Edgar Degas House Debuts Dancer Statue

Sep 28, 2017

A bronze version of Edgar Degas' famed dancer greets visitors to the Esplanade Avenue Degas House.
Credit Eileen Fleming / WWNO

The New Orleans home where French impressionist  Edgar Degas lived for a year in the 19th century has unveiled a statue of one of the artist’s most iconic images.  

Picture a statue of a proud 14-year-old girl, head up, feet pointed in position, ready to dance. Chances are it’s the one Edgar Degas made in 1880.

Now a bronze version stands in front of the Degas House on Esplanade Avenue. It’s the only Degas studio and home in the world that’s open to the public.

Two of Degas’ great-grandnieces stood on either side as officials unveiled the statue in the front courtyard on Thursday, the 100th anniversary of Degas’ death.

One was Joan Prados, who’s been a tour guide at the house since 2003. She lives nearby. And she got her sister, Micey Moyer of Old Metairie, to also be a guide.

“It’s just so neat that it’s now known all over the world, and we get to tell the stories about the people that were here and what happened to Degas while he was here," said Moyer.

Prados says she’s come to appreciate the importance of having a world-famous artist capture her family’s life in New Orleans.

“When Degas came to visit this is where he came in New Orleans and did his work here and did 18 major works of art – mostly family members, what’s going on in the house around him," said Prados.

The Degas House will be included in events marking the city’s tricentennial next year.