Who was Josephine?
Josephine Balfour was Estelle Musson Balfour de Gas’ first child, the daughter from Estelle’s first marriage to Joseph Davis Balfour. Josephine’s father, the nephew of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, died during the American Civil War in the Battle of Corinth in 1862, four weeks before she was born. Josephine was an infant when her mother fled to Paris with her in 1862 to escape the military occupation of New Orleans during the war. After returning to New Orleans, Josephine and her mother lived with her grandfather, Michel Musson, in this house [Degas House] that they rented for ten years.
When Degas visited New Orleans in the winter of 1872-1873, Josephine was a nine year-old child. She was the subject of Degas’s painting “The Pedicure” and one of the children in “Children on a Doorstep”. Unfortunately, Josephine fell victim to scarlet fever during an epidemic when she was only nineteen. Her death was a tragedy and many mourned her.
The mood of the Josephine Room is both playful and soothing, with an antique rocking horse and a four-poster queen-sized bed among cherry wood furnishings. The private bathroom features a classic Victorian claw-foot tub with shower.