Rich in art, culture and history, it’s no surprise that Massachusetts offers a museum for the likes of all ages and interests — from the hills of the Berkshires to Greater Boston and the coast — and, in today’s post, we wanted to highlight few popular spots that particularly offer a collection of new and interesting exhibits!
When was the last time that you made it out to any of the following museums?
1. The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA
Since its founding in 1799, the Peabody Essex Museum has continued to offer visitors a world of opportunity as soon as they step inside, with its vast collections of contemporary and historic American, Asian, African, Native American, Maritime and Oceanic art. As one of the largest museums in New England, the PEM features many parks, gardens, a hands-on education center, the Atrium Café & Garden Restaurant, and daily tours of historic houses like the Yin Yu Tang, an 18th-century Chinese merchant’s home transported from China and rebuilt at the museum.
One of the most popular current exhibitions, from here to ear, features an aviary gallery with a twist, housing 70 brightly colored Zebra Finches that live amongst iconic Gibson Les Paul and Thunderbird guitars. There are a limited number of tickets available, so book ahead here. The exhibition is on display until April 13, 2014. A list of other exhibitions can be found here.
The Peabody Essex Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and the third Thursday of every month 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Photo: from here to ear exhibit via Facebook
2. The deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, MA
Photo: DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum via Facebook
The largest park of its kind in New England, the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum exhibits beautiful art both indoors and out. The 35-acre Sculpture Park is filled with over 60 large-scale modern and contemporary sculptures, and is home to activities like snowshoe and birding tours, as well as yoga in the park.
Inside the museum, be sure to check out The 2013 deCordova Biennial, on view until April 20th, which aims to show today’s New England art scene. The exhibition showcases the work of 21 sculptors, painters, filmmakers, and installation artists from all six northeastern states – Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. The Biennial shows a vast range of subject matter, filling four floors of the museum and part of the Sculpture Park. For a full list of current exhibitions, click here, and for the monthly event calendar click here.
The deCordova is open Wednesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The café is open Monday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
3. The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA
Zenas Crane created the Berkshire Museum in 1903 with the goal of reflecting the best features of popular institutions, like the Smithsonian and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, on to the people and culture of Western Massachusetts. The museum now showcases collections from all over the world, varying from fine art to ancient artifacts and everything in between.
Currently on display is the Berkshire Collects exhibition, a presentation of Berkshire County residents’ passionate collections of just about every object you could think of, from antique toasters and Pez dispensers to motorcycles and vintage guitars. The stories that accompany these collections tell the human side of the objects, and taken as a whole, the exhibition mirrors the tradition of collecting that started the Berkshire Museum in the first place. A full list of current exhibitions at the Berkshire Museum can be found here.
Visit the Berkshire Museum Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., or Sunday from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Photo: Comic Book Collection at the Berkshire Museum via Facebook
4. The New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford, MA
Photo: New Bedford Whaling Museum via MOTT
For a more nautical twist in the museum scene, plan a visit to the New Bedford Whaling Museum in the former whaling capital of the world. The museum features a variety of science, history and cultural programs all year long. One of the current exhibitions, Navigate Through the New Bedford Fishery, gives insight to the New Bedford fishing industry and its impact on the people who make their living from the sea. Visitors to the exhibition can see a panoramic view of the local fishing fleet from the top deck of the museum and learn about the economic and environmental issues that affect the industry, as well as hear personal stories about the fishery. The calendar of events can be found here, and the list of other current and upcoming exhibitions is here.
Check out the New Bedford Whaling Museum in November through March on Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m – 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. From April through October, opening hours change to Monday – Sunday, 9 a.m. – 5p.m.
5. The Museum of Science in Boston, MA
One of the most popular museums in Massachusetts for kids and parents alike, the Museum of Science is a leader in bringing science and technology to the forefront of visitors’ minds. Permanent exhibits like the Colossal Fossil, where you can visit close-up with a 65-million-year-old dinosaur fossil, and the Butterfly Garden, with a chance to walk among a variety of live butterflies from around the globe, will keep you coming back time and time again.
Current temporary exhibits Our Global Kitchen: Food, Nature, Culture and Innovation in the Art of Food: Chef Ferran Adrià focus around enhancing food education and the challenging issues of our modern-day food system. Or if you’re looking for something a bit different, don’t miss the IMAX films in the Mugar Omni Theater on the five-story-foot tall dome screen. For a full list of exhibits, check out the website here.
The Museum of Science is open Saturday – Thursday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. For a specific day, check out the daily schedule.
Photo: Museum of Science via Facebook
For more amazing arts and cool culture, click here.