trip Advisor for allowing us to respond.  
Written December 13, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Willow A
San Francisco, CA10 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2014 • Family
We were quite excited for the tour, since we are big fans of Degas's artwork and of Impressionist art. However, the tour was, from the beginning, a severe disappointment. It began with a video about the house and Degas's time in New Orleans; while the video itself was not bad, per se, it was quite lengthy and essentially conveyed all information that was later simply repeated during the house tour. The tour centered too much on Degas's relatives — their lives, personal foibles and turmoils — which was not very interesting. Comparatively little was said about Degas. All paintings in the house are prints, and the furnishings are not even necessarily staged to recreate the layout of the house as it would have been in Degas's time. In general, the tour failed to frame his time in New Orleans within the broader context of his artistic career and life. Perhaps most disappointingly, quite a few of the facts shared by our tour guide were simply incorrect! The tour was also way too long... We left before it ended! Save your time and money and skip this.
Written January 1, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thanks to Trip Adviser for allowing this reply. I hope the writer of the review actually sees our response, assuming he cares enough to followup. House Museum Tours are not for everyone. To be clear, a house museum should not be confused with an art museum. Art museums typically "house" invaluable art work in a secure, climate controlled setting. A house museum is simply a setting where history actually took place, in this case, where Degas, living with his family, returned to his passion, experienced a rebirth and developed a new style of painting, he referred to as "Better Art" on the eve of the First Impressionist Show, marking the beginning of the Impressionist Movement of 1874! The house itself is the artifact, the site where Degas was so inspired that he began anew, launching the largest art revolution in the history of the art world! Was his inspiration simply the setting, here in the house? Perhaps, but we believe that his family played a vital role in his success and the new vision he acquired while here in New Orleans, the city of his Creole Mother! Hence, our story involves the humanities, the human approach into what inspired Degas to accomplish so much while here. I can assure you that not all the artwork in the house are prints. Also, I’m sorry you missed the monotypes, etchings and drawings that are part of our collection. The furnishings that are original to Degas’ time in the house, provided through family, are staged in an appropriate manner for the functionality chosen, clearly defining us as something other than a “furniture tour”, which we certainly do not represent ourselves to be. The film you refer to won 3 film festival awards and has been seen by millions of people worldwide! "Degas in New Orleans, A Creole Sojourn" has sold to universities, museums and other educational institutions, for classroom use and public performance of many types. This film showcased the opening of the “Degas and New Orleans” Exhibit at the Odruupgaard Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark! We are proud of our work, not only on the film, but in the tour itself. BTW, advisers to the project and it's history include the biographer of Degas, Henri Loyrette, former Director of the Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay, among others from the French Museum world. The French Ministry of Culture has distinguished the project, providing support for the authenticity which you question. Also, in 2009, the prestigious American Association of Museums generously provided guidance through their Museum Assessment Program, advice we have valued and gladly implemented. I’m sorry you left early, as the New Orleans letters of the artist, where the letters confirm the record of his mindset while here, his plans etc, are discussed in great detail, concerning his progress with the Cotton Office paintings and his transitional work that occurred here. Also, I must point out that the timeline of the artists’ life (located in the same gallery in which you watched the film)puts New Orleans and his work here into the context of his life and professional career, and we feel it’s the best representation we’ve witnessed to date on the subject. In fact, we’ve never had this comment before now from anyone in our 18 years of offering the tour! Certainly someone with your discriminating taste would lend a hint of how we may improve our product, which we are always open to....should you want to make constructive suggestions. Also, the repetition in the tour may have been due to people entering late, as we try to accommodate everyone even on New Year’s Day, a day when we only conducted one tour, do to the holiday. However, we are honored and blessed to have the great Grand-Nieces of Degas serve as our tour guides and docents, as this was their maternal family home and Degas was their great Grand-Uncle! I welcome you to call or email to offer your insights and experiences, as we are always open to improvement. Thanks for taking the tour, I only wish you would have spoken to someone here, who would have heard out your remarks AND refunded your money too! Happy New Year to you too, as you may have been the first (for 2014) of our many thousands of visitors who come here every year! Also, I challenge your statement about mis -statements of fact, especially without directing specifics to our tour guide, the descendant of the artist. who knows her history and that of the artist. We are proud of our history, all of which is documented, from our research in France and in New Orleans, along with a tremendous amount of oral family history. An academic certainly would share knowledge and openly question…..as much of our history is documented throughout numerous different resources, many of which are not readily available to the public. Through the years, we have welcomed tens of thousands of visitors here who fall in love with the house and the family, through the history presented in the tour. I'm sorry you're not one of them. If you are sincerely seeking a solution, please call for discussion and a refund. Thank you.
Written January 14, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ZinaMarie
New Orleans, LA20 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2013 • Friends
Apparently the part of the family that runs this Degas house was not the favorite side. Great stories about them separating a house, but there are NO original paintings in the house (I thought there would be) Also, the sum of the "tour" is a documentary that was made about Degas and then you tour the two houses. Not worth the money at all.
Written April 20, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

maestrad'arte
Atlanta, GA46 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2011 • Solo
Call ahead of time [--] to make a tour reservation at the Degas House located at 2306 Esplanade Ave. Taxis are inexpensive in New Orleans or it can be walked to from either the Frech Quarter or from NOLA. I recommend combining the museum and the Degas house for a day’s outing. The tour costs $12.50, lasts about an hour and starts with a short, well produced documentary on Degas’ time in New Orleans. Degas' great grand-niece, Joan, is the tour guide. She explains the architectural history of the Musson mansion, built in the early 1850s, later divided into two houses in1920s. The main Degas House, along with the second portion of the original Mansion (now a B&B), were purchased over time faithfully restored. The Degas House portion contains Degas’ bedroom and studio.

In 1872, Degas and his younger brother, René, stayed in Louisiana for 5 months with their mother’s brother, Michel Musson, who ran a cotton business.. During his visit Degas painted a number of works. Courtyard of a House in New Orleans (1872) shows part of the Musson’s home and possibly the room that served Degas a studio during his stay. The most important work resulting from his visit was Portraits in a Cotton Office (1873). The painting depicts Michael Musson sitting in the foreground, checking the cotton and René de Gas reading the paper. This was the first Degas work to be purchased by a museum. The Degas House displays a few Degas prints and some replicas of his paintings. NOLA (just up the street) has original Degas paintings.

Although I already knew a good bit about Degas, the tour provided me with a more intimate view into Degas’ family (like something from a soap opera) and influences. I especially enjoyed hearing how when Joan was young she used to bath her dolls in one of his cast bronze sculptures. I recommend this tour for anyone interested in art.
Written November 23, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

WMBGfoodlover
Williamsburg, VA74 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018
Found the tour, given by a direct descendant of Edgar Degas, very informative. Our tour guide was a wealth of information of the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Degas family. Enjoyed the documentary "Degas in New Orleans, A Creole Sojourn". The tour of the house, museum, gardens, studio, and neighborhood lasted about 2 1/2 hours. Within the house we toured the first floor and two of the bedrooms. Unfortunately, very little original furniture. Only a crib was known to be in the house. There are also no original works of art by Degas, just many reproductions. The museum consisted of many photos of the Degas family with written time line to accompany them. The grounds, though limited, are lovely. The studio was filled with art supplies and picture reproductions. The neighborhood tour showed a lot of architecture and history. If I were just rating the tour, I would give it a 5.
The breakfast was very disappointing. Nothing special. I must say that the food we received was well prepared. We had scramble eggs, bacon, grits, and a small dish of fresh fruit. However, we were offered no pastries, bagels, yogurt or cereal. For toast, we were shown the toaster with store bought bread in the wrapper. A big old fashioned urn held the coffee. You do not eat in the elegant dining room, but in a small room off of the kitchen. This created a problem as all of the staff had congregated in the kitchen, laughing and talking. The door between kitchen and eating area was left open for airflow. In the center of the table was a bowl of shriveled apples. Just not the special breakfast we had expected. The staff was unwelcoming and not very friendly. Felt like we bothering them.
This experience was not cheap. We paid the full price of $100 dollars for 2 plus a $5.25 service charge. Since returning home, found an offer on Travel Zoo of $59 for breakfast and tour for 2 good until April of 2019. Check it out.
Written August 10, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chelsea W
Conroe, TX40 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2013 • Friends
I really enjoy art history and Degas is one of my favorites. I was really looking forward to this tour but was a little disapointed. In the begining they have you sit and watch a long video that gives you background on Degas family. ( kinda felt like I coulda googled that) Then a short walk through the two halves of the houses. They point out cheap reproductions on the wall of what he was working on durning that time. I was so disapointed that there wernt original works. The stuff they had looked like framed posters. I really felt like I didnt need to be in that house which has been chopped up and moved around to learn these things. Then there was a short walking tour at the end that just gave history of the surrounding area. Overall I felt like it was overpriced and would tell a friend to skip it. Maybe if you were doing one of their paint nights it would be more fun.
Written February 23, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Edgar Degas House Creole Impressionist Tour - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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