History: Theodate Pope Riddle (1867-1946), Connecticut’s sixth registered female architect, established Hill-Stead Museum through her 1946 Will. With drafting assistance from architects McKim, Mead & White, she designed a 36-room house for her parents, Ada and Alfred Pope, today consid-ered one of the nation’s most important examples of Colonial Revival domestic architecture. The 1901, 33,000-square-foot house exhibits the Popes’ exceptional art collection, which features iconic work by Cassatt, Degas, Manet, Monet and Whistler. The site includes a theater and farm complex and a Warren Manning-inspired, 152-acre landscape. A c. 1920 Beatrix Farrand-designed sunken garden is a centerpiece of the property.
Mission: Hill-Stead Museum, a National Historic Landmark, serves diverse audiences in Connecticut and beyond as a welcoming place for learning, reflection and enjoyment. The museum develops, preserves, documents, displays and interprets its exceptional Impressionist paintings, 1901 historic house, collections and 152-acre landscape for the benefit of present and future generations.
Goals: Trustees, Governors, staff and volunteers seek to preserve Hill-Stead’s diverse resources and fully realize their interpretive potential. We follow American Association of Museum standards and strive for the authenticity and integrity befitting a National Historic Landmark. Tours and public programs make the visual and literary arts available, decipherable and enjoyable to varied audiences.
Current Programs and activities: Key activities include preservation, research and archival activity; guided house and garden tours; student curriculum-related studies, field trips; teacher workshops; inter-generational nature and art activities; monthly gallery talks; scholarly lectures; poetry performances, competitions and workshops; an annual two-day garden fair; and use of the grounds by painters, photographers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Accomplishments: Accredited by the American Association of Museums (2003); Official Project of Save America’s Treasures; National Historic Landmark; member of Connecticut Women’s Heritage Trail, Connecticut Impressionist Art Trail, Connecticut’s Historic Gardens and Connecticut Center for the Book.