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Best Museums in Hartford

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One of the best museums in the entire country, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art houses some of the finest collections of European art. The museum walls are lined with Renaissance and Modern art, including work by Caravaggio, Lorrain, Picasso, Degas, Cézanne, van Dyck, Monet, Van Gogh, and more. One of the most outstanding collections at the museum is that of the Hudson River School and late 19th Century oil and watercolors from local artists. Open since 1842, the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is the oldest public art museum in the United States.

This home on Farmington Avenue is where Mark Twain lived from 1874 until he moved to Europe (due to bankruptcy) in 1891. It is also the place where Twain wrote some of his most famous works, such as Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The estate is in constant renovation and the curating team is always looking to restore it as it was when Twain lived here. Nonetheless, the adjacent Museum offers an exclusive documentary about the writer by director Ken Burns and the home was one of the first 100 architectural sites to be registered as a National Historic Landmark in the United States.

Nestled in the campus of University of Connecticut, William Benton Museum of Art is one of most popular art museums in Connecticut. This museum has been operating since 1967 and is known for exhibiting 6500 fine as well as contemporary artworks by acclaimed artists. Besides some permanent exhibits, the museum features temporary exhibitions regularly. With such rich art collection, William Benton Museum of Art invites all enthusiasts for visitation.

The Connecticut Historical Society expounds upon the history of America's fifth State. Visit their museum and center to learn more about Northeastern history through exhibitions, programs and Connecticut-related collections. It also features one of the largest costume and textile collections in New England. The research center has over 270,000 artifacts and graphics, and over 100,000 books and pamphlets. Overall, an interesting spot to visit, especially if you're from Connecticut.

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center is dedicated to the author of Uncle Tom's Cabin and it offers a profound insight into the life and times of this suffragette. This is the home in which Stowe lived from 1873 until her death in 1893. The house includes authentic, restored furniture pieces as well as souvenirs from her journeys around the world. A library, located on the grounds of the nearby Day House contains books, manuscripts, images and more. Visitors can also view eight Victorian gardens on the grounds of the estate as well as several special events held throughout the year.

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