Clarion Hotel & Suites
2260 Whitney Ave
Hamden, CT 06518
Phone: (203) 288-3831
Fax: (203) 281-6032
Arts & Museums
Eli Whitney was an idealist and visionary who has been forgiven the unwitting consequences of his brilliant inventions; the cotton gin turned slavery from a tottering institution into a thriving business, and the milling machine gave rise to the horrific abuses of American industry. The museum occupies several buildings erected by Whitney as a model for a factory town, and preserves the roots of the industrial revolution that changed the country and the world.
Housed in two buildings at Southern Connecticut State University, the Ethnic Heritage Center houses exhibits, archives and educational programs throughout the year. Exhibits, artifacts and programs are possible through associations with other ethnic historical societies in New Haven and Connecticut. If you are interested in learning about the different cultures and people who make up the area, a trip to the Ethnic Heritage Center is the perfect way to do so.
Maintained and managed by the Amity & Woodbridge Historical Society, the Darling House Museum dates back to the 1770s. This house belonged to Thomas Darling, a prominent citizen of Connecticut. Currently, this house museum opens its doors on special occasions only, but you can also avail group tours with prior appointment.
Venture into Yale's exciting natural history museum. This is the only museum in Connecticut with fossil dinosaur material on permanent display. The Pulitzer Award winning "The Age of Reptiles" mural (slightly outdated, but nevertheless a beautiful work of art in itself) depicts 300 million years of prehistory. Explore the cultures and peoples of the world through exhibits on Ancient Egypt, Mesoamerica, the Andes and the Great Plains, just to mention a few. It is best to visit during non-school hours.
This 1930s Georgian Revival building sets the stage for exhibits chronicling 350 years of New Haven history. The history of "The Elm City" unfolds in each room of this institution through fine art, furniture, genealogical records, everyday artifacts and maritime displays. There are special exhibits drawn from the museum collection, such as one on the Amistad incident: captured African slaves who went on trial in New Haven after they mutinied their slave ship.
This beautiful mansion, built in 1905, lies just a block north of Audubon Street and the Audobon Arts District. Contemporary art is regularly displayed in its eight galleries, as well as works by New Haven's oldest art guilds, the New Haven Paint and Clay Club and the Brush and Palette Club. The house is open free of charge from September through June.
Little known to many visitors to the New Haven and Yale area, this museum is a wonderful treasure with displays of nearly 1000 musical instruments and other artifacts. The museum is one of the largest and most important repositories of musical instruments in the world, and is especially known for its collection of clavichords, harpsichords and pianos. Located on historic Hillhouse Avenue (described by Mark Twain as "the most beautiful street in America"), this quiet museum is not to be missed.
Culture abounds on quiet Audubon Street. There are galleries (Artspace, Small Space Gallery), performance spaces (The Arts Hall), arts organizations (City Spirit Artists, the New Haven Ballet), a host of art schools (the Neighborhood Music School, the Educational Center for the Arts, Creative Arts Workshop), and even the annual Audubon Arts on the Edge Festival. Shops and restaurants have also begun moving into the neighborhood. Ongoing activities are listed in the Arts Council Calendar, available free at the Arts Council office at 70 Audubon St across from Leeney Plaza. A block north is the John Slade Ely House, a center for contemporary arts.
One would never guess that a Gutenberg Bible, rare prints by the famed ornithologist John Audubon, and other remarkable manuscripts and journals would all be located in this library in the heart of the Yale campus. Beinecke houses one of the largest rare book collections in the world, including more than 500,000 printed volumes and several million (yes, million) priceless manuscripts. The building is a rarity itself, designed to protect its holdings from solar damage with translucent marble "windows" that allow in only minimal light.
Connecticut Children's Museum showcases eight different thematic rooms, one designed to resemble the ever-popular Goodnight Moon storybook. Ideally, visiting children are 3-10 years old, but rumor has it that kids as young as one and as old as 12 love this educational and entertainment space.
This formidable structure on the New Haven Green was designed in 1908 by architect Cass Gilbert to blend in with the churches on the green. The handsome facade with its soaring columns and enormous windows bestows upon the visitor a gracious place to read and research. Gilbert is one of the most famous architects of the early 20th-century United States. Perhaps his best-known work is the Woolworth Building in New York City.
The Yale University Art Gallery, founded in 1832, and with more than 100,000 pieces in its permanent collection, is the oldest university art museum in the country. The gallery offers an excellent overview of art history, ranging from ancient to modern. There is an exquisite collection of American paintings, and an extensive display of 20th-century European paintings. Classic objects from ancient Egypt and the Middle East, and treasures from the South Pacific and Far East are also on display. Guided tours, lectures, family programs and concerts are all available. Admission is free.