August is almost over, but there’s still time to take advantage of the first-ever New Orleans Museum Month. All month, membership to any of the 15 participating institutions entitles one to free admission for two at any of the other participating spots. It’s a great way to get mileage out of an existing membership, or a perfect excuse to become a member at a local museum.
We’ve told you about some art museums to check out, as well as one half of a list of places great for history buffs. Today we’ll tell you about the other half of those history museums.
History Museums in New Orleans, Part 2
It’s hard not to notice this striking, church-like structure on the corner of Camp Street next to the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Besides being architecturally distinctive, the Richardsonian Romanesque-style building houses the second largest collection of Confederate Civil War items in the world and is the oldest continually active museum in Louisiana. The current special exhibit at the museum highlights the Red River Campaign, which was fought on land and in the waterways of North and Central Louisiana in 1864. Membership starts at $10 for students and $25 for individuals.
New Orleans and south Louisiana were home to one of the oldest and largest populations of free people of color in the antebellum period, and this historic house museum is dedicated to preserving their history. The Greek Revival residence on tree-lined Esplanade Avenue features a unique collection of art and artifacts telling the story and showcasing contributions of free people of color, including paintings, furniture and original manumission papers. Besides its unique collection, it’s a gorgeous home that’s often the site of weddings and other events. Membership starts at $35 for individuals and $75 for families.
Another museum that doubles as a picturesque event space, the Irish Cultural Museum in the French Quarter highlights contributions from the Irish in New Orleans. The museum’s current exhibit is Steinbeck: the Art of Fiction, which features artistic interpretations of the author’s works by sculptor Lew Aytes and photographer Robert Nease. The museum will also take part in an international famine commemoration event in November. Museum membership is usually free, but for Museum Month the museum is offering 15 percent off all retail and artwork with proof of membership elsewhere.