The Wadsworth Atheneum was founded to share the wonders of art with the public. In the mid-nineteenth century, average citizens had little if no exposure to fine art, antiquities, or beautiful objects. Only the very wealthy purchased paintings or decorative arts, and then only for their own enjoyment. The Wadsworth has a rich tradition of firsts, leading the way in art collecting and embracing new art movements. It was the first American museum to acquire works by Caravaggio, Frederic Church, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miró, Piet Mondrian, Balthus, Joseph Cornell, and many others. Today our Hudson River School landscapes, Old Master paintings, modernist masterpieces, Meissen and Sevres porcelains, early American furniture and decorative arts, and MATRIX contemporary art shows are world-renowned.
To collect and share the world's greatest art.