We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Unexpected gem”

New Britain Museum of American Art
Ranked #1 of 16 things to do in New Britain
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Acknowledged as the first museum in the world dedicated solely to collecting American art, the NBMAA is renowned for its preeminent collection spanning three centuries of American history. The award-winning Chase Family Building, which opened in 2006 to critical and public acclaim, features 15 spacious galleries which showcase the permanent collection and upwards of 25 special exhibitions a year featuring American masters, emerging artists and private collections. Education and community outreach programs for all ages include docent-led school and adult tours, teacher services, studio classes and vacation programs, Art Happy Hour gallery talks, lectures, symposia, concerts, film, monthly First Friday jazz evenings, quarterly Museum After Dark parties for young professionals, and the annual Juneteenth celebration. Enjoy Café on the Park for a light lunch prepared by “Best Caterer in Connecticut” Jordan Caterers. Visit the Museum Shop for unique gifts. Drop by the “ArtLab” learning gallery with your little ones. Gems not to be missed include Thomas Hart Benton’s murals “The Arts of Life in America,” “The Cycle of Terror and Tragedy, September 11, 2001” by Graydon Parrish,” and Dale Chihuly’s “Blue and Beyond Blue” spectacular chandelier. Called “a destination for art lovers everywhere,” “first-class,” “a full-size, transparent temple of art, mixing New York ambience with Yankee ingenuity and all-American beauty,” the NBMAA is not to be missed.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children
Reviewed April 8, 2013

Dont miss this museum, even if you have to go out of your way to see it. The collection, history of the museum, architecture, and historybof the original building arecworth the visit. I am nt a big museum person - I'm always in and out of mseums faster than anyone I travel with - but am a repeat viitor and iccassiol member f this one. Enjoy the museum and the wonderful Walnut Hill Park.
The cafe at the museum is pretty good but go early. I have been there a couple times when they have sold out of many things on the small menu. There are better options for food in terms of quality, price, and variety elsewhere.
Museum is free on Saturday mornings. You can also get a free pass from the local library. Check it out in the choldren's section with a library card from a CT town.

Thank Vacati0nMania
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (288)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More languages

200 - 204 of 288 reviews

Reviewed March 27, 2013

What a gem of a museum. We stopped in to see the Toulouse Lautrec exhibit, which is amazing, and not to be missed, but we were even more thrilled by the variety of genres of art on dislpay. The size of the museum is manageable in a few hours. I wish that I would have had more time to explore the park gounds, and dine in the cafe. We loved the mural of solo cups, and the "guard " at the entrance. Even the artistic benches that are scattered throughout the museum, are a pleasure to see. There is a small, but very nice gift shop, and free off street parking in their lot.

Thank dawnno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 20, 2013

We went to museum not really knowing what to expect. We were very pleasantly surprised. A nice collection, across genres and well documented. You can get lost reading each description of every piece in the museum. Really more than one can see in an afternoon. We took the free tour and our docent was interesting and engaging. After the tour a tasty lunch in the cafe - a little pricey but good food - not the usual cafeteria fare. Staff was pleasant and helpful. Family memberships offer admission to other museums.

Thank dougs5685
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Located on a lovely street with well kept early 1900's houses, one feels good immediately upon parking in front of the museum. There is a public park behind the museum so the site is like an oasis within the city. There were lots of people strolling through the park on the Sunday afternoon of our visit. We saw the Toulouse Lautrec special exhibit which is not to be missed. The building itself is very natural light filled with oversized windows in the foyer and cafe and staircase to the second floor. The colored paper cup art on the wall of the staircase is something to marvel at. A visit to this museum will make you feel good long after you have left.
The soup and the sandwich we ate in the cafe was better than most in the Hartford/New Britain area. Once your order has been placed, you seat yourself at a table to admire the outdoors and your food and drink is brought to your table.
I have nothing negative to report.

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

Small, intimate, displays change frequently. Well worth a visit to anyone coming to the area. Maybe a half hour from Hartford.

Thank trixie5736
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed New Britain Museum of American Art also viewed


Been to New Britain Museum of American Art? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing