There’s a dense population of Greenwich, CT, museums. Especially considering the size of our town.
In fact, our per capita number is low. There’s about 12,000 people per museum here. A fact interesting to no one but me.
Of course, nearby New York City hosts many more.
But we only have about 60,000 people!
One of the benefits of hosting so much wealth in Greenwich is that anyone with any sort of philanthropic bent knows where to direct their funds here:
The various Greenwich museums
So, what could be dinky attractions in another small town of a similar size is an impressive, multimillion-dollar operation.
Greenwich, CT, is a unique place.
The top Museums in Greenwich CT
From art and science to architecture and the natural sciences, there’s sure to be something to float your boat somewhere in Greenwich.
And if not, crossing the border into the surrounding towns is far from a chore.
1) Bruce Museum
The Bruce Museum has been named “Best Museum” in Greenwich, Connecticut on multiple occasions. The museum hosts interesting permanent collections and galleries. It also has more than 12 motivational changing exhibits.
Most older residents recall when the Bruce Museum housed monkeys among their science exhibitions. If you bring it up, anyone who was a child in the 1970s or earlier will probably feel nostalgic.
Even sans monkeys, the Bruce Museum is a wonderful place for kids to learn about art, science, and natural history. And all in a setting as beautiful as the items inside. The Bruce Museum of Arts and Sciences is unquestionably one of Greenwich’s most popular tourist attractions.
And it’s an amazing testament to the vision of the original founder, Robert Moffat Bruce.
The recent renovation at the Bruce Museum
And the Bruce Museum, recently completed a game-changing $60 million capital expansion plan. The William L. Richter Art Wing was originally built out to meet the community’s growing demand for a larger museum. The new building houses:
- William L. Richter Art Wing, with its cutting-edge galleries and public spaces
- And the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Education Wing
The massive addition hosts significantly more space for temporary art exhibitions. And, for the first time, there’s a sizable area to display the Museum’s permanent art collection in four new galleries. The entire ground floor of the new building addition is free and open to the public. It’s also open for community use during Museum hours for special events. You’ll find a first-rate museum store here as well, plus a cafe.
And speaking of free, visitors enjoy free admission on Tuesdays.
Events at the Bruce Museum
Every year, the Bruce Museum hosts two major outdoor events. The Outdoor Crafts Festival is held every May, a week before Memorial Day weekend. The Outdoor Arts Festival is usually held during Columbus Day weekend in early October. While they’re free for members, they’re a manageable cost to attend.
They are both on the lists for, respectively:
2) The Bush-Holley House
The Bush-Holley House, a fascinating historical museum in Greenwich, Connecticut’s renowned Cos Cob neighborhood. It was originally built in 1730 as a private home. The house was passed down through several generations of the Bush and Holley families.
The Bush-Holley House now houses the Greenwich Historical Society. The non-profit organization, a unique Connecticut landmark dedicated to preserving Greenwich’s rich history and culture, was founded in 1931. It accomplishes this through a collection of books, programs, menus, photographs, maps, documents, and photographs from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
This National Historic Landmark is less than two miles from Stanton House Inn and offers year-round guided tours. Following a major renovation, you can still see artwork that was painted on the property during the artist colony era. Thanks to various exhibits, you can also get a sense of how the house and property might have appeared at various points in the past.
More activities at the Bush-Holley House
The Greenwich Historical Society is focused on preserving and celebrating the town’s unique past and future.
A few more activities you can enjoy from the Greenwich history museum include:
A series of informative guided walking tours will take you on a historical journey through our local neighborhoods natural history, topography, business,, and architecture, illuminating the events that shaped the bustling city we know today. Recent tours have explored Greenwich Avenue and other parts of Downtown Greenwich.
Lectures, Workshops and Demonstrations
You can deepen your knowledge and understanding of Greenwich’s rich history and culture and that of the Greenwich Historical Society by attending a variety of lectures, workshops, and demonstrations that connect historical lessons to current hands-on learning opportunities.
Tavern Garden Market
You’ll find a specially curated and rotating selection of locally produced and sourced goods at The Tavern Garden Markets. When you fill your home and basket with natural gifts and one-of-a-kind, handcrafted items, you are supporting local farmers, producers, and artisans. Organic produce, fresh eggs, plants, and flowers are available from farm to table. Enjoy the flavor of fresh baked breads and sweets, as well as wholesome prepared foods. Find the perfect present among our vintage silver, jewelry, pens, ceramics, and accessories.
The weekly garden markets are just one of many community events the historical society hosts throughout the year.
3) Flinn Gallery
The Greenwich Library‘s extensive music collection, as well as the Flinn Gallery, are both located on the upper floor. The Flinn Gallery is a non-profit, educational gallery. It exhibits artwork in all media and from a variety of techniques, perspectives, ages and historical periods. It welcomes over 11,000 visitors each year and curates six exhibitions from September to June.
4) The Brant Foundation Art Study Center
The Brant Foundation Art Study Center, a one-of-a-kind gallery, lends artwork to over a dozen exhibitions each year. Its goal is to increase understanding, education and appreciation of modern art and design. This center is every art lover’s dream vacation destination!
5) Bruce Museum Seaside Center
This museum’s mission is to educate visitors about the ecosystem and life along the beach. It’s the ideal thing for kids to do when you want to explore Greenwich’s many family-friendly activities.
A major draw is the marine tank.
6) Neuberger Museum of Art
Purchase, New York, though not in Greenwich, is only a short distance away. The Neuberger Museum of Art, located on the campus of SUNY Purchase, is conveniently close to downtown Greenwich.
In the early 1970s, Roy R. Neuberger made a significant donation to this wonderful museum. It has since grown to become the country and world’s tenth-largest university museum. The majority of its collection is modern, contemporary, and African art.
Some of the well-known artists represented include:
- Milton Avery
- Romare Bearden
- Stuart Davis
- Willem de Kooning
- Richard Diebenkorn
- Arthur Dove
- Helen Frankenthaler
- Marsden Hartley
- Hans Hofmann
- Edward Hopper
- Georgia O’Keeffe
- Jackson Pollock
- Mark Rothko
- And David Smith
Installations of contemporary art from the collection are interspersed among these pieces. It’s all in keeping with the principles of their founding patron, Roy R. Neuberger. Neuberger was committed to promoting the work of living artists, particularly in their formative years. He once declared, “The modern world should buy the work of contemporary artists.”
Discover even more museums, and things to do in Greenwich
With a rainy day or two planned, there’s so much more to explore in Greenwich, CT!
If you’re a fan of architecture, head to Greenwich Avenue and downtown.
Or explore art in other nearby towns:
- Museums in Norwalk, CT include the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion, Maritime Aquarium, and the SoNo Switch Tower Museum, among many more
- Museums in Stamford, CT include the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, plus the Ukrainian Museum & Library