Though Edgar Degas was born in Paris, both his mother, a Creole, and grandmother, were born in New Orleans. He spent the winter of 1872-73 in the Degas mansion, the home of his maternal relatives, the Musson family, prominent cotton brokers in New Orleans. He painted 18 paintings during his stay, including a very famous canvass, Cotton Exchange at New Orleans which shows his uncle’s office.
In celebration of the tricentennial of the founding of New Orleans, FHS is pleased to award a restoration grant to Degas House which also received the prestigious designation of “Maisons des Illustres” (Houses of the Illustrious) in 2018 from the French Ministry of Culture. It is only the second site to receive this distinction in the U.S. and the 4th outside of the French territories. A marker was presented by the French Ambassador to the U.S., Philippe Etienne, on July 15th, 2019.
This restoration project concerns the reproduction and installation of a cast-iron fence around the property in keeping with the original one in place in the 1870s. The fence will give the property a more authentic period look and tie together the two buildings that were separated in the 1920s.