Museum Hours:

The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m on Thursdays and Fridays.

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.

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!


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Jumbo: Marvel, Myth & Mascot
Presented by Tufts University
Featuring Andrew McClellan, Professor of Art History
Interim Chair of Romance Languages



Rogues and Renegades!
Political Corruption in Bridgeport: Scandal in the Park City

Sunday, November 9, 2014, 2:00 pm
Rob Sullivan, Author and Journalist

"My ambition is to be a poor politician" -P.T. Barnum

First incorporated in 1836, Bridgeport is notorious for a raucous political history that includes both liberating accomplishments and salacious scandals. Bridgeport has had its fair share of unlawful politicians but the political playground of the city has also seen invigorating leaders who fought hard to bring jobs, industries, and prosperity to the community. The city's most famous mayor was none other than the circus impresario, P.T. Barnum. Join author and reporter Rob Sullivan as he brings the Park City's fiery political history alive. No registration required. $5 Suggested Donation and free for museum members.

No registration required. $5.00 Suggested Donation and kids under 12 are free.


Wednesday, November 19 at 12:15 p.m.

At Home in Barnum's Iranistan:
A Gathering Place for Family, Friends, and Neighbors-Sneak Peek

presented Adrienne Saint-Pierre, The Barnum Museum Curator

Usually when the museum references P. T. Barnum's first mansion, Iranistan, the focus is on its dramatic and unusual architecture, as it was a truly unique structure in Bridgeport's history. This month's Sneak Peek program explores some different topics, such as learning about the people who lived there both upstairs and downstairs, neighbors and visitors and the interior design along with the furnishings. All of these details give us a sense of what it might have been like to live in this palatial home. The talk also celebrates the Barnum family's grand house-warming party, which was held on November 14, 1848, and is presented in conjunction with a recently opened, temporary exhibit about Iranistan, featuring a large-scale model.

No registration required. $3 Suggested Donation. Free for museum members.


Monday, December 1, 2014, 11 a.m. to noon

A Visit from St. Nicholas - 'Twas the Night Before Christmas - Story Reading

Reading by Bridgeport's First Lady, Sonya Finch.

Come to the for a wonderful reading of the classic Clement Clarke Moore's holiday tale. Written in 1822, Moore's poem continues to delight children of all ages. Holiday activities will accompany the story time and children will leave with their own antlers and red nose! We ask that everyone please bring a non-perishable food item to the Museum that day. All food donations will go to the Bridgeport Rescue Mission to help our Bridgeport families. This is a free program, but donations to the Museum are welcome.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 12:15 p.m.

Celebrate the Season at The Barnum Museum Sneak Peek

Did you know that 'Christmas' is really a wonderful creation of Victorian times? The tradition of the Christmas tree, gift-giving and joyous celebrations with family and friends begins in America in the mid 19th-century. Join us as we showcase some wonderful holiday costumes and finery that speak to the opulence of the holiday season!

No registration required. $3 Suggested Donation. Free for museum members and kids under 12.


Sunday, December 14, 2014, 2 p.m.

Celebrate the Season at The Barnum Museum

A wonderful diversion from holiday hustle and bustle, Celebrate the Season is a fascinating journey back in time to festivities of bygone days. Museum Director Kathy Maher will present the evolution of the tales and traditions of the Victorian Age Christmas.

No registration required. $5 Suggested Donation. Free for museum members and kids under 12.



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


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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