As the name suggests, the 1850 House seeks to preserve the environment of New Orleans in the year 1850. Classic local silverware, Old Paris porcelain, and John Slidell’s china are all highlights of the collection. Period decorative arts are what this museum does best.
The domestic approach
Unlike many history museums, this section of the Louisiana State Museum showcases the day-to-day life of upper-middle class residents of the Antebellum South. New Orleans was at its economic peak before the Civil War and the arts, decor, and furnishings hear all speak to that 19th century prosperity.
Like the nearby Cabildo, the 1850 House is part of a building with decidedly Spanish colonial roots. The Upper and Lower Pontalba Buildings were constructed in 1850 by the Baroness Micaela Almonester de Pontalba, whose father had strong connections to the neighboring Jackson Square landmarks, like the Cabildo, St. Louis Cathedral, and Presbytere.