Named by the Boston Globe as New England's greatest university collection of artworks, the Harvard Art Museums are three distinct museums—the Fogg, Busch-Reisinger, and Arthur M. Sackler museums—that together provide visitors with an astounding array of creative work. Re-View, the permanent exhibition highlighting the best of each museum, cuts a slice out of the collection to show rare treasures alongside well-known works ranging from Islamic to Asian, painting to calligraphy, and ancient to contemporary. Peruse a full queue of exhibitions, including one about the use of illusion in art and how it can confuse seeing-eye dogs.
The MIT Museum, accredited by the American Association of Museums in 1984 and again in 2002, engages the public with scientific research, design, and a peek into the institution's academic discoveries. The museum's permanent collections, assembled from artifacts the university has collected through scholarly interests, include holograms, a nautical archive, and technological achievements, such as the telephone. Temporary exhibitions storm the museum's towers throughout the year, currently showcasing MIT 150, highlighting 150 years' worth of artifacts–such as race cars and the TX-0 computer–and world domination by MIT students and faculty. The museum also hosts a number of programs for the public throughout the year. Guests can check out the calendar for an up-to-date list of upcoming attractions and events.
Founded in 1866, the Peabody Museum is one of the oldest anthropological museums in the world, with an in-depth collection of artifacts spanning prehistory to present. You'll learn about the evolution of cultures through a variety of current exhibits. Head into the Pacific Islands Hall to find carvings, shields, and shadow puppets from Hawaii, Micronesia, and other islands, and get a dose of colonial life in the early Harvard Yard with Digging Veritas, where you can scope out framed papyrus LSAT scores. The Wiyohpiyata display treats guests to distinct scents, motions, ambient sounds, and more to evoke the character of original 19th-century Lakota drawings collected at Little Big Horn. Your Groupon also affords you admission to the nearby Harvard Museum of National History, where muzzled opera singers can get a glimpse of the famed Glass Flowers exhibit, a collection of more than 3,000 highly realistic glass-blown models of flowers and plants.
It’s not often that a building is as cutting edge as what it houses, but that’s the case with Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art. Set on Boston Harbor, the 65,000-square-foot cantilevered structure boasts amazing views, perched as it is right at the water’s edge with its enormous glass windows. The museum, founded in 1936, has hosted exhibits by the likes of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein over the years and, more recently, by artists such as Tara Donovan and Shepard Fairey. Since 2000, the museum has been building a permanent collection which rotates about once a year. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of multimedia art, videos, installations and performing arts programs.
Historic New England focuses its efforts on the preservation of the region's architecture, landscapes, and other histori-cultural entities. Currently, the organization owns and operates 36 historical sites throughout Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island—20 of which are located in the Bay State. Join Historic New England's time-trapping cause with a contributing membership and you'll receive a Beauport-Sleeper-McCann House’s worth of benefits, including:
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum has been a bastion of art and culture since it was founded in 1903. The building, inspired by and designed after a 15th-century Venetian palace, contains three floors of galleries surrounding a garden courtyard that remains verdant with plant life from the dawn of spring through the darkest, most subatomic depths of winter. Gardner, who founded the museum, spent her life curating and encouraging the art collection, which contains more than 2,500 objects, including paintings, sculpture, textiles, illuminated manuscripts, and rare books lifted everywhere from ancient Rome to 19th-century France. While visiting this citadel of scintillating visions, witness landscapes by Whistler, Renaissance-era Flemish tapestries, and religious wood sculptures from 16th-century Germany. Exhibitions provide specific, detailed glimpses into varied subject matter; an exhibit on terracotta sculpture of the Italian Renaissance runs until May 23.