The museumís collections and exhibits are focused on regional history and Connecticut art. The Orton P. Camp, Jr. Gallery of Community History presents the stories of work, family life and community institutions in west central Connecticut from 1650 to 1950 with special emphasis on the industrial developments in the central Naugatuck Valley and the related stories of urban growth and immigrant experience.
The art galleries feature the work of Connecticut painters from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, including portraits, landscapes, still-lifes, modern art, as well as scenes of Connecticut from over 300 years. Among the artists in the collection are John Trumbull, Erastus Salisbury Field, Frederic Church, John Frederick Kensett, Arshile Gorky, Kay Sage, Yves Tanguy, Peter Poskas, Abe Ajay and Alexander Calder. A temporary exhibit space displays exhibits related to the art and history of Connecticut, including a Bi-Annual Juried Show.
The Waterbury Button Museum is a permanent exhibit of approximately 10,000 buttons on display. The Button Museum was assembled by Warren F. Kaynor for the Waterbury Button Company more than 50 years ago. It includes buttons from all over the world, with many 18th and 19th century examples. The Button Museum was given to the Mattatuck Museum by the Waterbury Companies, successor to the Waterbury Button Company, which has been making buttons in Waterbury since 1812.