Before even having taken the decision to alter his house so that it could become the current museum, Gustave Moreau had thought of keeping the rooms on the first floor, where he had lived happily with his parents, as a “small museum”. During the works in 1895 to construct the large studios on the second and third floors, the front part of the house was demolished, and with it, his mother’s former bedroom.
The furniture and the memorabilia were then arranged in the remaining rooms, the dining room and the sitting room - now a bedroom as Moreau still lived mainly in his studio. Gustave Moreau’s old bedroom was now a boudoir for the memorabilia of Alexandrine Dureux, his friend who had died prematurely, and whose furniture he had bought. The apartment bore no resemblance to the apartment Gustave Moreau’s parents had lived in; it was now a truly symbolic arrangement orchestrated by the artist around his own memories and those of his friends and family. It was designed for eternity, not for daily life.
The Association des Amis du Musée Gustave Moreau, the CGIP and the Friends of French Art contributed to the restoration of an identical copy of the painter’s apartment, which opened to the public in 1991. For the museum’s centenary, the Association des Amis du Musée also helped with a recreation of the cabinet de réception, open to the public since June 2003.