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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 has been welcoming guests from around the globe ever since!

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.

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.’

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.

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?”

P.T. Barnum and the Irish

  Barnum has an extraordinary history of supporting the Irish – from employing Irish men and women in his American Museum in New York City during the 1840s, to actively supporting Irish Home Rule.

The Barnum-Trump Connection

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 that ‘Yes!’ – we all need a bit more P.T. Barnum in this

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