Set in New Orleans.
A Cotton Office in New Orleans, is an oil painting by Edgar Degas. Degas depicts the interior of his maternal uncle Michel Musson’s cotton firm in New Orleans. Musson, Degas’s brothers René and Achille, Musson’s son-in-law William Bell, and other associates of Musson are shown engaged in various business and leisure activities while raw cotton rests on a table in the middle of the office.
Degas created the painting in the early part of 1873 during an extended visit with family in New Orleans. His trip to New Orleans coincided with the political turbulence of Reconstruction. Degas exhibited the work at the 1876 Impressionist Exhibition in Paris.
Degas hoped to sell the painting to a textile manufacturer in Manchester but was unsuccessful. A Cotton Office in New Orleans was eventually sold in 1878 to the Municipal Museum in Pau, France. Degas was the only major French Impressionist to travel to the United States and paint US subject.
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