Current Exhibitions

Children of the Elm City

On view November 24, 2021 through Winter 2021-22

This exhibit, portraying New Haven’s youngest residents, presents scenes of childhood that are both universal and distinctly New Haven. Through formal painted portraits, family photographs and school pictures, we see portrayals of children within the context of family, education and community over multiple generations and differing social and economic circumstances.

Strange Times: Downtown New Haven in the COVID Era 

On view October 13, 2021 through Winter 2021-22

New Haven is known as a bustling, diverse hubof students, workers, academics, businesspeople, tourists, and transients, homeless and wealthy alike. Exciting, and sometimes troubled, the city has never been considered quiet. COVID-19 changed all that.

In March 2020, New Haven resident Roderick Topping set out to casually document the community’s new reality, wandering quiet streets, snapping photos, focusing on the structures, outlines, topography, and people that blended into the surreal background of daily lives at the height of the pandemic. Topping’s captured moments are at once distant and relatable and depict a paradigm shift in the history of the Elm City.

(images) New Haven Green with Center Church to left, January 9, 2021; Speedy Wash & Wax, 286 Whalley Avenue, July 12, 2020; Intersection of Church and Crown Streets, July 18, 2021; Soul de Cuba Cafe, 283 Crown Street, July 21, 2021.




On view February 20 through Winter 2021-22

A post-industrial alternative history of a New Haven manufacturing icon, this new exhibit documents the underground history of the former New Haven Clock Company factory on Hamilton St. that survived urban renewal to house a variety of visual and performance artists, punk bands, skateboarders, and music and adult-entertainment clubs, such as the Brick N’ Wood International Café and Kurt’s 2, from the 1970s to the 2000s. Including original and archival video and photography and artifacts, the exhibit highlights some of the people, personalities and artistic endeavors once present in the building.

World-class industry, mimes, R&B, hardcore punk, avant garde local artists. If you ask around, practically everyone in New Haven knows a story about the old Clock Factory.

Learn More


Signs of the Time 


On view in the Museum’s upper rotunda, this exhibit features 19th– and 20th-century signs from Elm City businesses, selected from the permanent collection by Collections Manager Mary Christ. The assemblage will appeal to long-time residents and history buffs alike, prompting memories and eliciting comments on New Haven’s storied past.


From Clocks to Lollipops: Made in New Haven


clocks and lollipops

Elm City Pins Company Trade Card, circa 1876, lithograph on cardboard, Collection of New Haven Museum

From the Colonial era to the present day, New Haven has produced an astonishing variety of goods, including hardware, carriages, automobile parts and accessories, firearms, corsets, clocks, carpeting, rubber overshoes, clothing, musical instruments, silver-plated wares, candy, and more. Guest Curator Elizabeth Pratt Fox selected more than 100 objects, advertisements, trade cards, photographs and other items for this fascinating look at the production of consumer goods in New Haven over the past 300+ years. 



Form and Function: Decorative Arts from the Collection



Form and Function: Decorative Arts from the Collection highlights a small selection from the renown collections of historic design and decorative arts at The New Haven Museum. Currently celebrating its 150th anniversary, the New Haven Museum has long been a repository for some of Connecticut’s decorative arts treasures. If aficionados are familiar with the magnificent colonial furniture, silver, and paintings in the Museum’s collection, its important holdings of nineteenth- and twentieth-century objects are less well known. In curating a new installation, guest curator Benjamin Colman wanted to create unexpected dialogues between objects made at different times in different media. Spanning from baroque-furniture to contemporary design, the pieces on view are arranged into four thematic groups: Politics, Childhood, Business, and Eclectic Homes. These objects were made with functional forms to serve a useful purpose. Yet in their exuberant designs and bold style, they also demonstrate the spirit of the individuals who created them, and the generations of people who used them.

Mr. Colman is Assistant Curator of the Florence Griswold Museum

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