An Art Lover's Guide to Boston

Art Museums, Galleries, and Public Works

Boston is a creative city full of popular art museums. The Museum of Fine Arts alone houses more than 400,000 works of art. The city is also home to countless smaller museums, including the Museum of Pop Culture, the Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Harvard Art Museum, all of which have great collections of their own. Here's our list of the best art museums and galleries in Boston for your next trip.
The Institute of Contemporary Art
The Institute of Contemporary Art is in the Seaport District by the harbor. From the location you can enjoy impressive views of the Boston Harbor. The beautiful museum features 20th and 21st century work by notable women including Louise Bourgeois, Doris Salcedo, and Eva Hesse. There is also a satellite space that is opened seasonally during the summer months. It's accessible by shuttle but must be booked in advance.
25 Harbor Shore Drive, Seaport District, South Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, 02210
Rose Kennedy Greenway
This stretch of interconnected parks running through Downtown Boston is a great spot for a walk, run, or even a bike ride - or for just exploring the city. Starting at the north in North End near the Haymarket T station, the connected parks and trails run south through the Waterfront and Downtown areas until they reach Chinatown Park. Along the way, visitors will find smaller parks, interactive fountains, a carousel, gardens, public restrooms, restaurants and cafes, and more. If you're wandering along the path, it's quite easy to make short detours to explore the various attractions and historical spots of Boston.
John F. Fitzgerald Expressway, Waterfront, Boston, Massachusetts, 02110
Interested in more travel advice for Boston? Check out Activities and Things to Do in the Fall in Boston and Best Places To Enjoy A Picnic In Boston.
Nichols House Museum
The Nichols House Museum is located in an old Victorian mansion that was once owned by Rose Standish Nichols. This is a small and unique Boston museum that has a collection of art and furniture.
55 Mt Vernon St, Beacon Hill, Boston, MA, 02108
New England Holocaust Memorial
The New England Holocaust Memorial in Boston is dedicated to the Jewish people who were killed by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.
Congress Street, Dock Square, Boston, Massachusetts, 02102
Museum of Fine Arts
The MFA houses an impressive collection that includes more than 450,000 pieces of art and artifacts. It has one of the best collections of Korean art outside of the Korean peninsula. It also has an impressive Egyptian collection as well as a European wing that includes the Claude Monet gallery.
465 Huntington Avenue, Fenway-Kenmore, Boston, Massachusetts, 02115
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
This unique art museum features the collection once owned by Isabella Stewart Gardner, an eccentric collector who enjoyed travel and ancient cultures. The building this museum is housed in is impressive as well. It's a Venetian style palazzo that has a beautiful courtyard and elegant architecture. Within the museum, the collection has grown to include more than 7,500 art pieces, 2,700 books and manuscripts, and more than 8,000 historical objects.
25 Evans Way, Fenway-Kenmore, Boston, MA, 02115
Harvard Art Museums
The Harvard Art Museums include three museums - the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum. There are also four research centers included in the system. These are the Archaeological exploration of Sardis, the Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art, the Harvard Art Museums Archives, and the Straus Center for conservation and Technical Studies.
477 Broadway, Inman Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02138
deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum
This 30 acres outdoor park and museum offers a peaceful place to explore with fields, gardens, lawns, forests, and terraces. It's located about 20 miles to the west of Boston, so if you're looking for a peaceful place to escape the city, this is a nice option.
51 Sandy Pond Rd, Lincoln, MA, 01773
Planning a trip to Boston? You might also be interested in The Best Beaches Near Boston and What to do in the Summer in Boston.
Commonwealth Avenue Mall
Stretching west from the famous Boston Common, Commonwealth Avenue is home to a wide and beautiful tree-lined median for eight blocks. This public park and garden area is home to a number of monuments, statues, and public spaces where visitors can relax, have a picnic, or explore the history of Boston. While you're here, peruse the statues of Alexander Hamilton, Leif Eriksson, and Samuel Eliot Morison among others, as well as the Women's Memorial and the Firefighters' Memorial. Also, admire the historic homes on either side of the avenue while you're here.
Commonwealth Avenue, Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts
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Boston has plenty more to offer, so see also our other articles: The Best Art Museums in Boston.
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