About the Museum
Exterior of the Bruce Museum
The Bruce Museum is a community based, world-class institution highlighting art, science and natural history. Changing galleries for art and permanent galleries for the natural sciences encompass regional to global perspectives. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and voted the best museum in Fairfield County by area media in recent years, the Bruce plays an integral role in the cultural life of area residents. The Museum attracts approximately 70,000 visitors annually, including 24,000 schoolchildren, and also has special programs for families, seniors, students, and community organizations.
Located in a park setting just off I-95, exit 3, at 1 Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut, the Museum is also a 5-minute walk from the Metro-North Greenwich Station. The Bruce Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. For additional information, call the Bruce Museum at 203-869-0376 or visit brucemuseum.org.
The Museum was originally built as a private home in 1853. Robert Moffat Bruce (1822-1909), a wealthy textile merchant and member of the New York Cotton Exchange, bought the house and property in 1858 and deeded them to the Town of Greenwich in 1908. The Museum served as home base for the Greenwich Society of Artists hosting its Annual Exhibition from 1912 through 1926. The Cos Cob School is now well established as an important part of the history of American painting, and it forms the nucleus of the Museum's holdings of painting, watercolors, sketchbooks, and notebooks by such artists as Leonard and Mina Ochtman, George Wharton Edwards, and Hobart Jacobs.
Over the years, the community, through its generosity, has built the Museum collection to nearly 15,000 objects representing the arts and sciences. Paralleling an interest in Connecticut painters and their paintings, early directors of the Bruce Museum, such as Ray Owen, Paul Howes, and Jack Clark, pursued the development of the natural sciences, building particular strengths in the mineral and avian collections.
In 1992, the Bruce Museum undertook a complete renovation of its 139-year-old building. In July 2020, construction is scheduled to begin on the centerpiece of the New Bruce: The William L. Richter Art Wing, a three-story, 43,000-square-foot addition that will more than double the size of the Museum, adding state-of-the-art exhibition, education, and community spaces, including a restaurant and lecture hall. Designed by the award-winning New Orleans firm of EskewDumezRipple, the building will open directly onto Bruce Park and feature a delicate striated façade of cast stone and glass inspired by the surfaces of Connecticut’s quarries and the rock outcrops of Bruce Park. The EDR team includes Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architects, who are creating a natural environment around the New Bruce that includes a new sculpture trail and places to stroll and play. The New Bruce building project is expected to be completed by Summer 2022.