Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology

Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology

Brown University's Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology is committed to inspiring critical thinking about global cultures of the past and present through research, public education, and exhibitions.

Connecting Audiences to Global Cultures of the Past and Present

Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology

In 1903, Rudolf F. Haffenreffer Jr. purchased the King Philip amusement park and resort in Bristol, Rhode Island to use as a summer home. Haffenreffer then began to collect Native American archaeological and ethnographic objects and created the King Philip Museum to display his growing collection. After his death in 1955, the Haffenreffer family donated the museum to Brown University. In 1966 it was renamed the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology. In 2004, gallery space was secured on campus at Manning Hall, in the heart of Brown's campus. The Collections Research Center is still located in Bristol, roughly 17 miles southeast of Brown's campus.

Today, the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology serves as Brown University's teaching museum. Its mission is to inspire creative and critical thinking about the global cultures of the past and present by fostering an interdisciplinary appreciation for the material world. The museum stewards a collection of more than one million archaeological and ethnographic objects, including federal collections from Alaska. Additionally, the museum supplements courses for Brown's undergraduate and graduate students, hosts educational programs for local primary and secondary school students, and supports leading research in the fields of anthropology and archaeology.

In 2019, the museum began the process of relocating its collections from Bristol to a new location in Providence's historic Jewelry District, not far from Brown's main campus. Scheduled to open in 2024, the new museum will unite its collections activities and exhibition programs under one roof. This move is part of the university's commitment to making the collections accessible to a broad range of audiences and, at the same time, contributing to the cultural revitalization of the City of Providence.

GRoW Support


Project - Collection Conservation Site Relocation