The term "Historical House Museum" is an important designation as historical houses are among the most numerous museums in the country and to be designated as one is an honor. Degas House is a museum.
Degas House itself is the artifact. That is why even though there are no original paintings and sculptures by Edgar Degas in the home, it still deserves the House Historical Museum designation. Degas House is where Edgar Degas lived with his maternal relatives, the Mussons in New Orleans, and is the only Edgar Degas home or studio in the world open to the public. In this house, Degas created 18 paintings, 4 drawings, and 5 letters. Degas House has been distinguished by the French Ministry of Culture and is included in the French National Order of Arts and Letters. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Edgar Degas was the only great French painter of the Impressionist generation who traveled to the United States and painted what he saw there (Christopher Benfey's Degas in New Orleans). Degas House on Esplanade Avenue in New Orleans is where he lived when his painting style changed to Impressionism, which he called "better art" in one of his letters. He left the city to return to France with a new sense of direction and resolve.
In historical house museums, historical furniture can be displayed in a way that reflects its original location and use in a home. Historic house museums have a variety of standards, including those of the International Council of Museums.
This type of museum can also be known as a "memory museum", which is a term used to suggest that the historic house museum contains a collection of the memory traces of the people who once lived there. It is often made up of the belongings and objects of the inhabitants: this approach is mainly concerned with authenticity. Some museums are organized around the person who lived there. This is certainly the case with Degas House. Reproductions of many of Degas's paintings adorn the walls throughout. The actual bedroom where he lived is shown during Edgar Degas House's Creole Impressionist tour and parts of the walls and floor as it existed when he lived there in 1872 - 1873 can be seen.
Other historical house museums can be partially or completely rebuilt to tell the story of a particular area, social class, or historical period. The "narrative" of the people who lived there guides this approach and dictates how it is completed. In each type of museum, visitors learn about previous inhabitants through an explanation and exploration of social history. During the Edgar Degas House Creole Impressionist Tour, held twice a day, visitors watch the documentary "Degas in New Orleans, a Creole Ranch" and learn about Edgar Degas, his family, the house, and even the Creole neighborhood during a walking tour.
Some degree of authenticity must also be considered in the restoration and creation of a historic house museum. The space must be authentic in terms of truly replicating and representing the way it was once kept in its original form and appears to have been untouched and left in time. There are three steps in declaring whether a space is authentic:
1. Proof of identity must be presented and certified by a credible individual
2. The attributes of the object or person must be compared with existing knowledge about it
3. Documentation and credentials should be used to back it up and declare if it is authentic.
Degas House has been distinguished by the French Ministry of Culture and is included in the National Order of Arts and Letters of France.
Wikipedia - Museum of the Historical House