Founded in 1842 by Daniel Wadsworth, one of the first major art patrons in America, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford opened just two years later with only seventy-nine paintings and three sculptures. Today its entire collection exceeds 50,000 pieces – the work of active acquisitions by curators, patrons, and directors, who uphold Wadsworth’s commitment to collecting and supporting the work of living artists. Interestingly, Wadsworth’s original plan was to create a fine arts gallery, but he was persuaded at the time instead to establish an atheneum, a nineteenth-century term for a particular type of cultural institution. The Atheneum is America’s oldest continuously-operating public art museum.
Today, the museum’s collections cover 5,000 years. Within the collections are featured the Morgan collection of Greek and Roman antiquities and European decorative arts; world-class surrealist and baroque paintings; an inspired host of Hudson River School landscapes; American and European Impressionist paintings; masterpieces of the modernists, plus so much more.
2.Growth of the Collections
4.American Decorative Arts
Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut
- The Buildings, Photo: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
- Growth of the Collections, Photo: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
- European Art
- American Decorative Arts
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art