This collection of more than 7,000 works of art and artifacts attempts to give a comprehensive look at the black experience in America. It was founded in 1987 by staff of Hartford’s celebrated Wadsworth Atheneum to fill a niche focusing exclusively on African and African-American art. The permanent collection includes paintings, sculptures, artifacts, historical documents, photographs, memorabilia, and rare books.
The institution is as much about the art as it is about history. The works in the permanent collection date from the 18th through the 20th centuries, and its evocative, non-art objects include slave contracts, shackles and chains, political cartoons, and historical photographs. The collection demonstrates not only slavery’s origins, but the post-Civil War advancement of African-Americans.
The center has put on more than 50 exhibitions in the more than two decades since it opened. Those include art after Hurricane Katrina and a retrospective of the prints of African-American artist and art historian David C. Driskell.
Amistad Center for Art & Culture Information
- Public Transportation: Very Good (steps from CT Transit buses 30, 32, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 50, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 66, 72, 74, and 76 at Main Street/Gold Street)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good (ASL interpreters are also available for hearing-impaired visitors, but must be pre-arranged)
- Hours: Saturday–Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Wednesday–Friday 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; closed Monday and Tuesday. Note: The first Thursday of every month, the museum’s hours are 11 a.m.–8 p.m.
- Admission: Adults $10; Seniors (62+) $8; Students (age 13+) $5; Members and Children (under 12) Free; First Thursdays admission (5 p.m.–8 p.m.) is $10. Free admission for active-duty military and their family from Memorial Day–Labor Day. Group discounts are available
- Tour: Free with the price of admission. Museum Highlight tours are given daily at 1:00 p.m. Art in Focus are given on Thursdays at noon
- Membership: Individual memberships start at $30. Senior and student memberships are $20. Duel museum memberships start at $55. All membership levels receive free general museum admission; invitations to special events and to the Annual Meeting of The Amistad Center; discounts on The Amistad Center’s events; copies of The Amistad Center’s annual reports and other publications; acknowledgement in The Amistad Center’s Annual Report; and an opportunity to purchase two discount tickets to The Amistad Center’s Juneteenth celebration.