The Katharine Hepburn Museum

About the Museum

The Katharine Hepburn Museum is the only museum of its kind dedicated to the famed actress and Old Saybrook resident. It offers an authentic view of the cultural and historical impact of Miss Hepburn and her family through letters, photos, home movies, costumes, personal wardrobe items, and other memorabilia.

In addition to the permanent collection, the museum features rotating special exhibits and hosts lectures, workshops, Kate Classic film screenings, and other programs.

A cultural icon and a game-changer, Hepburn’s remarkably long life and career spanned most of the 20th century, offering a unique insight into our recent past. Progressive in her views and iconoclastic in her behavior, it is quite easy to find points of intersection between Kate’s life and pivotal moments in American culture over the decades of the 1900s that have shaped the world we experience today.

  • Hours

    Tuesday through Friday 10 AM to 4 PM and one hour prior to performances.

    Additional Summer Hours:
    Saturday and Sunday
    12 to 4 PM
    July and August only

     

  • Admission

    $5 suggested donation per visitor supports the care and preservation of the collection.

    Book a tour for groups of 10 or larger.

    The Museum is handicap accessible and all audio is captioned.

  • Visit & Connect

    300 Main Street
    Old Saybrook, CT

    (860) 510-0473
    museum@thekate.org

  • Support the Museum

    Become a Kate Enthusiast Museum Insider! Enjoy special benefits while supporting our work.
    Contribute to the Conservation Fund! Support professional care for these one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable artifacts

Special Exhibit: Cover Girl Kate

For an actress known to eschew the press, Katharine Hepburn graced magazine covers for eight decades. The new temporary exhibit, “Cover Girl Kate,” features select magazine covers from each decade spanning the 1930s to the 2000s.  The exhibit examines the evolution of her career as well as her relationship with the press. Miss Hepburn’s tennis outfit from the 1930s, a costume from the film The Madwoman of Chaillot, and an original pastel painting of Miss Hepburn from 1934 will also be on display.

Exhibit:  November 21, 2023 thru May 9, 2024.

Museum Talk: It Started With..."You can't do that. They're all Dead."

May 23, 2024

David Heeley and Joan Kramer In the Company of Katharine Hepburn.  Join us as Joan and David share personal anecdotes, and show some never-before-seen outtakes of interviews and footage that didn’t make the cut in their finished films including ‘Katharine Hepburn: All About Me.’

Kate Museum Audio Vignettes: Unlocking Kate's Vault on iCRVRadio.com

Museum Coordinator Elise Maragliano narrates unique Katharine Hepburn stories focusing on a different item from our collection each month on “Unlocking Kate’s Vault: Stories from the Katharine Hepburn Museum.” Listen to the latest audio vignette iCRVRAdio.com.

Listen Now

Upcoming Exhibit: Kate as Coco

A special exhibit tells the story of Coco, the Tony-nominated musical about Coco Chanel, starring Katharine Hepburn. The exhibit features three costumes associated with the production, Katharine Hepburn self-portrait as Coco, personal letters from Miss Hepburn, and other artifacts related to the production.

Exhibit:  May 14, 2024 thru November 15, 2024.

Amazing Tales from On and Off Connecticut’s Beaten Path:

Katharine Hepburn and The Kate

Noted story teller and former journalist Mike Allen interviews special guests and then produces amazing tales about people, places and events from Connecticut history. Check out his podcast on Katharine Hepburn in an interview with Museum Coordinator Elise Maragliano.  

Listen Now

A Look Back: Past Temporary Exhibits

Take a look back at some of our most recent special temporary exhibits.

Upcoming Museum Events

It Started With…”You can’t do that. They’re all dead.” poster image

It Started With…”You can’t do that. They’re all dead.”

Museum Talk

The Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award

The Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award is given by the Kate to an individual who embodies the bold spirit, fierce independence, and distinctive character of the legendary actress. It is presented annually at the summer Gala.

View Past Recipients

Past Programs & Videos

View Library

Katharine Hepburn: Unintentional Trailblazer

Through Kate’s own words, via narration from her autobiography and letters written to her family, plus items from our collection you’ll explore different facets of Katharine Hepburn’s life and cultural impact. Keep in mind that this is not a chronological documentary of the great Kate but an online exhibit.

Costuming Kate in the Studio System: 50 Years

This program discusses the first 50 years of Katharine Hepburn’s film career (from 1932-1982), focusing on the various film studios that she worked with during those years and the wardrobe designers that dressed her. John Davey, Hollywood costume collector and archivist, shows the movements that she made within the various studio systems as well as discuss the relationships she developed with the noted costumers from each studio who created her on-screen wardrobe. 

Katharine Hepburn: Image is Everything

An in-depth discussion and analysis of Katharine Hepburn’s grasp on the power of her appearance hosted by Ann Nyberg with Jean Druesedow and Judy Samelson.

History of the Kate

The story of the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center begins over a century ago. Explore the rich history of our 300 Main Street home and learn why the Center is named after the iconic Katharine Hepburn.

History

The Kate is generously sponsored by:

  • Pasta Vita
  • Saybrook Point Resort & Marina
  • Sennheiser