Louisiana State Museum


The Louisiana State Museum was founded in 1906 with a mission to collect, preserve, interpret and present the state’s rich history and diverse cultures. The Museum’s collection now totals more than 450,000 artifacts and works of art which provide an authentic experience of Louisiana to visitors from around the world while enhancing the quality of life for residents. Highlights include major collections of Louisiana painting and decorative arts from Colonial times to the present, costumes and ephemera illustrating the history of Carnival in Louisiana, and a world-recognized collection of musical instruments, recordings, sheet music and photographs illustrating the history of New Orleans jazz. An extensive document archive housed at the Louisiana Historical Center includes comprehensive judicial and civil records of French and Spanish colonial rule from 1718 to 1803. The “collection” includes a complex of seven historic French Quarter buildings that have become icons of New Orleans especially our flagship museums on Jackson Square –the Cabildo and Presbytere – which house permanent and changing exhibitions. The museum is also a statewide system of regional museums and museums showcasing special collections. Opened in 2006, the 70,000 square foot Baton Rouge museum features thematic exhibits on the diverse aspects of Louisiana history, industry and culture and is the largest facility in the system. A museum in rural Patterson, La. explores the history of Louisiana’s aviation and lumber industries. Combined exhibit and collection storage space totals approximately 295,000 square feet.