American Art

The Wadsworth Atheneum’s American Art collection contains approximately 1,000 paintings, 400 sculptures, and 4,000 works on paper. In addition to the museum’s celebrated Hudson River School paintings, collection highlights include 18th century portraits by Ralph Earl and John Singleton Copley, 19th century still lifes by the Peale family, late-19th century trompe l’oeil paintings, and American modernism, with important paintings by Marsden Hartley, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Andrew Wyeth.

The American sculpture collection features works by noted artists such as Horatio Greenough, Harriet Hosmer, Gaston Lachaise, Elie Nadelman, Paul Manship, and Alexander Calder.

The American Decorative arts collection uniquely embodies the history of material culture in New England and America. From elaborately carved and painted 17th century chests to the modern masterpieces of Marcel Breuer and Frank Lloyd Wright, the collection contains works ranging from the utilitarian to the luxurious. It also includes the museum’s collection of Colt Firearms, acquired from Elizabeth Hart Jarvis Colt in 1905.

Connecticut craftsmen are celebrated through fine examples of Samuel Loomis (1748-1814), maker of Colchester/Norwich style furniture, and Eliphalet Chapin (1741-1807), Connecticut’s most renowned colonial cabinetmaker. Unique forms come to life in the modern meets natural ethos designs of George Nakashima (1905-90).

Search the American Art Collection
Use this link to search for objects in the American Art collection, and this link to search for objects in the American Decorative Arts collection. Please note: digitizing artworks is an ongoing process, so this search is not representative of the museum’s entire collection. You can identify objects that are currently on view via the Object Description box, in the “Currently on view?” field.

Updates to our database are made weekly, so if you plan to visit the museum to see a specific work of art please call the Information Desk in advance of your visit at (860) 838-4100, Wednesday through Sunday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm to ensure availability.