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 Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Current Exhibits

Satchmo: His Life in New Orleans

In an unprecedented collaboration between the Louis Armstrong House Museum in New York City and the Louisiana State Museum, this exhibition gives an extraordinary glimpse into Louis Armstrong’s life in New Orleans and his ensuing evolving relationship with the city after his departure. Part of the annual Satchmo Summerfest by Chevron, the exhibit will coincide with the 100th anniversary of Armstrong’s first professional gig at Henry Ponce’s, in New Orleans, in 1915. Click here for more information.

Time Takes a Toll: The Conservation of Musical Instruments

Anchored by “Fats” Domino’s white Steinway grand piano, which was inundated after Hurricane Katrina and has since been restored, this exhibit gives visitors the opportunity to view a signature selection of instruments owned and played by renowned, ground-breaking Louisiana musicians and to understand the issues involved in the maintenance and conservation of these artifacts. 

Soul of the South: Selections from the Gitter-Yelen Collection 

The exhibition has more than 60 pieces of contemporary Southern art by 34 self-taught artists. These two- and three-dimensional works of art defy labels. While this kind of art has been described as outsider, folk, naive, visionary or nontraditional, none of these terms adequately describes the art that Dr. Kurt Gitter and Alice Rae Yelen collected. Click here for more information. 

Visions of Excellence 

This exhibition presents the best photojournalism of 2016. A collection of more than 50 extraordinary images representing an extreme wide-angle view of world events with images of war, catastrophe, politics, sports, the arts, entertainment, nature and daily life. The photos were selected from more than 57,000 submissions to the 73rd Annual Pictures of the Year International competition, which is the oldest and most prestigious photojournalism program in the world.

Future Exhibitions

Prospect 4, November 2017

Women in Jazz, August 2017

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 Create 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.


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


Admission - Free

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


Current Exhibition: Visions of Excellence

"Visions of Excellence," a collection of 50 extraordinary images created by photojournalists from around the world, is now on view at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U. S. Mint. This exhibition presents an extreme wide-angle view of world events with images of war, catastrophe, politics, sports, the arts, entertainment, nature and daily life. The photos were selected from more than 57,000 submissions to the 73th Annual Pictures of the Year International competition, which is the oldest and most prestigious photojournalism program in the world. “We’re delighted to host "Visions of Excellence" at the Louisiana State Museum for the seventh time,” Louisiana’s Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser said. “This is a great opportunity for our community and visitors to see great photography in the best possible way – through a collection of large, masterfully printed images displayed inside one of New Orleans most historic settings.” The Louisiana State Museum is hosting this exhibit in partnership with the New Orleans Photo Alliance as part of PhotoNOLA, the annual citywide celebration of photography in the Crescent City. PhotoNOLA was launched by the New Orleans Photo Alliance in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Ave., New Orleans, is open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. "Visions of Excellence" will remain on view through Feb. 19. Admission is free.

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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