Henry Watson Kent served as the museum's first curator. Exhibits drew on the Slater family's private collections, donations from Norwich citizens, and acquisitions by the museum itself. Kent coordinated a number of temporary exhibits, encouraging visitors to return multiple times.
Permanent exhibits include: - The Plaster Cast Collection: replicas of notable ancient and Renaissance sculptures - A display on the Slaters' trip around the world on their yacht in 1894/95. - 20th-century Connecticut artists - Vanderpoel Gallery of Asian Art - Gallery of African Art - Norwich Galleries, containing art, artifacts, and documents from the region