The New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint

The New Orleans Jazz Museum celebrates jazz in the city where it was born.

Through dynamic interactive exhibits, multigenerational educational programming, research facilities and engaging musical performances, the music New Orleans made famous is explored in all its forms.

Housed in the historic Old U.S. Mint, strategically located at the intersection of the French Quarter and the Frenchmen Street live music corridor, the New Orleans Jazz Museum is in the heart of the city’s vibrant music scene.

Through partnerships with local, national and international educational institutions, the New Orleans Jazz Museum promotes the global understanding of jazz as one of the most innovative, historically pivotal musical art forms in world history. For more information, visit musicatthemint.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Current Exhibits

Pete Fountain: A Life Half-Fast

When Pete Fountain died Aug. 6, 2016, it was not only the passing of an icon, but also the end of the era. In tribute to this legendary icon, the Louisiana State Museum’s New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U. S. Mint presents Pete Fountain: A Life Half-Fast, an exhibition commemorating the life of Pete Fountain and his contributions to the world of music.

Women of Note

This exciting exhibit highlights the continuum of females playing jazz in New Orleans from the music's beginnings in the early 20th century to current jazz trends in the Crescent City today.  Via photos, instruments, records, and other artifacts, the exhibition features the better known and unjustly more obscure musicians from Lil Hardin Armstrong and Blue Lu Barker through Germaine Bazzle and The Boswell Sisters to Helen Gillet, Meschiya Lake, Marla Dixon, and Aurora Nealand.

Prospect 4

The fourth iteration of Prospect New Orleans’ international art exhibition, Prospect.4 (P.4), opened to the public at the New Orleans Jazz Museum on Saturday, November 18th, 2017. P.4 brings together 73 artists from North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and the European powers that colonized New Orleans, addressing issues of identity, displacement and cultural hybridity within the context of the celebration of the city’s Tricentennial. 

The theme, The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp, alludes to the city’s unique cultural landscape as a creative force. The artists featured were identified and selected by P.4 Artistic Director Trevor Schoonmaker and their placement at NOJM was determined in collaboration with NOJM’s curatorial team, taking into consideration how the museum could best complement the distinctive style of each individual contributor. These artists include Larry Achiampong, Michael Armitage, Satch Hoyt, Rashid Johnson, Darryl Montana, Rivane Neuenschwander, Dario Robleto, Hank Willis Thomas, Peter Williams, and the late Louis Armstrong. Learn more: prospectneworleans.org

Reel to Real: The Louis Armstrong Collages

Louis Armstrong, nicknamed "Satchmo," a trumpeter and singer born in New Orleans who went on to become one of America's most esteemed jazz musicians and - as its cultural ambassador - introduced jazz to the world, was also a visual artist whose creativity is currently on display in Reel-to-Real: Louis Armstrong Collages at the New Orleans Jazz Museum as a component of Prospect 4, New Orleans' annual, citywide art exhibition. In the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint, a collection of Armstrong's reel-to-reel tape boxes decorated with his handmade collages are on loan from the Louis Armstrong House Museum in Queens, N.Y., where the trumpeter and his wife Lucille lived from 1943 until his death in 1971.

The show includes 28 square tape boxes out of the more than 500-piece collection of boxes and scrapbooks Armstrong created over more than 20 years. His reel-to-reel tapes, recording performances, radio interviews, commentary and other audio, were often gifts to friends and family. Armstrong would glue newspaper clippings, photographs of fellow musicians and movie stars or other ephemera with sentimental quotations onto the box covers. Louis Armstrong’s reel to reel tape box collages have never been shown in New Orleans before the current display in the New Orleans Jazz Museum.

Our Collection

The New Orleans Jazz Museum is home to one of the foremost jazz collections in the world. Louis Armstrong’s first  cornet, Sidney Bechet’s soprano saxophone, Edward “Kid” Ory’s trombone, George Lewis’ clarinet, Warren “Baby” Dodds’ drum kit, performance costumes, photographs, original manuscripts, historic recordings and rare film footage are among the thousands of irreplaceable treasures stored here, but only a fraction of this collection is on display.

Help the World’s Premier Jazz Exhibit

The New Orleans Jazz Museum, in collaboration with the Louisiana Museum Foundation and other educational and program partners, has launched a fundraising campaign to develop the world’s premier jazz exhibition. This new exhibition is designed to highlight the tremendous influence of New Orleans Jazz on the cultural fabric of the world.

Make a Donation

The Louisiana Museum Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charitable organization whose mission is to administer funds and raise gifts grants and contributions for the Louisiana State Museum.

Contacts

Greg Lambousy, Director, 504.427.2190 

David Kunian, Curator of Music, 504.568.6796

Danny Kadar, Production Engineer, 504.568.2143

Kerianne Ellison, Administrative Assistant, 504.568.2569

Linda Potter, International Relations, 504.722.1183

Baylee Badawy, Web / Social Media, 216.372.8268

Admissions

Adults - $6
Students, senior citizens, active military - $5
Children 6 and under - Free
Groups of 15 or more (with reservations) - 20 percent discount
School groups meeting required criteria - Free
Purchase tickets for two or more museums - 20 percent discount
AAA membership discount (with card) - 10 percent discount
Sales Tax - 3 percent on all admissions

Individuals with special needs are requested to contact Museum staff members to make other arrangements.

Video

Current Exhibit

When Pete Fountain died Aug. 6, 2016, it was not only the passing of an icon, but also the end of the era. In tribute to this legendary icon, the Louisiana State Museum’s New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U. S. Mint presents Pete Fountain: A Life Half-Fast, an exhibition commemorating the life of Pete Fountain and his contributions to the world of music. The exhibition opens with a reception at the Old U.S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Ave., New Orleans, Thursday, March 30, at 6 p.m. The public is invited to this free opening.

Current Exhibit

Women of Note is an exhibition highlighting women in the evolution of Jazz from its beginnings in the early 20th century to today’s vibrant music scene. Some of New Orleans jazz’s most beloved figures are women, from Sweet Emma Barrett to Blue Lu Barker. Yet in many historical accounts women are relegated to the background, or absent altogether. This exhibition presents accomplished musicians from the early days of jazz to the present. It also explores how these women have navigated their way as women in a predominantly male musical culture.

Housing History within History

The Old U.S. Mint is a historical landmark in and of itself, offering a fitting home for the seminal collections of the New Orleans Jazz Museum.

Old U.S. MintWilliam Strickland of Philadelphia, who designed the Second Bank of the U.S., the Philadelphia Mint and the Tennessee State Capitol, designed the Old U.S. Mint as well. The simple, classic style of the building reflects the Greek Revival era. Completed in 1838, the Old U.S. Mint holds the distinct title of being the only mint to have produced both American and Confederate coinage.

After the Civil War, the Mint was the only one in the South to reopen, resuming full operations by 1879. In 1909, minting ceased, and the building was used as a federal prison during Prohibition, then by the Coast Guard until the federal government transferred it to the state in 1966. In 1981, the Mint opened to the public as a state museum site.

The Mint contains an excellent exhibit on making coins, with a Morgan & Orr coin press, a Troemner bullion scale and displays of coins minted on-site.

The Old U.S. Mint is wheelchair accessible. Individuals with special needs are requested to contact Museum staff to make arrangements.

Louisiana Historical Center

The Old U.S. Mint is also home to the Louisiana Historical Center, one of America's great archives. Since it opened in 1982, the Center has served thousands of researchers from around the world. Besides its priceless collections of colonial-era manuscripts and maps, the Louisiana Historical Center houses a wealth of primary and secondary source materials in a wide range of media.

The Center’s archives include colonial Louisiana documents, such as records of the French Superior Council (1714-1769) and the Spanish Judiciary (1769-1803), which are invaluable primary sources for researching Louisiana’s history. The general manuscript collections date from 1584 and feature the original 1724 Code Noir signed by Louis XV, as well as documents from the Battle of New Orleans, the War of 1812, the U.S.-Mexican War and the Civil War. More than a thousand maps and an extensive range of microfilm are also part of the collection.

The Louisiana Historical Center’s archives are open to anyone with an interest in Louisiana history and culture, from professional scholars to family genealogists. All services are free during regular hours or by appointment.

Virtual Tour

Take a virtual walking tour powered by Google Street View.

First Floor

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Second Floor

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Third Floor

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