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“See surroundings to Bath”
Review of American Museum

American Museum
Ranked #16 of 168 things to do in Bath
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Situated in a glorious Georgian manor house within 120 acres of wonderful grounds and stunning scenery, the American Museum in Britain is home to the finest collection of Americana outside of the United States. Visitors learn about the Founding Fathers, the pioneers West, Native Americans and the Slavery issue which lead to the Civil War in the new interactive American Heritage Exhibition. This precedes a series of attractive period rooms dating from colonial times until the eve of the Civil War. These rooms set the scene on domestic life throughout the exciting settlement and independence years of America and are accessible via a lift for those who have difficultly with the manor house stairs. The museum has an outstanding quilt collection which allows us to alter the permanent textile display from time to time (40-50 quilts are on show each year) and an inspiring Folk Art gallery intrigues visitors with whirligigs, cigar store Indians, weathervanes and even a Mohawk ship figurehead! Main season Mid-March to November, Tuesday -Sunday, 12-5pm. Cafe & Gardens open from 10.30am. Closed Mondays except during August and Bank Holidays. Christmas season Mid-November to Mid-December, Tuesday -Sunday, 12-4.30pm. Cafe open from 11am. Closed Mondays. Free shuttle bus from Bath city centre to the museum throughout afternoon, see website for schedule.
Reviewed April 15, 2013

Really an interesting museum with guides, that gave many informations. A wonderfull collection of quilts.

1  Thank Else Marie N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 8, 2013

Always a pleasure, such a stunning setting and such a well told story of American life. The herb shop is a lovely addition

Thank maryhalifax
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2013

We visited on a Sunday in April. They guy on the gate wanted more for a GiftAid entry fee which is counterintuitive (and plain wrong - all you should beed to do is sign a taxpayer declaration) so we took standard rate - but Art Pass got us 2 for 1 which is good. The displays inside are informative and interesting. The setting is wonderful - the view from the terrace is well worth a look.

But - The displays are clearly old and well worn - and frankly look pretty dated. The whole place badly needs a refurbishment and the displays brought up to date in terms of technology, display methodology etc to make the most of the artefacts, pictures, furniture, china and glass on display. For example, the computer controlling the 'design your own quilt' feature is very old and the touchscreen requires several jabs to work. It, like a lot of other things, needs renewing. the room settings could be wonderful - but need lighting to highlight what you are looking at - and interactive screens to explain detail, history and so on.The quilt display is fascinating and wonderful - but displayed on the kind of framework that Athena shops used to display pop posters! There needs to be better signage, descriptors, lighting and a more inviting approach to the displays. And the lavatories badly need an overhaul and redecoration - at the moment they resemble a facility in a seedy railway station.

This Museum has a lot to offer - it just needs to offer it a lot better. None of this is rocket science - the curators just need to take a look at some modern museums and update their ideas. If I was American I'd not be proud of this facility. Maybe the incoming ambassador might like to take a look and donate some clearly much-needed funds.

1  Thank ColinF6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
AmericanMuseum, Marketing Manager at American Museum, responded to this reviewResponded April 12, 2013

Thank you for your candid review. The decade leading up to our 50th anniversary in 2011 saw the completion of our first capital campaign for many years; this included installation of a lift, renovation of the basement level with modern interactives, a cafe extension, restoration of our Folk Art Gallery and renovation of our Coach House and Stables for use of education programmes, public events, weddings and facility hire (all of which adhered to restrictions in place with our Grade I listed building status).
We are now at the beginning of our next strategic plan which started this winter with the relaunch of our website and the introduction of state of the art display panels for our textiles to hang (the only way quilts can be presented). The plan will include upkeep such as redecoration of our toilet facilities, reinterpretation and modernization of the Period Rooms plus a huge gardens project.
Come back and see everything come to fruition over the next few years!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 5, 2013

Not too big to be overwhelming but very interesting. Exhibition now on the West and gangsters excellent and should not be missed. The grounds and views are lovely and there is a picnic area if you bring your own food.

1  Thank LewPontypridd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 30, 2013

I have been here twice now and loved it both times. Set in beautiful grounds this museum contains an enormous amount of information about the history of the United States of America. Dealing frankly with the history of the slave trade and the growth of the civil rights movement, it also has a section dealing with the way Native American Indians were treated, painting an honest if uncomfortable picture of the past. Great displays of shaker art and whole reproductions of plantation style rooms make it a joy to walk around this museum. It also has a fantastic display of quilts. Exhibitions are held on a regular basis and the cafe sells lovely food. There is a good shop. Will definitely visit again.

3  Thank Jane B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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