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Art Museums in Connecticut

Besides world-class fine art museums such as the Yale Center for British Art and the Wadsworth Atheneum, Connecticut boasts many artistic riches hidden in lesser-known cities and towns.

Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme CT
The original Florence Griswold Museum building, Old Lyme CT.

Sophisticated Connecticut boasts the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in its capital of Hartford, and the world-class museums of Yale University in New Haven, but also many fine museums in other parts of the state.

Connecticut Art Trail

Many of Connecticut's fine art museums are organized into the Connecticut Art Trail: seven museums charge no fee for admission; the other 14 charge various reasonable fees, but all are accessible using the Passport-Journal ($35). Here are the museums charging fees (with reduced fees for students, seniors & military. Kids under 13 are usually free). Click on the name for full admissions information:

Hill-Stead Museum
New Britain Museum of American Art
Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Lyman Allyn Art Museum
Stamford Museum & Nature Center
Florence Griswold Museum
Greenwich Historical Society
Bruce Museum
Ireland's Great Hunger Museum
Mattatuck Museum
William Benton Museum of Art
Slater Memorial Museum

New Haven Museums

Yale Center for British Art

The largest and most comprehensive collection of British art outside the UK—2000 paintings, 200 sculptures, and countless watercolors, drawings, prints and books. Masterpieces galore. Free admission. More...

Yale University Art Gallery

This is the oldest university art museum in North America with substantial holdings of European, African, Pre-Columbian, American, Ancient, and Asian art. With more than 185,000 works including Van Gogh's masterpiece The Night Café and paintings by Rubens, Hals, Manet, Picasso, and others. Free admission. More...

New London Museums

Lyman Allyn Art Museum

Founded by the daughter of a whaling-boat captain and businessman, this fine small museum boasts over 10,000 paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, furniture and decorative arts, with an emphasis on American art from the 18th through 20th centuries. More...

Old Lyme Museums

Florence Griswold Museum

Florence Griswold Museum, Old Lyme CT
New buildings of the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme CT.

Once a boarding house for American Impressionist painters, this gem of a museum focused on the history of American and Connecticut art from the 1700s to today, boasts works by Joseph and Anni Albers, Matilda Browne, Frederic E Church, Thomas Cole, Ralph Earl, Charles Ebert, Walker Evans, Childe Hassam, Sol LeWitt, Willard Metcalfe, Ammi Phillips, Henry Ward Ranger, John Henry Twachtman, Guy and Carleston Wiggins. More...

Hartford & Vicinity Museums

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

Hartford's great fine art museum has Greek and Roman antiquities, European decorative arts, baroque and surrealist paintings, Hudson River School landscapes, European and American Impressionist paintings, modernist masterpieces, drawings and costumes of the Ballets Russes, American colonial furniture and decorative arts, the Samuel Colt firearms collection, African-American art and artifacts, and contemporary art. More...

University of St Joseph Art Gallery

Besides high-quality changing exhibitions, the gallery's permanent ollection has particular strengths in 20th-century American paintings and European and American prints from the 15th century to the present. Free admission. More...

Davison Art Center, Wesleyen University

The center's collection of more than 24,000 works of art on paper, chiefly prints and photographs, is among the finest at any US university, including Old Master European, 17th- to 20th-century European, American and Japanese prints. Free admission. More...

Fairfield & Bridgeport Museums

Bellarmine Museum of Art

Fairfield University's Bellarmine Art Museum has a permanent collection of paintings, sculpture and decorative art including 10 paintings by Italian Renaissance and Baroque masters; historic plaster casts of ancient Greek and Roman works; pre-Columbian vessels, 19th-century South East Asian sculptures, African masks; and Celtic, Byzantine, Romanesque, and Medieval objects on loan from New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Free admission. More...

Housatonic Museum of Art

Housatonic Community College's collection of 4000 works by Milton Avery, Marc Chagall, Giorgio de Chirico, Christo, Gustav Klimt, Henri Matisse, Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Auguste Rodin and Robert Rauschenburg; photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson, Ansel Adams, Milton H Greene, Herb Ritts, Hans Bellmer, Carlotta Corpron, Cindy Sherman, Mark Seliger, Larry Silver, Philippe Halsman and Philip Jones Griffiths ; and sculptors Alexander Liberman, Lila Katzen and Elyn Zimmerman, are displayed in numerous campus buildings and the Sculpture Garden, as well as in the Burt Chernow Galleries which also host changing exhibits. Free admission. More...

Farmington Museums

Hill-Stead Museum

Housed in a Colonial Revival mansion (1901; map) designed by Theodate Pope Riddle, one of America's first female architects, the rich Hill-Stead collection includes French Impressionist paintings by Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, and Claude Monet; American artists Arthur Pope, Ellen Emmet Rand, Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, and James McNeill Whistler; European painters Eugène Carrière, Jozef Israëls and Pierre Puvis de Chavannes; and English painter William Nicholson, as well as significant collections of photographs, prints, decorative arts and antiques. More...

Storrs Museums

William Benton Museum of Art

"The Benton" is the Connecticut State Art Museum, on the campus of the University of Connecticut. Besides its finely-made changing exhibitions, The Benton always displays important works from its permanent collection, including those of Annibale Carracci, Mary Cassatt, Arthur Bowen Davies, Käthe Kollwitz, George Benjamin Luks, Reginald Marsh, Alonso Sanchez, and many others spanning the art of five centuries. Free, but $5 donation appreciated. More...

Wilton Museums

Weir Farm National Historic Site

Julian Alden Weir (1852-1919) studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris under Jean-Léon Gérôme, but later tired of the academic style and pioneered American Impressionism.

He turned his farm at Branchville, deep in the Connecticut countryside between Ridgefield and Wilton (map), into an artistic retreat where friends and fellow artists including Childe Hassam, Albert Pinkham Ryder, John Singer Sargent and John Twachtman. The farm, now a National Historic Site, preserves art and artifacts of Weir and his fellow artists. Free admission. More...

Art Hotels

Connecticut's three Delamar Hotels are particularly well-suited for art lovers: they all feature works of art—oils, giclées, prints—by local artists and on loan from noted galleries and museums. You'll see art in both the public rooms and guest rooms at these hotels convenient to many of the best museums:

Delamar Greenwich Harbor, Greenwich CT

Delamar Southport, Fairfield CT

Delamar West Hartford, West Hartford CT