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Join Executive Director Kathleen Maher and the Barnum Museum’s staff and friends for regular updates on all things Barnum.

Happy 125th to the Barnum Museum!

Sunday, February 18, 2018 marks a historic moment for the Barnum Museum: our 125th birthday. On February 18, 1893 the iconic Barnum Institute of Science and History first opened its doors to the public, and we have been welcoming guests from around the globe ever since! Many people have asked over the years if “this

A Right-Hand Man

Phillip Carlyle, the character played by Zac Efron in The Greatest Showman, is a convenient foil for Barnum’s ambition in the film, a pair of feet on the ground while the showman’s head remains in the clouds (not to mention a convenient bank account). But was he a real person?

Kathy Maher talks about The Greatest Showman film

Kathy Maher, Executive Director of The Barnum Museum, talks about the film The Greatest Showman on the State of the ARTS Podcast.  Listen to it here! Podcast from Friday 12/22/17 on WPKN with host Richard Pheneger & Peggy Nelson.

The Greatest Show on Earth

Our hearts go out to Feld Entertainment, particularly the Greatest Show On Earth family, with this weekend’s announcement that the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus will close its tent doors in May 2017. In 1972, my parents took me to the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum to see my first Ringling Bros. & Barnum and

Mr. Brinley (1917-2016) : Thoughts from the Museum

In 1926, a nine year old boy and his father went to see the Christy Bros. Circus that rolled into their hometown of Wallingford, Connecticut. Mesmerized by the magic and excitement of the show, little Bill Brinley pronounced to his father that one day he would ‘have a circus of his own.’ How true these

A Book for Barnum’s Library

This past weekend I found an amazing book at the Westport Library Book Sale that I would have given to P.T. Barnum as a gift if he did not already have it in his library. With it’s beautiful decorative cover and handsome print illustrations, this book seems to be part of an annual series called Temperance Offerings, with various stories promoting

The Passing of a Legend and a Muse

This week I learned that one of my personal muses, Disney legend Jack Lindquist, passed away earlier this year.  You all know him, even if you don’t think you do – the first president of Disneyland, Jack created the iconic question: “…you just won the Super Bowl, what are you going to do next?” I had the

P.T. Barnum and The Irish

  P.T. Barnum; the name alone conjures ideas and imagination, preconceived notions of a man and philosophy.  Known to most of the world as the ‘Great American Showman‘, P.T. Barnum was so much more.  An entrepreneur, Bridgeport Mayor, Connecticut legislator, urban developer, community benefactor, philanthropist, emancipationist, lecturer, and author, Barnum was committed to the intellectual

The Barnum-Trump Connection

P.T.  Barnum – as relevant today as he was over 100 years ago.  As Executive Director of the Barnum Museum and someone who has dedicated many years of my career to the study of P.T. Barnum – I interestingly find I have something in common with Donald  Trump – his admiration of P.T. Barnum and

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