Museums and Galleries in Fairfield County Last Updated: January 2021
History, culture, technology, art – they’re all on display within the fabulous museums throughout Fairfield County. Experience all the fascinating things that embody our rich and diverse culture – for a few quiet hours, or over a peaceful weekend. Some are open to the public with restrictions on crowd size and some are offering virtual tours due to Covid-19. Check before you venture out on your journey of discovery.
Greenwich Historical Society, Greenwich
The Greenwich Historical Society features the circa 1730 National Historical Landmark Bush-Holley House, home of Connecticut’s first art colony – from 1890 to 1920, which was run as a boarding house and gathering place for artists, writers and editors. Hundreds of art students came to study with leading American Impressionists John Henry Twachtman, J. Alden Weir, Theodore Robinson and Childe Hassam. Guided tours of Bush-Holley House feature historic interiors related to the Bush and Holley families and an American Impressionist art collection. The Storehouse Gallery presents historically, and artistically significant exhibitions curated by foremost authorities on art and history. Exhibits focus on the art and artists of the Cos Cob art colony, museum collections and aspects of Greenwich history.
Bruce Museum, Greenwich
A jewel of a museum that is a destination for families and serious art and science devotees, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich lets you explore diverse art, cultural and natural science topics, showcasing more than a dozen changing exhibitions annually, live animal marine tank, lectures, educational workshops and museum store. Permanent galleries offer world-class minerals and environmental displays. Groups of eight or more require advance reservations.
Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, Norwalk
The Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk (c.1864), was built by renowned financier and railroad tycoon LeGrand Lockwood. The 62-room mansion, with its unparalleled architecture and interiors, illustrates magnificently the beauty and splendor of the Victorian Era, and is considered America's first chateau, with its stenciled walls, inlaid woodwork and spectacular skylit rotunda. A National Historic Landmark since 1971, it is regarded as one of the earliest and most significant Second Empire Style country houses in the United States. Socially-distant guided tours available.
Fairfield Museum & History Center, Fairfield
The Fairfield Museum & History Center uses the power of history, art and humanities to inspire the imagination. Rotating exhibitions range from photography to regional history to fascinating shows about tavern life and colonial justice, immigration, climate change, and war. The Victorian Cottage is a children’s zone where young people can dress up, construct a town and learn about local history. Families are invited to enjoy the museum's ongoing exhibition, Creating Community: Exploring 375 Years of Our Past and the annual Holiday Express Train Show. This dynamic cultural resource includes a permanent exhibition about local history, a research library, rental facilities and the Museum Shop.
Connecticut Air & Space Museum, Stratford
The Connecticut Air & Space Museum in Stratford displays vintage aircraft, memorabilia and artifacts, both inside and out, educating this generation and the next about the history, the founders, the workers and the companies from Connecticut devoted to this industry. Founded by George Gunther in 1998, the Center occupies Buildings 6 and 53 at the former Stratford Army Engine Plant complex. The museum, whose motto is: Honor, Preserve, Educate, is one of only a handful throughout the country to be located in a portion of an original World War II aircraft factory. Visitors must be 18 and over due to Army regulations. Call in advance to assure a guide is available for your visit.
Stamford Museum & Nature Center, Stamford
Discover, learn, and enjoy! Seasonal fun awaits you at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center. This 118-acre property is home to Heckscher Farm, an 18-acre working New England farm with heritage breeds of animals; Heckscher WILD!, featuring exotic animals from across the globe; Overbrook Nature Center; the Bendel Mansion, once the summer home of famed New York retailer Henri Bendel, which now houses galleries with changing exhibitions and pieces from the Museum’s permanent collection; an otter pond; and more than 80 acres of hiking trails. The Observatory is currently closed due to COVID-19.
MoCA Westport is dedicated to presenting diverse and innovative exhibitions featuring the work of established, emerging and locally impactful artists and curators. MoCA’s popular concert series features acclaimed musicians performing various genres in an intimate setting with a state-of-the-art sound system. The Academy@MoCA offers educational classes and instruction uniquely designed to bring people of all ages and talents an opportunity to develop new skills and experience the creative arts in meaningful ways. The organization’s additional programming includes lectures, artist talks and family art days that engage and inspire wide-reaching audiences throughout the year.
Carriage Barn Arts Center, New Canaan
The Carriage Barn Arts Center is home to the New Canaan Society for the Arts, Inc. The Center is located in Waveny Park in a 19th century stone barn, refurbished as a gallery and performing arts venue. Their mission is to support the work of local and regional artists, and to maintain the Carriage Barn as a cultural arts center, open to all members of our surrounding community and everyone who is interested in the arts.