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

Dec
21
Sun
11:00 am Jazz Brunch: The Steppin Out Trio ft. Pat Thompson
Jazz Brunch: The Steppin Out Tri…
Dec 21 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
Jazz Brunch: The Steppin Out Trio ft. Pat Thompson: Join us for a brunch buffet while listening to some of Hartford’s best live jazz music [...]
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Dec 21 @ 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
Dec 21 @ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Tour: Looking at Landscapes: Free with admission; meet at the Information Desk by The Museum Shop.
Dec
24
Wed
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Dec 24 @ 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 [...]
Dec
25
Thu
1:00 pm Tour: Highlights
Tour: Highlights
Dec 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 [...]

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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