This collection represents the history of material culture in America and New England. Noted pieces include chests made in the 17th century to modern works by Frank Lloyd Wright and Marcel Breuer. Elizabeth Hart Jarvis Colt donated Colt Firearms in 1905.
The museum celebrates Connecticut craftsmen like Samuel Loomis, who made Colchester/Norwich style furniture, and Eliphalet Chapin, perhaps the state’s most famous cabinetmaker of colonial times. The designs of George Nakashima are also in this collection.
Since its opening in 1844, the museum has hosted artists of its own time – from Frederic Church and Thomas Cole to Salvador Dalí, Andy Warhol, Piet Mondrian, and Sol LeWitt.
The museum’s Contemporary art collection features works created from 1945 to the present with strong examples of Color Field painting, Abstract Expressionism, Conceptual art, Pop art, and movements in sculpture, painting, photography, sculpture, and video.
The museum has supplemented its acquisitions from its MATRIX program—created in 1975—to include work by many past MATRIX artists, namely Duane Hanson, Robert Mapplethorpe, Christian Jankowski, Ellsworth Kelly, Glenn Ligon, Lorna Simpson, Lee Lozano, William Wegman, and Cindy Sherman.
The Amistad Center
The Amistad Center for Art & Culture was founded in 1987 and is a not-for-profit cultural arts organization that has collected 7,000 pieces that include art, artifacts, and popular culture objects that document African American heritage.
While The Amistad Center is located at the Atheneum, it is an independently incorporated 501 (c) 3 organization. Its goal is to celebrate and interpret African American humanities and arts and to educate the public about their importance and influence in American life.
The Museum Café is even open to non-visitors. In fact, if you want to dine in the café, but don’t have time to experience the galleries, just contact the staff at the Information Desk to receive complimentary admission to the café. It’s ideal for those who want a new lunch hangout downtown or crave a change from bringing lunch from home.
The Museum Café is open for lunch Wednesday through Sunday. Visitors will find soups, savory sandwiches, freshly prepared appetizers, healthy salads, and mouth-watering flat breads.
After your day at the museum, why not stop into the award-winning Museum Shop? Here, visitors will find handmade works by local artisans, books, items for the home and office, children’s gifts, handcrafted jewelry, paper products, plus other merchandise.
Read more: 25 Best Things to Do in Hartford, Connecticut.
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