Guided tours of the Pope Riddle House are offered Wednesday through Sunday, every hour on the hour from 10 am to 4 pm with the last tour at 3 pm; closed major holidays (Easter Sunday, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day).
Tickets may be purchased at the museum on a first-come, first-serve basis; no more than 16 people per tour.
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.
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
CT Summer at the Museum is part of Governor Lamont’s larger plan to use recovery funds to provide students and families with engaging summer enrichment and learning experiences in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
1 We are still flying high after our June galas. There are still tickets available to “Come Fly Away” on Saturday, July 10th! The evening will feature a Spanish-inspired, multi-course, al fresco dinner and wine pairings by Chef Tyler Anderson of Millwright’s as well as top-notch musical talent and a live auction by Board Member William O’Reilly, the evening’s esteemed auctioneer. Monet Circle guests will enjoy a champagne reception and a tethered balloon ride (weather permitting), taking in the stunning views of Hill-Stead’s landscape and the Farmington Valley. Bask in the glory of our outdoor masterpiece with the backdrop of rolling hills and a stunning sunset taking center stage.
2 Hill-Stead held an incredible ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, June 22! Together with Governor Lamont, Bank of America, the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and Hill-Stead’s Trustees & Board of Governors, the team announced to a standing-room-only audience that the ambitious, transformative renovation project to expand and elevate the institution has taken a major step forward with the completion of its Carriage Barns renovation. The announcement coincided with a lead gift of $500,000 from Bank of America—the largest corporate gift in the Museum’s history. We are ever grateful! Please continue to support Bringing Art to Life, as we launch the public phase of our $6.9 million capital & endowment campaign.
Governor Ned Lamont cuts the ribbon, inaugurating the new space
3 This summer, Hill-Stead and Farmington Continuing Education join together to offer a unique summer program for students entering grades 2 through 8 from Farmington, Hartford, New Britain, and Plainville. This dynamic experience offers opportunities for 250 students to experience bold, innovative, and engaging performing and visual arts and STEAM enrichment activities. This is made possible by a new initiative, our AccelerateCT Innovation Grant, through the State Department of Education. Spaces are filling up fast, so sign up your students today.
Summer on the Hill
Last but not least, we are proud to present our 2020 Annual Report, which encapsulates Hill-Stead’s many accomplishments from education initiatives to public programming and community outreach. For the second year in a row, Hill-Stead Museum’s Annual Report is online only in an effort to go green!
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Hill-Stead Museum Completes Its Carriage Barns Restoration!
Hill-Stead Museum executive director Dr. Anna Swinbourne announced at a June 22 ribbon-cutting ceremony, together with Governor Lamont, Bank of America, the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and Hill-Stead’s Trustees & Board of Governors that the ambitious transformative renovation project to expand and elevate the institution has taken a major step forward with the completion of its Carriage Barns renovation and the public launch of Bringing Art to Life, its $6.9 million capital & endowment campaign.
“Hill-Stead has become a thriving home for arts, culture, and education, welcoming visitors from across the state and around the globe,” said Governor Ned Lamont. “Spurred by the need to address rotating exhibitions in conversation with its world-class collection, more than a million visitors since its opening in 1947 and an increasingly robust schedule of public programs, the building project will add significant capacity to serve diverse audiences.”
The announcement coincides with a lead gift of $500,000 from Bank of America—the largest corporate gift in the Museum’s history. “Bank of America believes in the power of the arts to help communities thrive, educate and enrich our society and create greater cultural understanding,” said Joe Gianni, President, Bank of America of Greater Hartford. “We are proud to be part of Hill-Stead’s growth into a nationally recognized epicenter for arts and educational initiatives, and this transformative gift underscores the institution’s key role in our community.”
Renowned architect Centerbrook Architects & Planners, a longtime partner in enhancing the Museum’s facility, steered the renovation. Project leads were Chad Floyd, principal; and Charles Mueller, senior director and principal of Centerbrook; Paul Campanelli, Joseph Sosnicki, and Carl Cote of PAC Group LLC. Construction began in September 2020 and culminated in June 2021 with a dramatic new presence for the Museum which maintains its historic footprint.
Total project costs were approximated at $4.3 million to fund the renovation of its existing spaces; an additional $2.6 million will expand its endowment and support operations, exhibitions and programming. To date, the campaign has raised more than $5.7 million through gifts received and pledges as it now moves into its public phase, chaired by Marie O’Brien.
“We are elated by the swift progress of the campaign and grateful for the tremendous generosity of our donors,” said Dr. Swinbourne. “With Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s initial support of $1.75M along with Bank of America’s remarkable anchor gift, our public and private supporters have demonstrated their commitment to our vision for the future and the continued vitality of our beloved cultural hub. The state-of-the-art new space allows us to present compelling, rotating exhibitions and unique programming and to make Hill-Stead an even more vibrant center for meaningful learning experiences.”
Hill-Stead Museum received support for this project in part from the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program (CGS &10416c) administered by SHPO, an organization within the Department of Economic and Community Development. Eversource Energy was the purchaser of the state historic tax credits. Hill-Stead is deeply grateful for significant support from Caroline C. Edwards, Agnes Gund, Susan Gerbi McIlwain, Trumbull Family Foundation and William H. & Marianne Watson. Generous support has come from Hill-Stead’s Trustees & Board of Governors, as well as other philanthropic-minded families, corporate funders and foundations.
Decades of planning and incremental support from devoted donors underlie the project’s completion. Without altering its footprint, the historic Carriage Barns have now been transformed into an exhibition gallery and a new media space for topical and thought-provoking presentations. The renovation adds a 1,300 square-foot beautiful exhibition gallery, a new media space, a gorgeous terrace for public and private gatherings, a more welcoming public entrance and a thoughtfully-curated museum shop. The physical transformation will help preserve and empower Hill-Stead for generations to come with year-round exhibitions and public programming.
On the brink of its 75th anniversary, Hill-Stead Museum and its entire 152-acre campus received designation as a national historic landmark earlier this year. The Museum’s historic house has held this distinction since 1991. 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. A love poem to her parents, the Colonial Revival mansion with its 152 acres of gardens and grounds and a treasure trove of Impressionist paintings by Manet, Monet, Degas, Whistler, and Cassatt has welcomed over a million visitors since opening to the public in 1947. Hill-Stead now unveils its new renovation project to ensure its extraordinary legacy.
Hill-Stead held an incredible ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, June 22! Together with Governor Lamont, Bank of America, the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), and Hill-Stead’s Trustees & Board of Governors, the team announced to a standing-room-only audience that the ambitious, transformative renovation project to expand and elevate the institution has taken a major step forward with the completion of its Carriage Barns renovation.
The announcement coincided with a lead gift of $500,000 from Bank of America—the largest corporate gift in the Museum’s history. We are ever grateful!
Please continue to support Bringing Art to Life as we launch the public phase of our $6.9 million capital & endowment campaign.
Photographs by Bread & Beast Photographer
Bringing Art to Life – Hill-Stead’s 75th Anniversary Capital and Endowment Campaign
Please read our Case Statement validating the importance of this renovation to the future of Hill-Stead for generations to come!
1Come Fly Away with Us on June 11 & 12 and July 9 & 10 for a series of gala dinners to benefit Hill-Stead. Enjoy four evenings of delicious cultural cuisine from area chefs, inspired by Theodate Pope Riddle’s extensive travels to Europe and collection of souvenir postcards. These beautiful affairs include multi-course dinners with wine pairings, top-notch entertainment, and post-reception house tours. Select to sit at a safe distance among friends or with your guest at a stand-alone table. Bask in the glory of our outdoor masterpiece, where you’ll feel as though you are in some exotic locale with the backdrop of rolling hills and a stunning sunset taking center stage. Guests who purchase tickets at the Monet’s Circle level will enjoy a Champagne reception and a tethered balloon ride (weather permitting), taking in the stunning views of Hill-Stead’s landscape and the Farmington Valley. We will gratefully recognize them in the event program.
2 Building on last year’s extraordinary success, From the Porch, our multicultural performing arts series returns this summer. Join us for the season opener this coming Saturday, June 5th, for a day of discovery with a Juneteenth celebration featuring regional Black artists, organizations, and businesses. The experiential events will run as long as the weather holds and be open to audiences of all ages. In keeping with the Pope-Riddle family’s tradition of bringing literary, musical, and educational opportunities to the community,
Hill-Stead’s From the Porch not only brings arts to the public but acts as a fundraiser for the Museum to sustain the dynamic cultural destination into the future. From the Porch, programming is listed here on Hill-Stead’s Calendar.
3Join us for Young Poets Day of the Sunken Garden Poetry Festival featuring award-winning poet Chen Chen and the 2021 winners of Hill-Stead’s Fresh Voices Poetry Competition. This outstanding program offers students the opportunity to write and perform poems suitable for presentation and publication. Since 1993, student poets from all corners of Connecticut have entered this competition. The Fresh Voices Poetry Competition is open to all New England high school students. The Festival will take place on Hill-Stead’s expansive and picturesque West Lawn. Bring a blanket, chairs, and a picnic.
A special thanks to Hill-Stead’s Fresh Voices judges, sponsors, and donors, especially the Goldfarb Family and the Ellen Jean Goldfarb Memorial Charitable Trust, with additional support from Becky & Tom Trutter.
3And, it’s full steam ahead for our Visual & Performing Arts STEAM Academy, Hill-Stead’s collaborative grant, in partnership with Farmington Continuing Education, to co-host a camp from August 2–13, weekdays from 8 am to 3 pm. We are delighted to report that the state just approved it as a special initiative that funds summer programs to serve students, grades 2 through 8, from Farmington, Hartford, New Britain, and Plainville. Children from other locations are warmly welcome to join; however, the program will not be able to provide transportation from and to these additional locations. This dynamic program offers opportunities for students to experience bold, innovative, and engaging visual, performing arts, and STEAM enrichment activities. So, please sign up your students for an extraordinary experience today.
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I think my colleagues at Hill–Stead were taken aback by how eagerly I jumped on their suggestion of tethered hot air balloon rides for this year’s gala dinners. They had no idea that my all-time favorite wedding reception included these magical experiences. Nor did they know how badly I needed a reminder of the beautiful wonders of our world.
I am thrilled to share that they have turned this terrific idea into reality. For four evenings this summer, June 11 & 12 and July 9 & 10, one can attend the dinners and float above the treetops at Hill–Stead—savoring the landscape’s natural beauty and supporting the museum!
This feature will be one among many elements of an evening designed to nurture our senses of adventure and exoticism. Inspired by the European travels of our founder, Theodate Pope Riddle, the June nights will bring you France and July Spain – in terms of food and wine, and even entertainment (think Flamenco dancers and French fashion for sale!).
While much has changed at Hill–Stead in the past year, the fact that these dinners are our single biggest fundraiser has not. We, therefore, hope that you will consider joining us for a very memorable evening benefiting a great cause.
I look forward to seeing you!
For more details and ticket information, please click here.
Dr. Anna Swinbourne, Executive Director & CEO
Enjoy reading more about these talented students. Then, please join us at Hill-Stead on June 23, 2021, for Young Poets Day to experience their poetry in person. These impressive poets will open for author and award-winning national poet Chen Chen!
Eve Brouillard is currently a senior at Rockville High School, the trumpet section leader of the marching band, and a Humanities scholar. Eve spends a lot of time reading and writing, as well as creating more stories with friends through Dungeons and Dragons and other tabletop games. They love to seek inspiration by walking through outdoor trails as well as museums, taking photos along the way. Eve won an honorable mention in the 2019 Scholastic Art and Writing Contest and had two works published in the Connecticut Student Writer 2020 magazine. This year, they received the gold key in the Scholastic Awards for poetry. In the future, Eve hopes to continue writing and publishing their original poetry.
Nora Holmes is a rising senior at Hall High School where she also runs track and cross country. She has been recognized by NCTE, The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, The New York Times, and the Connecticut Student Writers project. When she is not writing or running, you can find her laughing at her own jokes and starting debates in her history classes.
JaMara “Mara” Jean is a rising senior who currently attends The Westover School. Mara has been writing poetry since she was in the 5th grade. During some time in the 7th grade, Mara was handpicked by a teacher to write, memorize, and perform at a Slam Poetry Show. When she began high school, she took part in her first production ever, Much Ado About Nothing. Since then, she’s acted in seven productions at her school and is currently the First Drama Head. She can thank her theatrical knowledge and ability to the many productions she has been in thus far and her poetic ability to both her teacher in 7th grade who encouraged her to write slam poetry and Thomas Juvan, who taught her everything she has learned about poetry at Westover.
Valli Pendyala is a sophomore at South Windsor High School. She is a member of her school’s mock trial and Model United Nations teams, and she is the president of the Sexuality and Gender Alliance. Valli is also a member of South Windsor Future Leaders in Politics. Over the summer, Valli plans to attend the National Student Leadership Conference Political Action & Public Policy program. Valli is passionate about participating in the political process and advocating for issues she is passionate about, both locally and nationally. In her spare time, Valli enjoys reading, spending time with her sister, and learning about history. She is currently working for her Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouts, and has previously earned her Silver Award. Valli plans to major in political science and economics.
Cindy Truong is a senior at Platt High School in Meriden and the Educational Center for the Arts, where she studies creative writing. She will be attending New York University this upcoming fall and plans to major in English. Cindy finds inspiration in her Vietnamese heritage and culture along with her Vietnamese-American experience. She’d like to give her biggest gratitude to her teachers and workshop at ECA, for being the place that nurtured her and allowed her to find her voice.
Hill-Stead Museum and Farmington Continuation Education join together to offer a unique summer camp experience for students, grades 2 through 8, from Farmington, Hartford, New Britain, and Plainville, August 2–13, weekdays from 8 am to 3 pm.
Please note that students from other locations are warmly welcome to join; however, the program will not be able to provide transportation from and to these additional locations.
This dynamic program offers opportunities for students to experience bold, innovative, and engaging visual, performing arts, and STEAM enrichment activities.
The morning begins at Hill-Stead with “screen-free” activities such as painting outdoors, writing poetry in the sunken garden, and dance & music classes in the Makeshift Theater. Students will also interact with Hill-Stead’s world-class collection of artworks, including French Impressionist paintings by Degas, Monet & Manet along with works by Whistler and Cassatt, Japanese woodblock prints, botanical prints by Albrecht Durer, etchings and drawings by notable artists.
Afternoons are spent at Farmington High School with a focus on performing arts such as dance, African drumming, Chinese strings/percussion instrumentation, and theater. Students will engage in art exploration through technology in activities like game design and animation, as well as traditional studio arts like clay, drawing, and painting.
Bus transportation between sites will be provided midday, along with lunch and a snack. Students should bring a water bottle.
Please note: The $25 registration fee for this program is contingent on the award of the AccelerateCT Innovation Grant through the State Department of Education. This fee is due upon registration!
Since the current program design is contingent on grant funding, should funding not be awarded, the program design may be altered, whereas an additional $125 registration fee will be due on July 1. Registered families will receive communication should funding not be awarded and the design of the program alters before additional fees are charged.