Don’t let the tiny store front fool you. Step inside M.S. Rau Antiques and you’ll enter a 30,000 sq. ft. treasure trove of glistening jewels, European furniture, crystal chandeliers and antique oddities. It’s a tradition Bill Rau and his family have carried on here in New Orleans for an entire century. “I do what I do because I was born and bred in it and I love it and I do it because it’s a labor of love, besides the name and I’ve been blessed to find a job that’s never going to work when I come here,” says Rau.
In terms of sales, M.S. Rau is the highest grossing antique store in all of North America, but its latest endeavor gives back to the community, by sharing some incredibly valuable treasures! The store has assembled an impressionist art exhibit, featuring multi-million dollar paintings by some of the world’s most famous artists. “The paintings come from all over the world,” says Rau. “We have paintings that were flown in from 5 different countries. Most of them were from clients of ours. About half of them are from our own personal collection, which most of them are for sale, but about half of them are not.”
Although it’s an impressionist exhibit, it covers a lot more than that, beginning with the beaux arts period and traveling all the way through to post-impressionism. Hanging on the walls you’ll find, “Monet’s, Renior’s, Van Gogh’s, Gaugin’s, Pasaro, Sicily,” says Rau. The likes of which you can see for free, just by stopping in the store.
If you’d like to keep a momento, Rau is selling a $250 coffee table book chronicling the entire impressionist period. In keeping with the mission to give back, 100% of proceeds will benefit young artists in our community. Who knows? Maybe a kid from New Orleans with be the next Van Gogh…
M.S. Rau Antiques is located at 630 Royal Street in the French Quarter