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 Events Calendar 

Programs at The Barnum Museum

All programs held in the People's United Bank Gallery unless otherwise indicated.
The Gallery is located at the rear of The Barnum Museum, 820 Main Street, Bridgeport, CT 06604


Envisioning the future! Exhibition Hours:

Our Envisioning the Future! exhibit, featuring artifacts that belonged to P.T. Barnum, Tom Thumb and others, is open for viewing and exploration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m on Thursdays and Fridays. This exhibit is located in the People's United Bank Gallery adjacent to the historic building.

Please note the historic Museum building is closed due to storm damage from the F1 tornado that struck Bridgeport on June 24th, 2010.

Admission to Envisioning the Future! is free. Suggested donation amounts or nominal admission fees are charged for most programs; please refer to our calendar of events for details.

Directions are available here. Street parking is available. If you have any questions, please contact or call (203) 331-1104 x 100.


Sunday, February 8 at 2 pm - Snow date February 22
Five Things Everyone Should Know About the Native Archaeology of Connecticut

Presented by the Connecticut State Archaeologist, Dr. Brian Jones.

The museum maintains an early history of collecting in the 1880s and 1890s which includes Native American artifacts. Dr. Jones will talk about and illustrate some of the Native American archaeology sites in Connecticut.

Connecticut provides an important laboratory for the global study of human adaptation to changing social and natural environments. Five key topics stand out that everyone in Connecticut should understand about the past.

  • the colonization of an uninhabited Ice Age landscape
  • adaptation to post-glacial habitats
  • the development of formalized exchange networks
  • strategies for feeding a growing population
  • the development of politically complex societies.

An examination of these topics indicates that the archaeology of the state provides fertile ground for understanding not only Native American ways if living, but the social, economic and political challenges shared by many societies around the globe.

Brian Jones became Connecticut's State Archaeologist in July, 2014. Dr. Jones worked as an archaeologist since 1992 for AHS/PAST Inc., the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center and Archaeological Services at UMass Amherst. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology at UConn in 1998. Jones has a broad background in New England archaeology that spans the Paleoindian period through the industrial era. Jones has traveled extensively in Southeast Asia and lived and studied in Germany for three years. Jones lives in Glastonbury with his wife and two high school-aged children.

$5 suggested donation, members free.


Friday, February 13 - 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Side Show P.T. Barnum Style?

Kathleen Maher, Executive Director of The Barnum Museum in Bridgeport will share insight into the side show elements Barnum used so effectively during his years presenting the circus.

Location: Yale School of Art, 1156 Chapel St., New Haven, Room G32. This event is held as part of the school's Side Show exhibition. It is free and open to the public. Contact the Chapel Street Gallery for questions, parking suggestions or call 203-432-2600.

"Side Show is an exhibition investigating the intersection of fine art and the historical popular entertainment world of the carnival sideshow, in which the bodily display of the abnormal, human or animal, is the focus of each piece," explained Lisa Kereszi, Exhibit Curator at the Yale School of Art. "Sideshows existed just beyond or to the side of the mainstream carnival or circus midway, offering a spectacle of oddity in a makeshift tent. It would feature human oddities, "freaks," such as bearded women, the fat lady, the skeleton man, the conjoined, or 'Siamese' twins. Sideshows were a form of popular entertainment for the masses looking to forget their worries, cares, fears and problems.


Step right up and see the “Side Show”
at the Yale School of Art

The Yale School of Art (YSA) launches its 2015 season at the 32 Edgewood Avenue Gallery with “Side Show,” an exhibition devoted to the “believe it or not” world of the American sideshow, in which display of the abnormal and bizarre was the focus of the event.

On view January 13–Mar. 20, 2015
, the exhibition is free and open to the public Tuesdays–Sundays from noon to 6 p.m.

“Side Show” presents more than 70 works by 29 artists — including Diane Arbus, Otto Dix, John Waters, and Riva Lehrer — ranging from the mid-18th century to the present.

The show includes original sideshow banners, props, promotional cards, photographs, historical ephemera, and works of art inspired by circus and carnival culture from the Yale University Art Gallery (YUAG), Yale Medical School Library, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the International Center of Photography, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and private collections.

Poster | Press Release | Curator's Statement
Exhibition Related Programs




Please contact the Museum for Membership information at (203) 331-1104.

"The Noblest Art is that of Making Others Happy"
P.T. Barnum, 1891


The Barnum Museum | 820 Main Street | Bridgeport, CT 06604
phone: 203-331-1104 | fax: 203-331-0079
Executive Director/Curator:
Kathleen Maher

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