The Mattatuck Museum began to acquire paintings in the early 1900s – enthusiastically if not indiscriminately. In the 1950s, however, Connecticut art and subjects became the focus of the collection, which grew to include numerous portraits of prominent Waterbury and Connecticut families, Waterbury city scenes and Connecticut landscapes. The Collection now provides a visual record of the region’s history as well as illustrates that Connecticut was, and is, the home of many artists. Beginning with the 21st century, the Museum enlarged its collecting mission to embrace all American art, expanding the art and history story it tells and providing a context for its deep holdings in regional work.
Some of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century artists represented in the Collection include Frederick Church, William Jennys, John Kensett, Charles Ethan Porter, John Vanderlyn and John Ferguson Weir. Twentieth-century and contemporary artists include Anni and Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, William Glackens, Jasper Johns, Sol LeWitt, Kiki Smith, and Doug and Mike Starn. Included in the collection are art works and archival materials from Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy.
Publications about specific exhibitions and works in the Collection are available at the Museum Shop and in the online store.