This nationally accredited museum uses its exhibits and nationally significant collections to interpret the history of the region and the art of America with a concentration on Connecticut. An ongoing calendar of changing exhibitions keeps the museum new and alive.
Experience the dynamic, regional history exhibit, which brings to life the region’s workers, innovators and neighborhoods with interactive displays, oral histories, historic movie clips and a Conversations Table (one of only four in the United States). This exhibit is packed with hands-on activities designed to entertain while educating. Build a village and then compare it to what the early settlers actually built. Choose your possessions and compare them to the evaluations assigned in the 18th century. Work the production line and realize the stress of making a button in 30 seconds. Play “Risky Business,” an actual pinball games, but be sure to avoid the pitfalls of floods, fires and army contracts or you will go bankrupt! You will meet people from the past and hear their stories, but this is not just the story of the past. This is a story of America’s future.
Delight your senses in the permanent and changing art exhibitions featuring works by American artists including: Trumbull, Church, Kensett, Sage and Calder. Compare works from various eras of art beginning with the Colonial period through the present day. Easy-to-use interactive kiosks provide information about art history and the collection.
10,000 buttons are on display in a collection assembled by Warren F. Kaynor for the Waterbury Button Company more than 50 years ago. The exhibit includes buttons from all over the world many 18th and 19th century examples. Buttons worn by George Washington, buttons on display at the 1878 Paris Exposition, picture buttons, buttons made of Czechoslovakian glass, Japanese enamel, ivory, wood, china, pearls and jewels.
Convenient, free parking is located in the lots on Park Place.