Museum Hours:

Hours: Our Envisioning the Future! exhibit, featuring artifacts that belonged to P.T. Barnum, Tom Thumb and others, is open for viewing and tours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, year-round.

We are in the midst of installing a new exhibition in The Barnum Museum's Gallery. If you are planning to visit the Barnum Museum, it is advisable to call in advance to be sure of our open gallery hours (203) 331- 1104 ext. 100. We truly regret the inconvenience to our visitors, but for safety reasons we must close when work is taking place in certain areas of the gallery.

The exhibit is in the People's United Bank Gallery behind the historic Museum building.

Please note: The historic portion of the Museum building is closed during restoration and rehabilitation of the landmark structure. The Museum offices and exhibit gallery are now located in the People's United Bank Gallery (the modern wing at the rear of the historic building). Follow signs pointing to the entrance from the plaza. The doors are open only during gallery and program hours.

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Hours: Our Envisioning the Future! exhibit, featuring artifacts that belonged to P.T. Barnum, Tom Thumb and others, is open for viewing and tours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays, year-round.

We are in the midst of installing a new exhibition in The Barnum Museum's Gallery. If you are planning to visit the Barnum Museum, it is advisable to call in advance to be sure of our open gallery hours (203) 331- 1104 ext. 100. We truly regret the inconvenience to our visitors, but for safety reasons we must close when work is taking place in certain areas of the gallery.

The exhibit is in the People's United Bank Gallery behind the historic Museum building.

Please note: The historic portion of the Museum building is closed during restoration and rehabilitation of the landmark structure. The Museum offices and exhibit gallery are now located in the People's United Bank Gallery (the modern wing at the rear of the historic building). Follow signs pointing to the entrance from the plaza. The doors are open only during gallery and program hours.

 

Dear Friends,

Resiliency is defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. Over the last several years, the Barnum Museum in Bridgeport, Connecticut has demonstrated this trait multiple times. Despite the damage sustained by a tornado in 2010, the debilitating mark left by Hurricane Irene in 2011, or the destructive blow delivered by Super Storm Sandy in 2012, the Barnum Museum still stands as an historic landmark. Committed to ensuring that P.T. Barnum's vision is preserved, the Museum is proceeding with a major recovery and rebuilding effort which will benefit all those who love this national treasure. I invite you to be a part of this exciting time as we work to preserve the Barnum Legacy.

We are not just rebuilding the Barnum Museum; we are re-inventing this cherished institution as a champion of instructive entertainment with cutting-edge exhibits. We have retained the world-renowned museum designers, BRC Imagination Arts, credits include the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Kennedy Space Center, and we are poised to become one of New England's premier destinations. In the new museum, the recently closed Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Greatest Show on Earth, will live on in exhibitions and displays. The show that brought joy to generations of families will continue to entertain in the new Barnum Museum.

In the spirit of P.T. Barnum, known by many for his generosity and willingness to help others, I hope you will consider making a gift to support the preservation of one our country's leading legacies.

Your donation will allow us to continue the restoration of this cherished Museum and provide programming and operational support, ensuring that the Barnum Museum remains the vital community resource so many families have come to know and love.

Please become a part of this extraordinary effort by donating to the annual appeal. Your support is critical and so much appreciated.

My sincerest thanks,
Robert Cardillo
Barnum Museum Board Chair

Donate Online:


Donate by Credit Card:
If you would like to donate offline by credit card, please call (203) 331-1104 x 100. We accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover.

Donate Checks and Money Orders: Please mail checks and money orders to: The Barnum Museum, 820 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT 06604

The Barnum Museum is a charitable organization pursuant to section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Service. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

 

Barnum Museum receives $15,000 grant
from Fairfield County Community Foundation
to present a new exhibition, "Barnum's World of Wonders"

A brand-new exhibition, "Barnum's World of Wonders!", is being prepared in the museum's gallery, thanks to a $15,000 grant from the Fairfield County Community Foundation.

Scheduled to open to the public in mid-October, "Barnum's World of Wonders!" will provide the Museum with the opportunity to re-engage with the community and provide enriching educational events, activities and programs. Barnum's World of Wonders will feature many of the extraordinary items in the Barnum Museum's collection pertaining to P. T. Barnum and his associates, especially Bridgeport native Tom Thumb. Key artifacts such as carriages, Tom Thumb's miniature furniture, a centaur skeleton, and a FEJEE mermaid replica will be on continuous display. Most of the gallery space will be devoted to showcasing artifacts that help tell Barnum's story. ... Read More.

 

Barnum Museum receives National Endowment Grant for P. T. Barnum Historical Resources

Today history buffs, students, and researchers alike make extensive use of the Internet, and the Barnum Museum has long wanted to make its collections of P. T. Barnum material more widely accessible via the Internet. That wish will come true over the course of the next year and a half as the Museum, partnering with the Bridgeport Public Library's History Center, undertakes a cataloging and digitization project that will feature 1000 items in the to-be-created P. T. Barnum Digital Collection. The digital collection will be freely accessible to the public via the Connecticut Digital Archive (CTDA), which is hosted by the University of Connecticut and the Connecticut State Library. The records will also be discoverable through the Digital Public Library of America.

The project is funded with a matching grant of $190,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through their Humanities Collections References and Resources grants program. NEH grants are highly competitive, and proposed projects must justify the value of the material to the humanities, along with a detailed plan of how the project will be accomplished. "Receiving this grant is both an honor and an exciting opportunity to make our artifacts and archives accessible to people around the world," notes Kathleen Maher, Executive Director. "Each week we receive inquiries from people in distant places, both in the U. S. and faraway places like Australia, even the Fiji Islands. This project will in essence bring our outstanding collections to them." Read more . . .

 

From Museum People, a NEMA (New England Museum Association)-produced podcast that celebrates individuals connected with the museum field by highlighting their work, passions, opinions, and personalities. Download Podccast Episode Eight: Barnum Museum Executive Director Kathy Maher tells what it’s like to recover from multiple disasters of biblical proportions: Episode Eight Podcast

 


 

We invite you to join us as a Vision Member
and be a part of The Barnum Museum's history

Dear Friends,

In 1889, P.T. Barnum wrote, "The Noblest Art Is That Of Making Others Happy." Although written 125 years ago, these words still underscore The Barnum Museum's vision and mission. As one of the longest ongoing museums in the nation, the museum remains true to P.T. Barnum's original mission; 'Instructive Entertainment.' For over a century, families from around the world have visited The Barnum Museum and experienced wonder, curiosity, surprise and enrichment. With exhibits ranging from a 4,000 year-old mummy to the recently acquired 'Centaur of Tymfi,' the Museum continues to amaze and enthrall guests of all ages.

Today, the Museum is emerging from damage sustained from a series of natural disasters and forging exciting plans for the future. We are thrilled to be working with BRC Imagination Arts (the award winning, world renowned exhibit designers) to create new and vibrant exhibits that offer learning through exploration, imagination, and innovation, stimulating the power of creativity and sparking intellectual curiosity!

We invite you to join us as a Vision Member and be a part of The Barnum Museum's history! As a Vision Member, you will have the opportunity to be enthralled by the wonderful and compelling stories of Barnum's glorious past, stories that will capture your imagination and create memories to last a lifetime.

Vision Member benefits include:

  • Free admission to Museum programs.
  • A complimentary copy of P.T. Barnum's famous book, The Art of Money Getting.
  • Member's Only" previews of new exhibitions & events.
  • Private Behind-the-Scenes Tours with the Curator.
  • Annual "Evening with the Director" soiree.
  • Invitation to the Annual Meeting & Reception.

I hope you will consider joining as a Vision Member, and become part of The Barnum Museum legacy. Please know how important Museum members are to our on-going objective to offer enriching programs! Simply click here and conveniently join today! As you consider your membership, please also consider giving an extra gift in support of the Museum's continuing programs, or give a gift membership to a friend or family member. As always, your contribution is tax-deductible.

On behalf of The Barnum Museum, I sincerely thank you for your kindness and support, and we look forward to serving you with enriching experiences!

With much Gratitude,
Kathleen Maher
Executive Director

 

Please visit our Virtual Barnum Museum for Exhibits & Collection Videos!

 

 

 

The Barnum Museum | 820 Main Street Bridgeport, CT 06604 | phone: 203-331-1104 | fax: 203-331-0079

    

Images owned by The Barnum Museum, Bridgeport, CT.  ©The Barnum Museum - All Rights Reserved

Made possible in part by the
Fairfield County Community Foundation