Museum Spotlight: The Mattatuck Museum


The Mattatuck Museum. Waterbury, CT*

What the Mattatuck Brings to Light

Poor Yorick proudly introduces the Mattatuck Museum as one of our partners. The museum is a cultural and historical gem in the heart of downtown Waterbury, Connecticut. The mission of the Mattatuck Museum is to be “a center of art and history, a gathering place that nurtures creativity and learning through transformative experiences to encourage a deeper understanding of ourselves and our heritage.” In 1877, the museum began as the Mattatuck Historical Society and expanded its mission in the 1960s to include more broadly the work of Connecticut artists. The museum’s regional focus includes present-day Waterbury and ten surrounding towns known historically as “Mattatuck.”

The Mattatuck Museum is home to a wide variety of collections and exhibits that touch on local history: the exhibit of Fortune’s Bones, which brings to light the story of an eighteenth-century Waterbury slave named Fortune; an exhibit on the evolution of TIMEX, which is headquartered in the area; collections pertaining to the brass-manufacturing companies that gave Waterbury its nickname, the Brass City; and a button gallery with over 3,000 buttons manufactured in the city and made from materials from all over the world. Over 2,000 fine art pieces in the museum hang on walls and stand in the galleries, capturing a history of Connecticut through landscape and portraits. The Museum has recently expanded its mission to collect and showcase a broad expanse of American art. It is also one of the fifteen museums that make up the Connecticut Art Trail.


A Staff Visit to Mattatuck

The Whittemore Gallery*
The Early American Gallery
The Early American Gallery*

The Mattatuck Museum is in close proximity to my hometown of Middlebury, Connecticut, and I visited the museum in preparation for this spotlight. My favorite exhibit was the permanent collection on the history of the greater Waterbury area. The story of Fortune, a catalyst for Poor Yorick, was truly inspiring, and I enjoyed learning about the evolution of TIMEX and the button- and brass-manufacturing companies. The museum also has rolling exhibits, which make it a fun and educational place to return. When I visited, I discovered the Kent Art Colony exhibition with art from the nineteenth- and twentieth- centuries. I invite you to take an afternoon and tour the beauty of art and wonder of history and culture at the Mattatuck Museum, and look for ways to explore your own community, seek out your roots, and discover how the past affects your present.

Visit to learn more.

Annmarie Savarese
Poor Yorick Research Advisory Board

*Photos Courtesy of the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury, CT.