Top Menu

Planning Your Visit

Planning Your Visit

Download our Map and Visitor Guide.

General Policies
Backpacks, Bags, Umbrellas & Other Personal Items
Bicycle Parking
Cell Phones
Children, Babies, Strollers & Carriers
Food & Drink
Gallery Stools
Guide Dogs
Library, The Auerbach
Lost & Found
Parking & Directions
Photography & Video-recording
Public Transportation
Roadside Assistance
Taxi Cabs

General Policies

Welcome to the Wadsworth Atheneum! While enjoying your visit, please help us protect the art by following these policies:

  • Because even small amounts of oil and dirt can cause damage, please do not touch the artwork, including sculpture, furniture, paintings, and other objects. Please remember that food, drink, and gum are not permitted in the galleries.
  • You are welcome to sit on public benches, use a portable stool, or sit on the floor. Please do not sit, step on, or lean on platforms, pedestals, display cases or the Avery Court fountain.
  • Keep a safe distance between you and the artwork. We prefer that you don’t point, and never point with an object in your hand. At times, Protection Services Officers may require more distance between visitors and the artwork.
  • Please walk. Running and pushing can cause accidents and disrupt other visitors.
  • Sharp or pointed objects are not permitted in the galleries, including scissors, umbrellas, and other pointed objects.

Depending on a situation, Protection Services staff may modify any of the above policies.


The Wadsworth Atheneum welcomes visitors with disabilities to the world of art.

The Avery entrance on Atheneum Square North is barrier-free and accessible for visitors with wheelchairs and baby strollers. Visitors can be dropped off at this location. Two designated handicap parking spaces are located around the corner on Prospect Street. The Front Street South Garage, nearest this entrance, is the closest parking facility.

Click here for a map and location of handicap parking spaces.

Wheelchairs are available free of charge on a first-come, first-serve basis. Restrooms with wheelchair access are located at the Avery entrance. Check at the Information Desk about elevators and ramps and easing your movement around the museum.

Motorized wheelchairs are permitted. Please exercise caution and move only at the speed of ambulatory visitors. Segways are permitted for visitors with mobility disabilities.

A docent tour with an American Sign Language interpreter or a Verbal Imaging tour for those with vision limitations may be requested by contacting the Group Visit Associate at (860) 838-4046. Please allow at least four weeks to arrange a tour.

Listening aids are available on a first-come, first-serve basis at the Main Street entrance and for programs in the theater.

Large print texts are available for selected special exhibitions and collections. Printed text is available where cell phone audio guides are used. Please check with the staff at the Information Desk. We are happy to assist and help you enjoy your visit.


24-hour ATM service is located one block north on Main Street (intersection with Pearl Street), at One Financial Plaza. Enter People’s United Bank at the revolving door; 24 hour security is present at this entrance. ATM service is available next door at Hartford City Hall during weekday business hours. 

Backpacks, Bags, Umbrellas, & Other Personal Items

Lockers, free of charge, are available near the Main Street entrance on a first-come first-serve basis. Coatrooms are located near the Main Street and the Atheneum Square North entrances.

Protection Services Officers may inspect any bag, briefcase, or parcel when entering or leaving the Museum or during the visit.

Backpacks and any size pack/purse/string-bag, designed to be worn on the back, must be stored in a coatroom or locker.

Bags and briefcases larger than 18 x 14 x 4 inches must be stored in a coatroom or locker. Exceptions may be allowed for bags with medical supplies. The Protection Services Officer will inspect and tag the bag.

Baby carriers worn on the back are not allowed in the museum.

Luggage, carry-ons, and oversized backpacks cannot be checked or brought into the museum. Please make plans with your hotel or travel carrier to store these items before you arrive.

Bags permitted in the museum must be carried on one shoulder or hand-carried. Items may never be worn on the back.

Small, collapsible umbrellas may be carried if they are not dripping wet. All other umbrellas must be checked.

Protection Services reserves the right to determine that an item may not be brought into the museum or stored in the coatroom or locker. Protection Services reserves the right to remove an item from the premises.

Bicycle Parking

An outdoor bike rack is located to the left of the Main Street entrance.

Cell Phones

Please turn off your cell phone ring tone when you are in the museum. If you need to make or receive a call, please leave the gallery and use the hallway or lobby. Please be respectful of other visitors.

Cell phones may be used for audio guide programs. Please do not use the speaker phone feature.

If using a cell phone to take photographs, please see the Photography section below. Video-recording is not permitted.

Children, Babies, Strollers & Carriers

Children age 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Check the Information Desk for family guides and enjoy family time together in the galleries.

Baby strollers are welcome but may be restricted during peak visitation periods or in a special exhibition. Check at the admission desks for current gallery limitations.

Jogging strollers and child carriers strapped to a person’s back are not permitted in the Museum. Babies strapped to a person’s front are allowed.

Visitors with strollers are encouraged to use the Avery entrance on Atheneum Square North to avoid the stairs at the Main Street entrance. Check at the Information Desk about elevators and ramps and easing your movement around the museum. Strollers are not allowed on the staircases by Morgan Great Hall or the Avery rotunda.

Baby changing areas are located in both the Women’s and Men’s restrooms located at the Avery entrance. A lounge area, available in the Women’s restroom located near the Information Desk, can be used for infant feeding.


Two elevators provide service to the galleries on the upper floors. Elevator service is also available to access the Auerbach Art Library and the Museum Cafe. Use the theater elevator at the Avery entrance to access the restrooms and Aetna Theater. Protection Services Officers and Visitor Services staff are ready to help if you need any assistance finding your way.  

Food & Drink

Please enjoy food and beverages in the Museum Cafe. Food, beverages, and gum are not allowed in the galleries except when arranged for special events.