Costume & Textiles

The Wadsworth Atheneum’s Costume and Textiles collection holds about 2,500 textile objects and 5,000 costumes and accessories, ranging in time from Coptic to Contemporary, in size from thimbles to tapestries, and representing every continent. Many objects cross curatorial lines, like African American story quilts, Native American baskets, and contemporary fiber art.

Some holdings are unique, like paper gowns created by contemporary artists for the Atheneum’s Paper Balls of 1936 and 1966. Our world-renowned Lifar collection of Ballets Russes paintings and drawings is supplemented by Ballets Russes costumes. Two seventeenth- and eighteenth-century rare and beautiful tapestry series tell the Story of Psyche and the Story of Jason. The Atheneum is also the depository for Cheney Brothers textiles and keeper of the Cheney legacy.

The Costume and Textile Department is supported in part by the efforts of the Costume & Textile Society, a member organization founded in 1984.

From Our Collection

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

Upcoming Events

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 [...]
2:30 pm Tour: Looking at Landscapes
Tour: Looking at Landscapes
Oct 26 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Tour: Looking at Landscapes: Free with admission; meet at the Information Desk by The Museum Shop.
Oct
29
Wed
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Oct 29 @ 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 [...]

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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