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“A window into the life of a grande dame of NOLA society...”

Germaine Wells Mardi Gras Museum
Ranked #166 of 380 things to do in New Orleans
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Find old Mardi Gras costumes and ball gowns dating back to the early 20th century.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

Happened to be dining at Arnaud's - great food - and during my conversation with my waiter about the history of the restaurant, he offered to take me up to see this baby museum...it is free, but you have to know to ask about it...it is very fast to walk through, but fascinating; the daughter of the owner was a force of nature in NOLA and left her photos and Mardi Gras costumes for display...lots of hats, tons of photos, and scary mannequins wearing ~ 10-15 costumes...worth a check out if you are interested in fashion/Mardi Gras/NOLA history...

3  Thank Yvonne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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13 - 17 of 21 reviews

Reviewed November 12, 2012

This is a free exhibit area above the restaurant. So, you need to go up a flight of stairs. The area has some lovely costumes and is nice to see. However the lighting is a bit dim, and the museum smells musty. This is worth seeing though, and doesn' take alot of time. It's a nice stop while walking around the Quarter in the evening.

2  Thank Travel J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2012

I would hesitate to call this a "museum." It's more like a showcase of vintage Mardi Gras gowns and costumes. Located upstairs from Arnaud's, this showcase can be difficult to find if you do not know where you're going. We had to ask a waiter to help us find it. You have to walk up the stairs, past all of the autographed celebrity pictures, and through a door that looks like it is locked.

The exhibit is pretty cool, but don't plan on spending more than 15 minutes checking it out. As I said, the "museum" is basically a collection of old Mardi Gras costumes, masks, etc. We were the only people looking at the exhibit and we actually felt a little creeped out...in a good way, of course. It felt like the mannequins were watching us as we walked around in complete silence. No music playing, no other voices, not even any noise coming from the restaurant downstairs.

This place is worth the time, but I wouldn't go out of my way to see it.

2  Thank jackman61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2012

This really was interesting. You found out all of the background of Mardi Gras and how it got started here in New Orleans. The Costumes are beautiful. It was fun to see what the old "throws" were like.

2  Thank Irish3404
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed January 6, 2012

While in New Orleans, you will probably see a lot of advertisements for the rather pricy Mardi Gras World, which is a warehouse of parade floats out near the port. Which is a shame, because upstairs in Arnaud's restaurant in the French Quarter is a small, free museum of Ms. Well's costumes from about 30 years of Queen of the city's Mardi Gras parades. The woman who owns Arnaud's held on to the collection and the maitre di very enthusiastically led us up the stairs when we asked where the museum was. It's just a few minutes to walk through, but a nice hidden gem for those who have the time and like those kind of rare finds.

3  Thank JSinDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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