Museum Hours:

The Museum's permanent collection of P.T. Barnum and Tom Thumb artifacts, carriages, artwork, and decorative arts are on view in Envisioning the Future!, located in the People's United Bank Gallery. Be sure to see our astonishing new acquisition, The Centaur of Tymfi--you will be speechless! From May 8 to August 30, 2014, the Museum will also host an exhibition of whimsical sculptures by Susan Tabachnick, The Lost and Found Circus: A Creative Balancing Act.

The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, now through August 30, 2014. Please note that our historic Museum building is closed due to storm damage from the F1 tornado that struck Bridgeport on June 24th, 2010. All exhibits are presented in the adjacent People's United Bank Gallery, at the rear of the historic building.


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Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 12:15 p.m.
Sneak Peeks continue with Created Characters: Barnum's Transformation of the Ordinary to the Extraordinary

The monthly Sneak Peek series continues with Created Characters: Barnum's Transformation of the Ordinary to the Extraordinary. This lunchtime program will feature artifacts that reveal the true stories behind Barnum's 'cast of characters' from the Feejee Mermaid to Tom Thumb. During this informal presentation, the Museum's Registrar, Melissa Houston, will explore some of the stories key to our understanding of P.T. Barnum, and using artifacts in the museum's collection, corroborate or bring to light what really happened. For example, was Albert the elephant really given to the Smithsonian? Did Barnum visit Waterloo with Tom Thumb? Was the Feejee mermaid the only mermaid Barnum ever exhibited? ... more information.


Pack up a carload and head to
Quassy Amusement Park & Waterpark
to help The Barnum Museum recovery

Quassy Amusement Park Poster 2014

CRAZY CUPS - The Crazy Cups is the newest ride at Quassy Amusement & Waterpark in Middlebury, Conn., introduced to guests in 2012.

Plan to enjoy a day at Quassy Amusement Park & Waterpark in Middlebury CT on Saturday, May 3 or Sunday, May 4, 2014. You will help The Barnum Museum during their time of restoration and recovery.

Take advantage of this fantastic offer online by 11 p.m. on Friday, May 2 and Quassy Amusement Park & Waterpark in Middlebury will donate $5 to The Barnum Museum in Bridgeport for each $35 Carload Pass purchased.

The Carload special is valid for up to 10 persons in your vehicle. Parking is included, and each person in the vehicle will receive an all-day ride wristband. This offer to benefit The Barnum Museum is valid online only. You may forward this invitation to family and friends for their participation.

Quassy Amusement Park & Waterpark is open noon to 6 p.m. both May 3 and May 4. There's entertainment, too! Purchase the Carload Special now! Click on this link to purchase!

The Barnum Museum children's craft activities during Quassy two-day carload promotion will include:

  • Create, color, and hand-bind your own flip book
  • Craft your own mythical creature
  • Design and make your own dragon tail
  • Use light boxes to examine x-rays

    The museum will have some fun, easy read-aloud and picture books at the booth to spur creativity.

    2131 Middlebury Rd.
    Middlebury CT 06762

    Visit for more information
    about Quassy Amusement Park & Waterpark.

    GALLEON - This ship doesn't float, but it does swing! Riders enjoy some high flying fun on the Galleon Pirate Ship at Quassy Amusement & Waterpark in Middlebury, Conn.
    SOARING ON THE WOODEN WARRIOR - The train on the Wooden Warrior roller coaster zips by in this photo from the incline on the award-winning ride. Wooden Warrior is at Quassy Amusement & Waterpark in Middlebury, Conn.


    May signals the arrival of the
    Lost and Found Circus in Bridgeport
    A display of whimsical sculptures
    by Susan Tabachnick

    Starting Thursday May 8, The Barnum Museum will feature an amazingly original display, Lost and Found Circus: A Creative Balancing Act by Bridgeport artist Susan Tabachnick. The exhibition features a circus-themed presentation of small sculptures created with found objects, many of them incorporating old industrial parts and small tools. The components are not altered in any way, but are assembled into whimsical sculptures suggestive of the lively energy and humor that characterizes the circus. The assemblages give "new life" to items originally made for other purposes. Tabachnick never forces the unions and she doesn't weld or glue the pieces together; they must fit or balance.

    The Thursday, Friday and Saturday hours at the museum are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. ... more information.

    Susan Tabachnick will run an Artist in Residence Workshop: Inventive Play on July 16 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at The Barnum Museum.

    The workshop will focus on creating small sculptures with found objects. Creativity begins with a good sense of "play" that leads to discovery and inventiveness. This workshop invites attendees to "play" with an assortment of interesting found objects to assemble and transform them into intriguing new objects, perhaps with their own whimsical personalities. Tabachnick will help guests experiment and see the possibilities for how things can fit together or balance. The museum will supply the found objects, but please feel free to bring your own objects, especially those made of metal, wood or ceramic. The workshop will be appropriate for adults and kids, ages 8 and up. $5 per family is the suggested donation. ... more information.


    'Humbug' or science? You be the judge
    Phyllis A.S. Boros | Connecticut Post | Hearst Connecticut Media Group

    04/09/14 -- Friend or foe, beast or brother, alien or human?

    These were the questions swirling around the People's United Bank Gallery on Tuesday, moments before Barnum Museum Executive Director Kathleen Maher slid back the drapes to reveal the newest "curiosity" to take up residency here.

    As the moment of truth arrived -- riding a crest of anticipation -- a chorus of oohhs and aahhs from the 50 or so amazed attendees followed.

    It was a fitting reaction since the ancient skeleton -- displayed in a huge, glass case -- could change the course of history. ... Full Article.

    Provided with permission | Credit to Hearst Connecticut Media Group


    For The Record: Barnum Museum by ION Media 1/2 TV WHPX New London


    Donate now to help the Barnum Museum Recovery!

    The historic structure of The Barnum Museum has been closed to the public since a tornado struck the City of Bridgeport on June 24, 2010 without warning and caused major damage to the building. The Museum's modern wing, People's United Bank Gallery, is open on a limited schedule: Thursdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and for programs and lectures at other times.

    You can help sustain this legacy of P. T. Barnum by donating to the Museum's restoration fund.

    Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the unique 1893 landmark is the only remaining structure in the country that is directly related to the great showman and icon of American entertainment history. Thank you for your generosity!

    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


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