Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
Hartford, CT 06103
The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, the oldest public art museum in the United States, was founded in 1842 by Daniel Wadsworth, one of the first important American patrons of the arts. Its collections of nearly 50,000 works of art span 5,000 years and feature the Morgan collection of Greek and Roman antiquities and European decorative arts; world-renowned baroque and surrealist paintings; an unsurpassed collection of Hudson River School landscapes; European and American Impressionist paintings; modernist masterpieces; the Serge Lifar collecton of Ballets Russes drawings and costumes; the George A. Gay collection of prints; the Wallace Nutting collection of American colonial furniture and decorative arts; the Samuel Colt firearms collection; costumes and textiles; African American art and artifacts; and contemporary art. Daniel Wadsworth planned to establish “a Gallery of Fine Arts,” but he was persuaded to establish an “atheneum,” a term used in the nineteenth-century for a cultural institution with a library, works of art and artifacts, devoted to history, literature, art and science.