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

Wilmarth, 1977 Riley, 1964 1855, Church 1862, Bierstadt

Upcoming Events

Sep
3
Wed
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Sep 3 @ 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 [...]
Sep
4
Thu
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Sep 4 @ 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 [...]
5:00 pm First Thursday: Sing the Blues
First Thursday: Sing the Blues
Sep 4 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm
First Thursday: Sing the Blues
First Thursday: Sing the Blues: End the summer on a high note! Enjoy live music by XY Eli Blues Band, a 3 in 30 tour [...]
8:00 pm Film: Le Week-End
Film: Le Week-End
Sep 4 @ 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Film: Le Week-End
Film: Le Week-End: In an attempt to rejuvenate their marriage, a British couple returns to Paris, the city in which they spent their honeymoon many [...]
Sep
5
Fri
12:00 pm Gallery Talk: Lines & Squares
Gallery Talk: Lines & Squares
Sep 5 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Gallery Talk: Lines & Squares
Piet Mondrian, Composition in Blue and White, 1935, oil on canvas Gallery Talk: Lines & Squares: Some of the simplest forms – lines and geometric [...]

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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