Colt Firearms Collection

The Elizabeth Hart Jarvis Colt Collection came to the Wadsworth Atheneum upon the death of Mrs. Colt in 1905.  A time capsule of Victorian Hartford, the collection includes American and European paintings and sculpture, the furnishings and contents of Armsmear—the mansion house built by Samuel Colt in 1857—and Colt’s personal collection of firearms, edged weapons and armor from around the world.  The latter gathering not only includes prototype weapons from Colt’s firearm company, but also rare and historic pieces given as gifts to Colonel Colt by czars, princes and sultans.  Highlights include the wooden model carved by Colt aboard ship in his youth that led him to the design of the perfect revolver, Moorish swords, Italian armor, and scarce examples of Colt’s own products, such as the Walker-Texas holster pistol—perhaps the most storied of all handguns on the Western Frontier.

Selected objects from this collection are on view in the American Decorative Arts Collection.


From Our Collection

Kelly, 1959 1844, Cole Fraser, 1991 Motherwell, 1995.4.1A-E

Upcoming Events

Apr
12
Sat
all-day 41st Hartford Youth Art Renaissance
41st Hartford Youth Art Renaissance
Apr 12 – May 18 all-day
41st Hartford Youth Art Renaissance: Join us to celebrate the 41st anniversary of the museum’s partnership with the Hartford Public School District to produce the [...]
Apr
16
Wed
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Apr 16 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Tour: Highlights: Join a docent for an exploration of the collection. Meet by The Museum Shop. Highlights Tours are offered daily at 1 pm, Wednesday [...]
Apr
17
Thu
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Apr 17 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Tour: Highlights: Join a docent for an exploration of the collection. Meet by The Museum Shop. Highlights Tours are offered daily at 1 pm, Wednesday [...]
Apr
18
Fri
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Apr 18 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Tour: Highlights: Join a docent for an exploration of the collection. Meet by The Museum Shop. Highlights Tours are offered daily at 1 pm, Wednesday [...]
Apr
19
Sat
1:00 pm CANCELED: Homeschoolers’ Series: An Introduction to Teaching Core Subjects through the Visual Arts
CANCELED: Homeschoolers’ Series:…
Apr 19 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
CANCELED: Saturday Homeschoolers’ Series: An Introduction to Teaching Core Subjects through the Visual Arts: Part three of a professional development series aimed at training homeschooling [...]

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Hours & Admission

Hours:
Wednesday – Friday: 11 am – 5 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm
First Thursdays: 11 am – 8 pm

Admission:
Members: Free
Adults: $10
Seniors (age 62+): $8
Students (age 13 & over or with college ID): $5
Children (age 12 & under): Free
First Thursdays (from 5-8 pm): $5