New Orleans Jazz Museum
|Fate||Now in the Louisiana State Museum Jazz Collection.|
|Defunct||taken over by State Museum|
|Headquarters||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Key people||Doc Souchon, Danny Barker|
|Parent||New Orleans Jazz Club, Louisiana State Museum|
Plans for a museum commemorating New Orleans jazz were begun in the 1950s by a collaborative group of New Orleans jazz collectors and enthusiasts of the New Orleans Jazz Club (founded 1949). Key movers were Edmond "Doc" Souchon, Myra Menville, and Helen Arlt.
The museum opened in 1961 at 1017 Dumaine Street in the French Quarter with Clay Watson as curator. This location is maintained today as the site of the current Hotel St. Pierre, including commemorative plaques on the property.
The museum collection includes many instruments used by New Orleans jazz greats, perhaps most famously Louis Armstrong's first cornet. In 1969 the museum relocated to the Royal Sonesta Hotel. In the early 1970s the hotel changed ownership. The museum then relocated in 1973 to 833 Conti Street, but soon went bankrupt. The collection went in storage and was then donated to the Louisiana State Museum on September 15, 1977.
In the early 1980s the jazz collection reopened on the second floor of the New Orleans Mint building under the curatorship of Don Marquis. In addition to the museum exhibit, the collection donated by the New Orleans Jazz Club includes research material (including letters, photographs, and interviews) available to researchers by appointment.
The Old Mint Building was damaged by Hurricane Katrina at the end of August 2005, including some damage to the jazz collection. As of June 2007, conservation and repair work is ongoing; a reopening date has not yet been announced as of July 2009.
- New Orleans Jazz: A Family Album by Al Rose and Edmond Souchon, Third Edition, Louisiana State University Press, 1984