Free Museum Admission for Kids Summer 2023!

CT Summer at the Museum is back!

From July 1 to September 4, Connecticut children ages 18 and younger, plus one accompanying adult, can visit Hill-Stead Museum for free as part of the Connecticut Summer at the Museum program.*

No advance registration is required. Please check-in at the Museum Shop when you arrive.

*Does not apply to ticketed events such as From the PorchVisual & Performing Arts STEAM Academy, or the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival.

With the support of Connecticut Humanities and the Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of the Arts, which also receives support from the federal ARPA.

Hill-Stead Receives “We’re Pulling for You” Grant from SBM Charitable Foundation

Grant Affords East of the River Students Free Educational Opportunities

FARMINGTON, CT—November 30, 2022 

The SBM Charitable Foundation (SBMCF) has awarded Hill Stead a “We’re Pulling for You” grant for $34,466.94 in support of the “Art, Poetry, and History at Hill-Stead Museum” program for area students in East Hartford, Vernon, and Manchester. This program, in partnership with the SBM Charitable Foundation, has provided valuable Fine Arts, Language Arts, and World Languages themed educational programs for thousands of underserved students since 2006.

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Hill-Stead Museum Announces New Exhibition

Alfred Pope: An Evolution of Ingenuity

Dates: December 8, 2022 – May 30, 2023

Hill-Stead Museum
35 Mountain Road, Farmington, CT 06032.

Hill-Stead Museum is pleased to announce Alfred Pope: An Evolution of Ingenuity, an exhibition that presents the little-known and under-appreciated father of Hill-Stead’s founder, Theodate Pope Riddle. On view will be a group of paintings and drawings he once owned, which are now scattered around the world, as well as selected works on paper, objects, and ephemera from Hill-Stead’s collection and archives that illuminate this fascinating, generous individual. The exhibition opening will be on December 8, 2022, from 6-8 pm. Continue reading

Hill-Stead Museum Announces the First Recipient of Theodate Pope Riddle Women in Architecture and Design Award

Hill-Stead Museum is pleased to announce Deborah Berke, Founding Partner of Deborah Berke Partners and Dean and J.M. Hoppin Professor of Architecture at the Yale School of Architecture, as the recipient of the inaugural Theodate Pope Riddle Women in Architecture and Design Award. The award recognizes women who have made significant contributions to both design excellence and the advancement of women in the fields of architecture and design. Continue reading

Hill-Stead Receives Award from the Frankenthaler Climate Initiative

Hill-Stead Museum is honored to have been selected to receive an award from the Frankenthaler Climate Initiative, a grant-making program established by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation in collaboration with Environment & Culture Partners and RMI to catalyze climate change action in the visual arts. Funds will be used to complete the replacement of a failed HVAC chiller, installed in 2001, and the associated upgrading of pumps and temperature and humidity controls for the 1901 historic house. Funds will also be used to maximize energy savings measures, such as retrofitting all existing parking lot and exterior property lights with new LED lamps, featuring “dusk to dawn” operation. This project will help us reduce our carbon footprint. Additionally, operational costs will dramatically decrease. For instance, the energy-efficient new chiller is expected to operate at 70% of the cost of the old 2001 model, resulting in approximately 30% savings in energy costs.

Free Museum Admission for Kids!

CT Summer at the Museum is back!

From July 1 to September 5, Connecticut children ages 18 and younger, plus one accompanying adult, can visit Hill-Stead Museum for free as part of the Connecticut Summer at the Museum program.*

No advance registration is required. Please check-in at the Museum Shop when you arrive.

*Does not apply to ticketed events such as From the PorchVisual & Performing Arts STEAM Academy, or the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival.

Tupelo Press Announces Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Award

Tupelo Press is especially delighted to announce that our judge, Kimiko Hahn, has selected Why Misread a Cloud by Emily Carlson of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania as winner of the 2022 Sunken Garden Chapbook Poetry Award.  

Emily Carlson is a mother, a teacher, and the director of Art in the Garden, a liberatory, anti-racist, LGBTQA+ welcoming, and joy-centered program that addresses the impacts of childhood adversity and trauma. She’s the author of two chapbooks, Symphony No. 2 (Argos Books, 2015) and I Have a Teacher (The Center for Book Arts, 2016). Her poems have appeared in Aufgabe, Bloom, Denver Quarterly, Fence, jubilat, and other journals. With friends, she runs the Bonfire Reading Series. Emily lives with her partner and their three children in an intentional community centered around an urban garden in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Here’s what our contest judge, Kimiko Hahn, had to say about the winning chapbook:

In brief paragraphs that are neither prose nor prose poems, we meet a witness. A speaker who is not in her country of origin. A woman living in the air of violence. Militarization. And very occasionally, a mundane gesture–adding sugar to tea. The spareness creates a poetics that is, at once, elegantly stark and akin to journalism. We read between the lines because what is unsaid, makes this a poetry of image and association. What was once a broom for sweeping a kitchen, is used by a woman to sweep propaganda leaflets off the street. I find myself engaged in a place–to a place, really–where there are ballistic helmets. Yes, strange and strangely familiar. This is how art and dreams work: with the familiarity of knowing and the dissassociation that can allow insight.

Our sincere congratulations to Emily Carlson, whose book will be out in time for her debut reading this summer at the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival.

“The Tub” Featured in The Washington Post

Degas’ pastel The Tub is included in “Great Works, In Focus,” a series in the Washington Post featuring art critic Sebastian Smee’s favorite works in permanent collections around the United States

[The Tub] by Edgar Degas in the collection of the Hill-Stead Museum, a little-known museum in Farmington, Conn., is one of my favorite works in any American collection. At the most basic level, it is just a wonder to me that one human would respond to another by making something like this.Sebastian Smee
The Tub, Edgar Degas

Photo by Anne Day

Read the article in the Washington Post

Great Works in Focus, Sebastian Smee (Washington Post, November 17, 2021)

100 Great Works, In Focus, Sebastian Smee (Washington Post, February 22, 2022)

Visit Our Collection to learn more about Hill-Stead’s exceptional collection, including Impressionist masterpieces by Monet, Degas, Manet, Whistler & Cassatt; Japanese woodblock prints; and decorative arts that reflect the Pope family’s travels


Carriage Barn Renovation Wins AIA Award

Our Carriage Barn renovation won the AIA Connecticut 2021 Elizabeth Mills Brown Excellence Award!

We are thrilled to update this story with joyous news: Hill-Stead’s renovation has won the 2021 Elizabeth Mills Brown Excellence Award from the Connecticut Chapter of the American Institute of Architects!

We believe that our founder, the architect Theodate Pope Riddle (1867–1946), who was an AIA member, would be exceptionally pleased by this recognition of design excellence in the adaptation and reuse of the historic carriage barn structures.

Hill-Stead is grateful to our partners, Centerbrook Architects and Planners, and collaborators who joined this successful team, including BVH/Salas O’Brien, George Sexton Associates, and PAC Group. Further, we appreciate the crucial support of the Connecticut Department of Economic Community Development and the State Historic Preservation Office. Together, we proudly – using the words of the jury – “…made an already exciting place even more exciting.”

For a summary of the renovation, told in compelling fashion through concise description and a beautiful combination of before and after photographs, please see the publication created by Centerbrook.

Photographs by Derek Hayn/Centerbrook

Three Things to Know – January 14, 2021

In the spirit of our tech-driven times, I am honored to bring you the eighth installment of “Hill-Stead Museum’s Three Things to Know” to kick-off 2021.

Straight out of the starting gate, Hill-Stead was featured on Better Connecticut this week on CBS (Ch3/WFSB). We should all be proud to see our beloved cultural hub gaining such well-deserved visibility with 5:30 minutes of television airtime.

1 Winter on the Hill nature and arts program has been such a success that the program continues in 2021 with both in-person and virtual programming. In tribute to Martin Luther King Day, we are pleased to offer students a free one-hour program on January 18 at 11 am (grades 3–5) or 1 pm. (grades 6–8). The virtual session includes both independent and collaborative art-making led by Hill-Stead’s resident artist and education specialist, Rachel Cutler. During the engaging workshop, the students will reflect on Martin Luther King’s legacy by analyzing his words and dreams with those of Hill-Stead’s founder, Theodate Pope Riddle.

There will be back-to-back in-person sessions of Winter on the Hill at Hill-Stead on February 15 & 16 from 1-4 p.m. to coincide with President’s Day vacation time.

2 Hill-Stead is carrying on with its 2020 practice of joining hands with fellow arts organizations. This time, we join Capital Classics Theatre Company in presenting Contemporary Classics Conversations on Saturday, January 23, 2021, at 7:30 pm. The event is complimentary, and all are welcome to join us via Zoom for an insightful and lively evening of conversation inspired by Athol Fugard’s one-act play, Victory. Set in New South Africa, following the first free election in 1994, Victory features two adolescents discovered while robbing a home. Their discovery leads to a night of dialogue, revealing the hardships of living in apartheid-created poverty. Capital Classics Theatre Company artists will perform scene readings examining the despair of many young Black citizens in South Africa who see little prospect of a constructive future. Between excerpts, the audience will discuss the play’s themes and their relevance and resemblance to our world today.

3We are excited to announce Hill-Stead’s very first Walktail Hour on Saturday, January 30, from 3:30–5:30 pm. with an inclement weather date of Sunday, January 31 (same timing). Enjoy the Hill-Stead’s gorgeous grounds as you safely sip and stroll during the magical sunset hour while taking in the breathtaking views of our outdoor masterpiece. Admission will be free, with beverages available for purchase from The Liquorist on-site in their mobile bar (once a 1970’s horse trailer!). Imagine a beautiful sunset, a warm, delicious drink, stretching your legs, together with a loved one in the refreshing early evening air – the perfect end-of-day antidote to the winter blues!

Best always,