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

Jumbo Arrives in America

On this week in 1882 Jumbo arrived in the United States.

From the Director: Spring 2018

It’s pretty clear around these parts that the first part of 2018 has been the story of The Greatest Showman.

No More Pink Teas

In celebration of Women’s History Month, on Sunday, March 25, the Barnum Museum will welcome Progressive-era suffrage historian Joanie DiMartino for “No More Pink Teas,” a talk about how national and Connecticut suffragists participated in a surge of militant political activism that led to women gaining the right to vote in 1920.

General Tom Thumb & the “Fairy Wedding”

Charles Stratton was born January 4, 1838 in Bridgeport, Connecticut to Sherwood Stratton and Cynthia Thompson. A large baby at about 9 pounds, midway through his first year he stopped growing and never grew more than 40-42 inches tall.

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.’

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