Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Does the museum have parking? A. Limited on-street parking can be found on side streets surrounding the museum. Use caution as some areas become tow zones at 3:30 pm on weekdays. There is no fee for on-street parking on weekends. Please check the Directions page for more information.
Q. Is the museum accessible via public transportation? A. Yes. For local passengers, there is a Connecticut Transit bus stop directly in front of the Atheneum at 600 Main St. For out-of-town travelers, AMTRAK and major bus lines serve downtown Hartford. Trains and buses arrive regularly at Union Station, approximately seven blocks from the museum. If you are so inclined, you may walk to the museum from Union Station by going four blocks east on Asylum Street. Then, turn right on Main Street and continue three blocks to the museum at 600 Main Street. See map. If you prefer, taxis are available by calling (860) 666-6666.
Q. Is the museum handicapped accessible? A. Yes. All galleries are wheelchair accessible—either via ramps or elevators. Visitors with physical challenges may use the Avery entrance on Atheneum Square North. There are several handicapped spots available on Main Street and additional handicapped parking in the Morgan Street Garage. By advance arrangement, ASL interpreters are available for hearing-impaired visitors. See map.
Q. Do you have wheelchairs? A. Yes. We have four wheelchairs for use on a first-come, first-served basis. They are located at the Avery entrance on Atheneum Square North.
Q. Do you allow strollers and baby backpacks in the museum? A. Yes, strollers and carriers that hold the baby to the front are allowed. However, to ensure the safety of the artwork, baby backpacks are not permitted. All galleries are accessible to strollers. You may keep your diaper bag with you in the museum.
Q: Do you have strollers? A. We do not have strollers for use in the museum, so please bring your own.
Q. Does the museum offer free admission? A. Yes. As part of our Community Engagement Initiative to provide greater community access to the museum, a variety of free general admission options are available (special fees excluded). See a complete listing of free admission options here. The museum is also free the second Saturday of every month from 10 am – 1 pm.
Q. What is the Atheneum famous for? A. We are best known for its large, fine collection of Hudson River School paintings. Originally acquired by museum founder and art patron Daniel Wadsworth, the collected works portray the pristine grandeur of the American wilderness in the nineteenth century. Other points of distinction are the Wadsworth’s leadership position among American museums; it was the first to acquire Surrealist masterpieces (by Dalí and de Chirico, among others), and Renaissance art by Caravaggio. In the 1930s, the museum expanded its support of the arts by sponsoring George Balanchine’s immigration to the United States, and staging the premiere of Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thomson’s opera, Four Saints in Three Acts.
Q. What are Atheneum works not to be missed? A. We suggest you be sure to view these Atheneum favorites: Sol LeWitt’s wall drawing in the Morgan Great Hall stairway; Fredric Edwin Church’s Coast Scene, Mount Desert, a masterpiece from the Hudson River School located in the Huntington Gallery; Milton Avery’s Husband and Wife in Avery Gallery on the third floor.
Q. Which famous artists are represented in the museum? A. Expect to find household names hanging on every wall at the Atheneum. Among others, the museum features: Picasso, Monet, Dalí, Van Gogh, Warhol, Miró, Matisse, Sargent, Hopper, Homer, Wyeth, Klimt, Caravaggio, de Chirico, LeWitt, Rauschenberg, Sherman, Stella, Oldenburg, Giacometti, and Albers.
Q. What hours does the Museum Cafe serve meals? A. The Museum Cafe is open Wednesday – Sunday from 11am – 3:30 pm.
Q. What are The Museum Shop’s hours? A. The Museum Shop is open during museum hours.
Q. What is in the Auerbach Art Library?A. The Auerbach Art Library, located right inside the museum’s main entrance, houses 40,000 volumes including scholarly monographs, exhibition catalogues, fine art periodicals, museum bulletins, and auction catalogues. It is one of the most comprehensive art historical collections in New England. Learn more here.
Q. Can books and materials be borrowed from the Auerbach Art Library? A. No. The Auerbach is a non-circulating reference library. However, members of the public are welcome to examine library materials on site during library hours.
Q. What are the hours of the Auerbach Art Library? A. The library is open to the public Wednesdays and Thursdays 11 am to 5 pm.
Q. Can the museum appraise a piece of artwork for me? A. The museum does not do monetary appraisals of artwork. You may visit this website or call (703) 478-2228 to get the name of an appraiser in your area.
Q. How do I arrange for a group tour? A. Please contact the Group Visits Coordinator Monday through Friday at (860) 838-4046. To receive a group discount your group must be larger than ten.
Q. Can I sketch in the galleries? A. Yes, if you follow guidelines. Visitors may sketch in the permanent collection galleries using a pencil and a 24″ x 30″ sketchpad. Please see a Protection Services Officer at any entrance for a sketching guideline form.
Q. Can I take photographs in the galleries? A. Still photography in the museum’s permanent collection galleries is permitted for personal, non-commercial use only. Flash, tripods, and video are not permitted in the galleries. Photography of works on loan to the museum is never allowed. View our full photography and filming guidelines. Any commercial photography or film activity must be approved in advance by the museum’s Communications Office and a fee will be applied; download an application here. Please note that museum facilities are not available for private, special occasion photo shoots.
Q. Do you accept artist submissions? A. Yes. Please review these instructions.