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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, and on "Summer Saturdays" from May 30th through September 5th. 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.

One of many company teams in Bridgeport at the turn of the 20th century, the Sewing Machine Cabinet Co. baseball team is shown in this photograph dated August 1900.

Sunday, June 7 at 2 p.m.
Barnum in the Batter's Box: The Showman's Role in Bringing Baseball to Bridgeport
- Presented by Michael J. Bielawa

The name P. T. Barnum brings to mind the circus, yet Barnum had many careers and wide-ranging interests, including as Mayor of Bridgeport. His efforts to bring new industries, such as clock and sewing machine manufacture, to develop the fledgling city brought about a surprising result: baseball teams. Some say Barnum loathed baseball, but perhaps that isn't quite correct. Enjoy the little known stories of early baseball teams in the Park City as baseball historian, author, and poet Michael Bielawa reveals a newly discovered facet of the showman's legacy to his adopted home town.

Michael J. Bielawa has authored histories focusing on New England and Louisiana baseball, including Baseball in Baton Rouge, From FarField to Newfield: The Baseball Dream of Orator Jim O'Rourke and Bridgeport Baseball. His numerous essays have addressed such diverse subjects as baseball symbolism in James Joyce's Ulysses and the mysterious disappearance of a Hartford minor league manager. Bielawa's work on early Queens's, New York baseball and the first All-Star Game (which took place in 1858) appeared in Major League Baseball's Official 2013 All-Star Game Program. Bielawa is a roving baseball consultant for museums, minor league clubs, state humanities councils and libraries. He has discussed baseball history on local radio and TV. Each year on March 17, Michael dons a vintage 1904 Bridgeport Orators uniform and joins elected officials at the head of Bridgeport's St. Patrick's Day Parade in memory of Bridgeport-born Hall of Famer, James O'Rourke.

Suggested donation: $5. Members and children under 12 are free.


Sunday, July 19 at 2 PM
Celebrate the Life of Art Young
at The Barnum Museum - P.T. Barnum's "Brother from Another Mother" - presented by Marc Moorash on behalf of the Bethel Historical Society

The Barnum Museum will host Art Young... P.T. Barnum's Brother From Another Mother on Sunday, July 19 at 2 p.m. This event is in celebration of the humor and poignancy of the late Bethel, Connecticut illustrator, Art Young. The program will be presented by Marc Moorash on behalf of the Bethel Historical Society.

Art Young was the best known illustrator in the country from 1900 to 1940. He did his work from his home on four acres of farmland in Bethel where he built a public art gallery. His art ranged from Americana folkishness to political cartoons. Recently, his manuscript, Types of the Old Home Town, was restored and published by the Bethel Historical Society.

The program will explore Young's images and stories from Types of the Old Home Town, and will feature a discussion of Art Young's admiration and connection to P.T. Barnum. Join us to celebrate the 40 years that the "Dean of American Cartoonists" and "Bethel's Ambassador to New York" resided in Connecticut. There will also be a dozen original Young illustrations on display at the event

Art Young's illustrations were published in nearly every magazine of his day, including, Life, The Masses, The Saturday Evening Post, Metropolitan, Cosmopolitan, The New Yorker, Puck and Judge.

Copies of the manuscript, Types of the Old Home Town, will be available for purchase at the event for $40 each. ... more information.


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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