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

1594, Caravaggio 1731, Canaletto 1749, Panini 1773, Wright

Upcoming Events

Oct
25
Sat
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Oct 25 @ 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 [...]
2:30 pm Tour: Looking at Landscapes
Tour: Looking at Landscapes
Oct 25 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Tour: Looking at Landscapes: Free with admission; meet at the Information Desk by The Museum Shop.
Oct
26
Sun
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Oct 26 @ 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 [...]
2:00 pm Film: The Better Angels
Film: The Better Angels
Oct 26 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Film: The Better Angels
Film: The Better Angels: Beginning circa 1817, the story spans three years of Abraham Lincoln’s childhood in the harsh wilderness of Indiana. Learn about the [...]
2:00 pm Sunday Serenades: Mozart & MATRIX
Sunday Serenades: Mozart & MATRIX
Oct 26 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Sunday Serenades: Mozart & MATRIX
Frohawk Two Feathers, On the tragic folly of Holofernes, replayed at the American Ophir two millennia later. [detail], 2014, acrylic on deer hide, 54 x [...]

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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