National Historic Landmark Designation

Hill-Stead Receives Site-Wide National Historic Landmark Designation

Hill-Stead Museum and its entire 152-acre campus, encompassing nine built structures and landscape features, was approved by the Secretary of the Interior as a National Historic Landmark on January 13, 2021.  The Museum’s 1901 historic house has held the distinction since 1991.

According to the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Park Service, Hill-Stead, best known for its world-class art and architecture, was among ten sites across the country added to the list. All received recognition as “historic properties of exceptional value to the nation.”

To be listed in the register, a property has to be at least 50 years old and meet at least one of the following criteria: significance in architecture; association with a person of importance; archaeological potential; or significant events in its history. History is a broad area of significance with many categories, including education and conservation.

“Hill-Stead is humbled and honored to be among these ten designated landmarks. Each reveals significant stories of our nation’s diverse heritage through art, architecture, and community,” says Dr. Anna Swinbourne, Hill-Stead’s Executive Director and CEO.


Video courtesy of Lev Verbitsky

One of the nation’s few remaining representations of early-20th-century country estates, Hill-Stead was the first architectural project of founder Theodate Pope Riddle (1867–1946), one of the first licensed female architects in the U.S., and an early proponent of historic preservation. She designed it for her parents, and the Colonial Revival mansion welcomed members of the Roosevelt Family, Mary Cassatt, and Henry James, who wrote in his 1907 book The American Scene that it was: “…. a great new house on a hilltop that overlooked the most composed of communities; a house apparently conceived—and with great felicity—on the lines of a magnified Mount Vernon.” She went on to design Westover School and Avon Old Farms School and rehabilitate Theodore Roosevelt’s Gramercy Park birthplace.

A lover of the natural world, Theodate Pope Riddle’s project started with the land, resulting in an 1898 farm complex inspired by her early experiences traveling with her parents on a Grand Tour of Europe from 1888-1889. During this time, she developed a deep empathy for animals, and a mere decade later, she would fulfill her dreams of creating an innovative working farm at Hill-Stead.

Today, Hill-Stead has brought together a community of over a million visitors since opening to the public in 1947. It continues to innovate as a beacon of creativity with live outdoor art performances, educational offerings, and public and private events.

The beloved house on the hill provides a rare opportunity to be surrounded by world-renowned art while enjoying the expansive estate—an outdoor masterpiece itself. Unique features include a Beatrix Farrand-designed sunken garden, stunning vistas, walking trails, woodlands, and meadows with sheep.

Morning Room

More inviting and intimate than the typical Museum, Hill-Stead gives its visitors a close-up, personal view of renowned masterpieces, textiles, and decorative arts in situ. The impressive artworks live in an intimate domestic setting, as intended by Impressionist artists of the period, who created works to be lived with, and that would enliven any interior. A treasure trove for Impressionist lovers, Hill-Stead’s holdings include paintings by Manet, Monet, Degas, Whistler, and Cassatt that rival artwork found in the world’s major art institutions. One of three museums in the nation with two examples of Monet’s Haystacks, Hill-Stead’s collection includes the artist’s stunning seascapes, an early scene of northern France, and an arresting Mediterranean view.<

The 1901 house and its period rooms are open for guided tours only Thursday through Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm. The grounds are open to the public daily from 7:30 am–5:30 pm.

Visit Hill-Stead!

Daily Tours

  • The 1901 Pope Riddle house and its period rooms are open for guided tours only.
  • Guided tours of the Pope Riddle House are offered Thursday through Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm with the last tour at 3 pm; beginning May 19, Hill-Stead will again be open for tours on Wednesdays. Tickets may be purchased at the museum.
  • Hill-Stead also offers Exclusive Private Tours on select Saturdays.
  • Hill-Stead’s grounds are open to the public daily from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. Dogs are welcome at Hill-Stead. Please note: They must wear a leash and stay under their owner’s control at all times.
  • To keep our Museum accessible to all, Hill-Stead Museum offers  AAA, Blue Star Museums, Museums for All, and Connecticut Art Trail Benefits.
  • Museum members are always free Not a member? Join now.
  • Hill-Stead welcomes groups of 10 or more with advance reservation. For more information, see Group Tours.
  • Hill-Stead now offers both in-person and online field trips  BOOK NOW
  • Please review our reopening plan

Admission

To keep our museum accessible to all, Hill-Stead participates in the Blue Star Museums, Museums for All, AAA and Connecticut Art Trail programs.

Museum Members are always free.  Not a Member?  JOIN NOW

Members  | FREE
Adults | $18
AAA & Seniors (62+) | $16
Students | $12
Children 6-12 | $10
Children under 6 | FREE

Museum Members are always FREE!
Not a Member?  JOIN NOW

Special Admission Programs

As a Blue Star Museum, Hill-Stead offers active-duty military families FREE admission from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and museums across America.

Hill-Stead is a part of the Museums for All program and offers FREE admission for up to four people to with the presentation of a SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. Museums for All is a cooperative initiative between Association of Children’s Museums and Institute of Museum and Library Services to offer a program that encourages families of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum habits.

Hill-Stead is a member of the Connecticut Art Trail.  Discover Connecticut’s artistic treasures with the Connecticut Art Trail Art Passport. The $25 Art Passport includes one admission to each of the 20 member museums per year. Explore diverse, quality collections rich in history and heritage, including European masterpieces, American Impressionism, ancient art and contemporary culture.

Please note: 
  •  There are no self-paced tours at this time
  • There are no school group visits at this time
  • Due to construction, we only have portable bathrooms available to the public onsite
  • The Museum Shop is closed

The safety of staff and visitors is our highest priority.

To ensure a safe, inspiring experience for all, we’ve adopted new health and safety protocols. You’ll find everything you need to know about your next visit below.

Social distancing best practices are in place. All persons entering the building will be required to wear a face mask covering at all times.

  • Always wear a facemask and make sure it fits over your nose and mouth
  • Practice safe social distancing. Please keep six feet between yourself and others (outside your party)
  • Please wash/sanitize your hands at our sanitizing stations
  • A limited number of visitors will be permitted at one time
  • A one-way flow of traffic will be required in the House
  • Contactless payment is available and encouraged
  • Please let us know if you or another member of your party have traveled outside of Connecticut in the past 14 days or​ experiencing fever, chills, cough, or any other symptoms

Daily House Tours are available Thursday through Sunday. Hill-Stead also offers Exclusive Private Tours on select Saturdays. beginning May 19, Hill-Stead will again be open for tours on Wednesdays. Our grounds are open every day and leashed dogs are welcome. Our Museum Shop is closed at this time.

Take a sneak peek at our transformative renovation project!

Construction update – December 1, 2020

Inside, outside, everywhere you look

The holidays aren’t slowing down our construction project at Hill-Stead—the past two weeks have been busy, noisy, dusty, and at times, a little smelly!

Woodworkers and painters are repairing the siding and trim along large swaths of the exterior. At the same time, the infrastructure and piping for sufficient basement drainage are being laid underneath the area known as the kitchen garden.

What is less visible to our visitors is the interior work, including the new, upgraded, and ADA-compliant restrooms. (We are very proud that our plans include more than double the number of bathrooms required by code.) For a central bank – of men, women, and family rooms – in the structure’s northwest corner, the new walls and plumbing have been put in place, and the ductwork is currently being installed.

Continue reading

In Honor of Veteran’s Day

We salute those who served!

We invite our Veterans to join us for a complimentary House Tour this weekend.

Please inform us upon arrival.  See additional tour information and hours below.


Additional Tour Information

Celebrate the season at Hill-Stead with The Nutcracker Reimagined brought to us by Ballet Theatre Company. Enjoy a costume exhibition, dance performances, and special events.

Special Holiday Tours of Through the Tulle will take place on  Saturdays & Sundays from 1 to 5 pm, between November 28 – December 20.
Tickets for these tours must be purchased in advance. Learn more

Our Public Tours and Exclusive Private Tours continue at other times.

Daily Tours

  • House tours take place Thursdays through Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm Learn more
  • Hill-Stead Guides lead tours on the hour—the last tour begins at 3 pm
  • Tours are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis
  • There may be no more than 10 people per tour
  • Tickets should be purchased upon arrival
  • Hill-Stead also offers Exclusive Private Tours with our curator by appointment
  • Hill-Stead’s gorgeous grounds and garden remain open to the public daily from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm
  • Hill-Stead is also hosting From the Porch, a performing arts series; and an afterschool workshop series—all of which are open to the public
  • Hill-Stead is now open for both in-person and online field trips.  Book yours now!
  • Please review Hill-Stead’s extensive safety measures to keep its visitors safe via the reopening plan

reopening plan


Admission

Members  | FREE
Adults | $18
AAA & Seniors (62+) | $16
Students | $12
Children 6-12 | $10
Children under 6 | FREE

Museum Members are always FREE!
Not a Member?  JOIN NOW

We recommend that all visitors make reservations in advance
RESERVE TICKETS

Special Admission Programs

As a Blue Star Museum, Hill-Stead offers active-duty military families FREE admission from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and museums across America.

Hill-Stead is a part of the Museums for All program and offers FREE admission for up to four people to with the presentation of a SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. Museums for All is a cooperative initiative between Association of Children’s Museums and Institute of Museum and Library Services to offer a signature access program that encourages families of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum habits.

Hill-Stead is a member of the Connecticut Art Trail.  Discover Connecticut’s artistic treasures with the Connecticut Art Trail Art Passport. The $25 Art Passport includes one admission to each of the 20 member museums per year. Explore diverse, quality collections rich in history and heritage, including European masterpieces, American Impressionism, ancient art and contemporary culture.

Please note: 
  •  There are no self-paced tours at this time.
  • There are no school group visits at this time.

The safety of staff and visitors is our highest priority.

To ensure a safe, inspiring experience for all, we’ve adopted new health and safety protocols. You’ll find everything you need to know about your next visit below.

Social distancing best practices are in place. All persons entering the building will be required to wear a face mask covering at all times.

  • Always wear a facemask and make sure it fits over your nose and mouth
  • Practice safe social distancing. Please keep six feet between yourself and others (outside your party)
  • Please wash/sanitize your hands at our sanitizing stations
  • A limited number of visitors will be permitted at one time
  • A one-way flow of traffic will be required in the House
  • Contactless payment is available and encouraged
  • Please let us know if you or another member of your party have traveled outside of Connecticut in the past 14 days or​ experiencing fever, chills, cough, or any other symptoms
Please note: 
  •  There are no self-paced tours at this time.
  • There are no school group visits at this time.

Enjoy The Nutcracker Reimagined brought to us by Ballet Theatre Company including a costume exhibition, dance performances and special events.
Public tours
and Exclusive Private Tours continue. Please review Hill-Stead’s extensive measures to keep its visitors safe via the reopening plan reopening plan

Construction update – November 10, 2020

Watching the progress on our construction this past week was nothing short of amazing! The symbiosis of destruction and creation continues to work its magic.

Down came the kitchen and the interior modifications made years ago, namely to install visitor bathrooms near the Makeshift Theater, which resulted in a massive pile of rubble, seen in this photograph below. (From this pile, we extracted and saved beams of the original wooden structure, which we plan to cut and craft into souvenirs for faithful donors and supporters.)

Continue reading

Celebrate the Season at Hill-Stead!

We are thrilled to open our doors once again for the public.

Celebrate the season at Hill-Stead with Through the Tulle a special costume exhibition brought to us by Ballet Theatre Company, during out Daily House Tours through January 10

Daily Tours

  • Visits to the house are by guided tour only and take place Thursdays through Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm Learn more
  • Hill-Stead Guides lead tours on the hour—the last tour begins 3 pm
  • Tours are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis
  • There may be no more than 16 people per tour
  • Tickets should be purchased upon arrival
  • Hill-Stead also offers Exclusive Private Tours with our curator by appointment
  • Hill-Stead’s gorgeous grounds and garden remain open to the public daily from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm
  • Hill-Stead is now open for both in-person and online field trips.  Book yours now!
  • Please review Hill-Stead’s extensive safety measures to keep its visitors safe via the reopening plan

Admission

Members  | FREE
Adults | $18
AAA & Seniors (62+) | $16
Students | $12
Children 6-12 | $10
Children under 6 | FREE

Museum Members are always FREE!
Not a Member?  JOIN NOW

We recommend that all visitors make reservations in advance
RESERVE TICKETS

Special Admission Programs

As a Blue Star Museum, Hill-Stead offers active-duty military families FREE admission from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and museums across America.

Hill-Stead is a part of the Museums for All program and offers FREE admission for up to four people to with the presentation of a SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. Museums for All is a cooperative initiative between Association of Children’s Museums and Institute of Museum and Library Services to offer a signature access program that encourages families of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum habits.

Hill-Stead is a member of the Connecticut Art Trail.  Discover Connecticut’s artistic treasures with the Connecticut Art Trail Art Passport. The $25 Art Passport includes one admission to each of the 20 member museums per year. Explore diverse, quality collections rich in history and heritage, including European masterpieces, American Impressionism, ancient art and contemporary culture.

Please note: 
  •  There are no self-paced tours at this time.
  • There are no school group visits at this time.
  • Due to construction, we only have portable bathrooms available to the public onsite.

The safety of staff and visitors is our highest priority.

To ensure a safe, inspiring experience for all, we’ve adopted new health and safety protocols. You’ll find everything you need to know about your next visit below.

Social distancing best practices are in place. All persons entering the building will be required to wear a face mask covering at all times.

  • Always wear a facemask and make sure it fits over your nose and mouth
  • Practice safe social distancing. Please keep six feet between yourself and others (outside your party)
  • Please wash/sanitize your hands at our sanitizing stations
  • A limited number of visitors will be permitted at one time
  • A one-way flow of traffic will be required in the House
  • Contactless payment is available and encouraged
  • Please let us know if you or another member of your party have traveled outside of Connecticut in the past 14 days or​ experiencing fever, chills, cough, or any other symptoms
Please note: 
  •  There are no self-paced tours at this time.
  • There are no school group visits at this time.
  • The Museum Shop is closed.

Hill-Stead will be closed to the general public on October 31

SOLD OUT – Halloween on the Hill
October 31, 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

Please note, Hill-Stead will be open to Halloween on the Hill ticket holder only on October 31.

Daily Tours

  • House tours take place Thursdays through Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm More info
  • Hill-Stead Guides lead tours on the hour—the last tour begins 3 pm
  • Tours are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis
  • There may be no more than 10 people per tour
  • Tickets should be purchased upon arrival
  • Hill-Stead also offers Exclusive Private Tours with our curator by appointment
  • Hill-Stead’s gorgeous grounds and garden remain open to the public daily from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm
  • Hill-Stead is also hosting From the Porch, a performing arts series; and an afterschool workshop series—all of which are open to the public
  • Hill-Stead is now open for both in-person and online field trips.  Book yours now!
  • Please review our reopening plan

Admission

Members  | FREE
Adults | $18
AAA & Seniors (62+) | $16
Students | $12
Children 6-12 | $10
Children under 6 | FREE

Museum Members are always FREE!
Not a Member?  JOIN NOW

We recommend that all visitors make reservations in advance
RESERVE TICKETS

Special Admission Programs

As a Blue Star Museum, Hill-Stead offers active-duty military families FREE admission from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and museums across America.

Hill-Stead is a part of the Museums for All program and offers FREE admission for up to four people to with the presentation of a SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. Museums for All is a cooperative initiative between Association of Children’s Museums and Institute of Museum and Library Services to offer a signature access program that encourages families of all backgrounds to visit museums regularly and build lifelong museum habits.

Hill-Stead is a member of the Connecticut Art Trail.  Discover Connecticut’s artistic treasures with the Connecticut Art Trail Art Passport. The $25 Art Passport includes one admission to each of the 20 member museums per year. Explore diverse, quality collections rich in history and heritage, including European masterpieces, American Impressionism, ancient art and contemporary culture.

Please note: 
  •  There are no self-paced tours at this time.
  • There are no school group visits at this time.

The safety of staff and visitors is our highest priority.

To ensure a safe, inspiring experience for all, we’ve adopted new health and safety protocols. You’ll find everything you need to know about your next visit below.

Social distancing best practices are in place. All persons entering the building will be required to wear a face mask covering at all times.

  • Always wear a facemask and make sure it fits over your nose and mouth
  • Practice safe social distancing. Please keep six feet between yourself and others (outside your party)
  • Please wash/sanitize your hands at our sanitizing stations
  • A limited number of visitors will be permitted at one time
  • A one-way flow of traffic will be required in the House
  • Contactless payment is available and encouraged
  • Please let us know if you or another member of your party have traveled outside of Connecticut in the past 14 days or​ experiencing fever, chills, cough, or any other symptoms
Please note: 
  •  There are no self-paced tours at this time.
  • There are no school group visits at this time.

Construction update – October 12, 2020

As we all know, sometimes one has to take things apart to create something new and beautiful!

We are delighted to share that we are now at that exciting stage at Hill-Stead. The exterior fencing—in our favorite shade of green—has gone up and been decorated with colorful renditions of the renovated spaces to come. And, the interior demolition has begun. In these photographs, you can see the transition that is occurring in the museum’s entryway. The paneling on the north wall has come down, revealing a first look at the ticket desk and gift shop! For the moment, the shop serves as central command for our site supervisor, Carl (pictured above in red coat here). Continue reading

Day 1

The big day is finally here!

From left to right: Dave Perbeck, Operations Director at Hill-Stead; Lavell Thompson, President of Hill-Stead’s Board of Governor’s; Frank Giordano and Chuck Mueller of Centerbrook Architects.

After a decade in the making, Hill-Stead launched our highly anticipated strategic endeavor to enhance our sustainability. As you can see from the photos, the construction phase of our Carriage Barn renovation kicked off this past Friday, September 18 with work on the Entry Hall, Gift Shop, and Media Space now underway.

Please stop by Hill-Stead to check on progress or visit these pages every two weeks as we continue to post project updates.

In the meantime, please read our Case Statement validating the importance of this renovation to the future of Hill-Stead for generations to come!

To learn more, please visit Bringing Art to Life – Hill-Stead’s 75th Anniversary Capital and Endowment Campaign.

Support our Capital and Endowment Campaign today by completing this pledge form.
PLEDGE TO GIVE

What Matters Most Photo Contest Winners

And the winners are…

Everyone has a story to tell and this contest provided a forum to capture unexpected outcomes, epiphanies of personal discovery, and moments of pure joy and connection. We invited photographers to submit their best work. The public voted on the submissions based on their ability to capture four themes:  Art In All Its Forms, Creature ComfortsSummertime Funand Victory Gardens. Because there were so many wonderful photos, we are also highlighting a staff pick for each category.

Winners receive $50, promotion of their photography via Hill-Stead’s website & social channels, a certificate for a personalized VIP Tour of Hill-Stead Museum, and bragging rights!


Art in All Its Forms

Loving Summer, Lauren Krupnikoff

WINNER: Loving Summer, Lauren Krupnikoff

My friend and I were by the water not too long ago, and we saw that the sun was starting to set. So we decided to try this cool idea of doing a heart with our hands surrounding the sun as it sets.

She Dances Anyway, Nora H.

STAFF PICK: She Dances Anyway, Nora H.

This is Kiersten. Her beloved dance studio was shut down and the recital she was starring in cancelled because of COVID. But she keeps dancing. She records dances in her backyard to songs like “Six Feet Apart.” She and I dance in the rain together and throw rocks into the river because we’re so angry at the way our lives have been put on pause. She dances in public parks with a mask. Because this is her art. And it is what matters most to her.”


Creature Comforts

Bobcat NeighborRobert Trafford

WINNER: Bobcat Neighbor, Robert Trafford

This fellow sat outside my just slider and just stared.

Serinity, Sofia A.

STAFF PICK:  Serinity, Sofia A.

Bird on the dock at Cozumel Island


Summertime Fun

Summer Croquet at Hill-Stead, David Ciriello

WINNER: Summer Croquet at Hill-Stead, David Ciriello

Our son and a friendly pup played and danced the night away under the sun as we played croquet and caught the sunset.”

Bronx Sprinkler, Barbara O.

STAFF PICK:  Bronx Sprinkler, Barbara O.

Summer in the city..near Yankee Stadium


Victory Gardens

Tulips in the Sunken Garden, Rachael Ann

WINNER: Tulips in the Sunken Garden, Rachael Ann

“Hill-Stead Museum and Sunken Garden, July 2019. Shot in the infrared range of light.”

Brighter Days,  Emi Z.

STAFF PICK:  Brighter Days, Emi Z.

As I wandered the sunflower maze with my friend after the hurricane, we noticed many of the sunflowers had been pushed over. This one however, stood tall and upright. It’s a great reminder of staying strong, positive and bright even when things in the world are dark and difficult. There are always brighter days ahead.”