The Filson’s museum collection represents the rich and varied history of Kentucky. Artifacts range from the pioneer, antebellum, Civil War, and postbellum periods of Kentucky’s history, including such highlights as a mid-nineteenth-century firefighting hand-pumper, “Kentucky Giant” Jim Porter’s seven-foot-nine-inch smoothbore musket, a genuine Kentucky “moonshine” still, Daniel Boone’s legendary “Kill a Bar” tree carving, handmade quilts, and Civil War uniforms, weapons, and accouterments. The Filson’s art collection, which is displayed throughout the Ferguson mansion, contains one of the most extensive collections of antebellum portraiture in Kentucky.
As with our other departments, we are regularly adding to our museum holdings. A particular emphasis is our art collection of Kentucky related portraiture, landscapes, and still lifes. Items from its collections are frequently loaned to museums throughout the country for temporary exhibition.