American Museum in Britain

exterior photograph of the American museum in britain
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Founded in 1961, The Museum has the finest collection of American decorative arts outside the United States. Displayed in a series of period rooms, the collection illustrates how early Americans lived between the 17th and 19th centuries. Interactive galleries offer an introduction to American history, while special collections highlight the finest examples of quilting, folk art, and early printed maps of the New World. The museum is also set in a spectacular, hillside setting including a formal garden, parkland, and nature trails.

Venue Type:

Museum, Garden, parklands or rural site

Opening hours

Main Season Opening 2016

19 March – 30 October, Tuesday – Sunday, 12noon-5pm, gardens and café open from 10.30am.
Closed Mondays, except during August and on Bank Holidays.
All Museum buildings and shops are open from 12noon. The Café serves light lunches from 12noon – 2pm. Coffee, tea, cold drinks, cookies, cakes, and ice cream are available until 5pm.
The grounds and car parks close at 5.30pm.

Bank Holidays and August Mondays 2016
25 March, 28 March, 2 May, 30 May & 29 August 12noon-5pm
Every Monday in August 12noon-5pm

From 31 October 2016, the Museum & gardens close to prepare for the Christmas season. Museum re-opens on Thursday 24 November 2016

Christmas Season Opening 2016

24 November – 18 December, Tuesday – Sunday, 12noon – 4.30pm, café open from 11am.
Closed Mondays.
All Museum buildings and shops are open from 12noon. The Café serves light lunches from 12noon – 2pm. Coffee, tea, cold drinks, cookies, cakes, and ice cream are available until 4.30pm. Grounds are closed for the winter.
The car parks close at 5pm.

Admission charges

Museum, exhibition and gardens:
Adults £11.00
Over 60s & Students £9.50
Children (5-18yrs) £6.50
Family ticket £28.50

Gardens only:
Adults £7.00
Over 60s & Students £5.50
Children (5-18yrs) £4.50

Gift Aid and Membership rates available.

Discounts

  • Museums Association
  • English Heritage
  • National Art Pass

Additional info

Both the musuem and exhibition gallery are fully accessible to wheelchair users. Certain parts of the gardens and grounds are also accessible. Wheelchair available for loan for use inside main museum only.

A series of period rooms display American furniture, woodwork, silver, glass & textiles which illustrate domestic life from 17th century to the eve of the American Civil War in 1860. The museum’s beautiful grounds at Claverton Manor overlook the stunning Limpley Stoke Valley, an include a replica of George Washington's Mt. Vernon Garden plus an aboretum of American trees and shrubs.

Collection details

Archives, Costume and Textiles, Decorative and Applied Art, Design, Fine Art, Social History, World Cultures, Architecture

Key artists and exhibits

  • Shaker furniture
  • American quilts
  • Trade porcelin
  • Native American Indians
  • Early printed maps of the New World
  • American Folk Art
Exhibition details are listed below, you may need to scroll down to see them all.
image of old decorative map

New World, Old Maps

  • 28 November 2013 — 1 November 2018 *on now

In 1988 Dr. Dallas Pratt, co-founder of the American Museum in Britain, gave the Museum over 200 Renaissance maps of the New World – a collection acclaimed by scholars as one of the finest holdings of rare printed world maps in existence.

This exhibition features a rotating display of historic maps in the American Museum’s collection.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Website

http://americanmuseum.org/about-the-museum/current-exhibitions/new-world-old-maps/

An American Toy Story

  • 19 March — 30 October 2016 *on now

This exhibition will tell the story of the toys and games that inspired and were inspired by popular films.

Visitors can enjoy remembering their favourite toys as they see examples of twentieth-century favourites. Slightly worn residents of old toy boxes will be displayed alongside mint condition ‘must have’ treasures and movie props that motivated their production.

The story will be brought right up to date as we finish by looking at some of the highest grossing merchandise sales from Disney’s Frozen.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Included with full admission

Website

http://www.americanmuseum.org

Events details are listed below. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all. For events that don't have a specific date see the 'Resources' tab above.

Smiley Coyotes

  • 29 September 2016 10:30am-12pm
  • 6 October 2016 10:30am-12pm
  • 13 October 2016 10:30am-12pm
  • 20 October 2016 10:30am-12pm
  • 3 November 2016 10:30am-12pm
  • 10 November 2016 10:30am-12pm
  • 17 November 2016 10:30am-12pm
  • 24 November 2016 10:30am-12pm
  • 1 December 2016 10:30am-12pm
  • 8 December 2016 10:30am-12pm
  • 15 December 2016 10:30am-12pm

A weekly term-time gathering for accompanied children aged 0-5. Join Noeline Beasley for engaging craft activities for parents / carers as well as children, inspired by items from the Museum’s collection. Enjoy Forest School activities in the beautiful grounds, singing, storytelling, and refreshments. Warm, supportive environment in a uniquely beautiful setting.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

£8 per family, per session, booking essential

Website

http://www.americanmuseum.org

Quilting Bee

  • 27 September 2016 12-4pm
  • 4 October 2016 12-4pm
  • 11 October 2016 12-4pm
  • 18 October 2016 12-4pm
  • 25 October 2016 12-4pm

Quilting Groups from all over the region demonstrate their talents and chat with visitors in our textile room

Admission

Included with full admission

Website

http://www.americanmuseum.org

Course: Find your writing voice with Alex and Jude

  • 20 September — 11 October 2016 *on now

Using objects from the Museum’s collection as prompts, Alex Wilson and Jude Higgins will inspire you with their creative writing exercises and help you find your writing voice. Sessions are fun, informal, and explore character development, point of view, and plot, among other subjects. The sessions are suitable for complete beginners or for writers who would like an inspirational boost. A four week course: Tuesday 20 & 27 September and 4 & 11 October.

Admission

£85, booking essential

Website

http://www.americanmuseum.org

Workshop: Ribbon Yoyo

  • 8 October 2016 10am-4pm

Janet Haigh teaches participants to make simple yoyos using their own ribbons, or the vibrant jacquard designs from Kaffe Fassett Studios. Appliqué them onto different backgrounds, building sumptuous patchworks and other fabrics.

Admission

£50, booking essential. £10 for materials to be paid on the day.

Website

http://www.americanmuseum.org

Include Me Out!: the Lives and Loves of a Hollywood Moghul

  • 13 October 2016 7-8:30pm

Eavesdrop as larger-than-life film producer Samuel Goldwynn reveals all to his psychoanalyst. Find out how a glove salesman came to be one of the founding fathers of Hollywood, how the first feature film made in Tinsel Town nearly didn’t get released, and how a major actress came to be involved in a notorious murder. An original production by Northgate Theatre.

Admission

£14, booking essential

Website

http://www.americanmuseum.org

Family Fun: Bath Geek Fest

  • 22 October 2016 11am-5pm

Join us for a day of all things geeky in celebration of An American Toy Story. Guests, stalls, talks, and lots more from the world of comics, TV, films, games, YouTube, and toys.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Included with gardens admission

Website

http://www.americanmuseum.org

Family Fun: Falconry Demonstration

  • 25 October 2016 12-4pm

Ray Prior is one of the leading falconers in the country, with a wide selection of beautiful birds. Come along to see his owls, eagles, hawks, and falcons swoop over the Museum grounds.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Included with gardens admission

Website

http://www.americanmuseum.org

Family Fun: Monster Treasure Trails

  • 26 October 2016 1-4pm

Dallas Pratt’s map collection is populated with terrifying beasts and monsters. Design your own map of the Museum and grounds, filled with scary creatures of your own invention.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Included with gardens admission

Website

http://www.americanmuseum.org

American Ghost Tours

  • 26 — 27 October 2016 6:30-7:30pm

The Museum’s evocative Period Rooms are the perfect setting for a sinister tale on a dark evening. Join us for a chilling journey through some of the darkest chapters of American history, starting in a seventeenth-century home in colonial Massachusetts at the height of the Salem witch trials. Not suitable for children. Tour repeated from 2015.

Admission

£15, booking essential

Website

http://www.americanmuseum.org

Family Fun: Happy Halloween!

  • 27 October 2016 1-4pm

What better place to celebrate Halloween than at the American Museum? Join Wiltshire Scrapstore for an array of creepy crafts. Fancy dress welcome.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Included with gardens admission

Website

http://www.americanmuseum.org

Museums at Night: Fright at the Museum

  • 28 October 2016 6-9pm

As darkness gathers over the American Museum, restless spirits emerge to stalk through the gloomy galleries. Spooky scenes and spine-chilling stories await the intrepid visitor who dares to visit after hours. You have been warned!

Admission

Included with full admission

Website

http://www.americanmuseum.org

Family Fun: The Big Apple

  • 28 October 2016 1-4pm

Join us for an autumnal apple celebration: press your own apple juice, hear the story of Johnny Appleseed, and have fun with apple-inspired crafts.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Included with gardens admission

Website

http://www.americanmuseum.org

Music Series: Mariachi Tequila

  • 30 October 2016 2-3pm

Celebrate the Mexican festival of Day of the Dead with Mariachi Tequila as they perform traditional Mexican corridos, boleros, rancheros, and jarabes.

Admission

Included with gardens admission

Website

http://www.americanmuseum.org

Family Fun: Day of the Dead Fiesta

  • 30 October 2016 1-4pm

Celebrate the Mexican festival of Day of the Dead, in which families honour deceased loved ones with sugar skulls, dancing skeletons, and piles of marigolds. Enjoy traditional music from Mariachi Tequila, make your own mask and jewellery, and join the parade.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Included with gardens admission

Website

http://www.americanmuseum.org

Christmas Craft Fair

  • 26 — 27 November 2016 11am-5pm

Our Christmas Craft Fair returns with a diverse range of work on offer, from ceramics and textiles to jewellery and prints. Meet the makers themselves, discuss their techniques, and find unique Christmas gifts in a festive atmosphere away from the bustle of town.

Admission

Free parking & entry to fair

Website

http://www.americanmuseum.org

Concert: Christmas with Noctis

  • 10 December 2016 7:30-9:30pm

Join Bath's award-winning chamber choir for a selection of carols and festive music.

Admission

£10, booking essential.

Website

http://www.americanmuseum.org

Family Fun: Holiday Homecoming

  • 18 December 2016 1-4pm

Join us for a magical end to our Christmas season. Meet Father Christmas, join the choir for festive carols, and create your own Christmas crafts.

Suitable for

  • Family friendly

Admission

Included with full admission

Website

http://www.americanmuseum.org

Resources listed here may include websites, bookable tours and workshops, books, loan boxes and more. You may need to scroll down or click on headers to see them all.

England and the Colonization of America

http://www.americanmuseum.org

What was life like for colonists in the New World? Explore the lives, tools and trade going back and forth between England and America as these early setters began to shape a new nation.
• Colonial costume presentation
• Object handling with worksheet activity or map exhibition tour with worksheet activity
• 17th to 18th century period room tour
(Group size: max. 30; Duration: 2.5 hrs; Level: KS2)

How to obtain

Book in advance: 01225 823019

Kids' Activities

http://www.americanmuseum.org

Drop into art and craft activities at the American Museum in Britain. These are suitable for children aged 5 years and upwards on Thursdays 13.00-16.00 in school holidays.

How to obtain

Booking is not required but space is limited so arrive early to avoid disappointment. Activities are free after normal admission to the museum. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

Native Americans – As Varied as the Land

http://www.americanmuseum.org

Through this programme students will come away with a better understanding of the diversity of Native Americans by examining their art, tools, clothing, and the stories that have shaped their culture. Supported by a grant from SWMLAC Strategic Commissioning Programme, this is a unique opportunity to understand the living cultures that lie beyond the Hollywood stereotypes.
• Plains Indian costume presentation
• Object handling and worksheet activity
• Guided tour of American Heritgae exhibition galleries
(Group size: max.30 - Duration: 2.5hrs; Level:KS3, can also be adapted to KS2)

How to obtain

Book in advance - 01225 823019

Textile Traditions

http://www.americanmuseum.org

Using the museum’s famous textile collection, learn how quilts, samplers and rugs served to reflect the social, cultural and artistic aspirations of Americans - from the genteel cities of the east coast to the plains of the western frontier.
• Textile Room tour
• Object handing and worksheet activity
• ‘Design Your Own Quilt Block’ activity
(Group size: max 30 - Duration: 2.5 hours; Level: KS1 - KS4)

How to obtain

Book in advance: 01225 823019

The American West

http://www.americanmuseum.org

Delving into the history of the exploration and expansion into the American West, students will begin to discern the fact from the fiction. From Lewis and Clark’s Voyage of Discovery to the days of the cowboys, find out how the west was really won.
• Plains Indian costume presentation
• Object handling and worksheet activity
• American Hertiage exhibition tour
(Group size: max.90; Duration: 3 hours; Level: KS3,GCSE)

How to obtain

Book in advance: 01225 823019

American Museum in Britain
Claverton Manor
Bath
Somerset
BA2 7BD
England

Website

www.americanmuseum.org

E-mail

enquiries@americanmuseum.org

Education and Group Visits

groupvisits@americanmuseum.org

Telephone

01225 460503

Education and Group Visits

01225 823019

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.
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