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Eric Sloane Museum, Kent

Overview

Step into the re-created studio of Eric Sloane, renowned Connecticut artist and author of 38 books. View his paintings, illustrations and extensive collection of early American hand tools, a tribute to American artisanship. Discover the mysteries behind his most famous book, Diary of an Early American Boy. On the museum’s scenic grounds near the Housatonic River, you can also see the ruins of the Kent Iron Furnace, a featured industrial site on the Connecticut Iron Trail.

Historical Significance

Artist Eric Sloane (1905-1985) is best known for his idyllic landscapes, which often feature New England architecture and expansive skies. He also worked as a commercial illustrator, creating legendary advertisements for products like Bull Durham and Red Man tobacco. Sloane wrote and illustrated many books on Colonial tools, architecture, farming techniques, folklore and rural wisdom. Each book included detailed illustrations, hand-lettering and his characteristic folksy wit. Sloane’s fascination with weather led to commissions from the U.S. Air Force, as well as illustrated works on meteorology and weather forecasting. Sloane also created the first televised weather reporting network, where local farmers called in reports.

 

The museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the site is a State Archaeological Preserve.

 

You can explore these features on the site:

  • Eric Sloane’s Studio — Sloane’s career as an artist comes vividly alive in this re-created space with his paint-spattered easel and rows of jars jammed with paint brushes. See examples of his artwork in an adjoining gallery.
  • Early American Hand Tools Gallery — Sloane himself arranged and labeled his extensive collection, telling a fascinating story about bygone times and the great American heritage of craftsmanship. The museum building itself was donated to the State of Connecticut in 1969 by Stanley Works, the Connecticut-based tool manufacturing company.
  • Noah Blake Cabin — The Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum are rebuilding the pioneer cabin originally constructed for the museum to illustrate the one described by Noah Blake in Diary of an Early American Boy, an 1805 diary published by Sloane. Visit the museum's Facebook page for up-to-the-minute information.
  • Kent Iron Furnace — The 1826 granite blast furnace with Gothic arches was used to produce pig iron for almost 70 years and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. An exhibit in the museum and a walking trail with interpretive signs tell the history of the local iron industry.
  • Gift Shop — Browse a wide selection of books, gift and souvenir items, and other merchandise for adults and children, including books and prints by Eric Sloane. The prints are not matted or framed, but some are signed and numbered by the artist.

Events & Exhibits

The museum is currently closed for structural repairs and upgrades to secure the building and improve the visitor experience. We expect to re-open in 2020.

Address

31 Kent Cornwall Road (Route 7)
Kent, CT 06757

Free parking

 

Mailing address: P.O. Box 917, Kent, CT 06757

Hours

The museum will be closed for restoration and renovation through 2019.  Please call (860) 927-3849 to check on special programs during this time.

Admission

  • Ages 13 & older: $6

  • Ages 12 & younger: free

  • Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum: free

  • Groups: $5 per person for 10 or more people by appointment
  • School Groups: $2 per person by appointment

As a Blue Star Museum, we offer free admission to active-duty military personnel and their families.

Plan Your Visit

Learn more about the museum and the surrounding area at CTvisit.com.

Contact

ericsloane.museum@ct.gov

(860) 927-3849

 

Barbara Russ, Museum Assistant

barbara.russ@ct.gov

(860) 927-3849

 

 

Related Resources

Follow the museum on Facebook

Join the Friends of the Eric Sloane Museum

Become a Volunteer

Schedule photography, filming or other special events at the museum

Connecticut Public featured the Eric Sloane Museum as one of the 50 most notable cultural resources in the state. Watch this six-minute video now.