Collector’s Holiday Home Houses over 10,000 Teddy Bears

Ricky Lenart, an artist and resident of Uptown New Orleans, has an entire holiday home dedicated to his collection of teddy bears. Every room of his three-story house at Duffossat Street is filled with the soft toys, a total of 10,000 in number.

Lenart’s unusual hobby did not come cheap. He says that it would have actually been cheaper to give people $10,000 each. This year alone, he spent a total of $40,000 to $50,000 on decorations for his home. He says he has had a lifelong fascination of teddy bears, which prompted him to start his collection. Before he knew it, the bears were everywhere. The Teddy Bear House, as it is called, hosts guided tours for visitors in the holiday season. All the bears are put on display in various rooms, and are otherwise put in storage between seasons. The guided tour sessions are an hour-long and proceeds from ticket sales are donated to nonprofit organizations.

Photo ©Krewe of Armeinius

In order to get the house ready for the holiday tours, Lenart and his partner, Cornel Jeansonne, have been busy decorating for weeks. Jeansonne says that Lenart gives the orders, since he’s the artist. They put everything together, one room at a time. Each room has a special theme of its own. The salon, for instance, has old-fashioned teddy bears surrounding a Christmas Tree. The hallway has two dainty bears from a 1940’s department store window display. There are rooms fashioned after Goldilocks and the Three Bears,   the Teddy Bear Circus, the Teddy Bear Bakery, and even the Teddy Bear Mardi Gras room, complete with doubloons, beads and a crystal chandelier.

Photo ©Krewe of Armeinius

Lenart began his stuffed bear collection when he was in school, and he was affectionately nicknamed Ricky Bear. He was able to learn more about toys and how they are made when he moved to New Orleans in 1984 and worked at a Christmas fantasy store. Lenart’s collection includes over 10,000 bears, 2,500 bear ornaments, 200 bear art books, 800 Beanie Baby bears, bear fans, plates, liquor bottles and blankets. The man is all about teddy bears.

Photo ©Krewe of Armeinius

Photo ©Krewe of Armeinius

Photo ©Krewe of Armeinius 

Story via Nola Blog


   

Comments are closed.