/  North America   /  United States   /  Massachusetts   /  
Museum of Fine Arts in Boston - Best Museums and Art Galleries in Massachusetts

Explore the 10 Best Museums and Art Galleries in Massachusetts: A Guide (2024)

Massachusetts is renowned for its world-class museums and art galleries, with a plethora of impressive institutions scattered throughout the state. Among these museums in Massachusetts, you’ll find the prestigious Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the captivating Worcester Art Museum, just to name a few. These top 10 places offer countless opportunities to explore the state’s rich cultural heritage, regardless of whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or a curious explorer.

At these museums in Massachusetts, visitors can immerse themselves in interactive exhibits, view unique collections, marvel at rare artwork, and admire stunning architecture. These top attractions are perfect for anyone seeking a memorable experience that combines education and entertainment.

We’ve compiled the ultimate guide to help you make the most of your visit. With a focus on museums and art galleries in Massachusetts, this guide offers a well-rounded selection of places to visit. This guide includes everything you need to know about opening times, admission prices, recommended tours, and fun activities for kids at these institutions.

Explore the 10 Best Museums and Art Galleries in Massachusetts: A Guide

Whether you’re a local or a tourist, this guide is the key to unlocking the best museums and art galleries in Massachusetts.

1. Museum of Fine Arts in Boston

When it comes to art, one of the must-visit places in Massachusetts is the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The museum features an impressive collection of over 450,000 works worldwide. You can find it here, from ancient Greek sculptures to modern artwork by renowned artists such as Monet, Picasso, and Pollock.

The museum offers two types of admission: General admission and pay-what-you-wish admission. General admission grants access to all the collections, exhibitions, and programs with a nominal fee; however, you can also choose to pay what you wish for a more economical option.

Aside from world-class artworks and galleries, the museum also offers various educational programs and activities for visitors of all ages. These include lectures, special exhibitions, drop-in workshops, and special classes offering insight into various art history aspects. Additionally, there are plenty of restaurants at hand where you can grab a bite while checking out the different works on display.

2. Worcester Art Museum

The Worcester Art Museum is an absolute must-visit for anyone passionate about art. Located in Worcester, Massachusetts, this museum boasts one of the US’s largest collections of European artwork. It also has an extensive collection of American art, including works by Thomas Cole and John Singer Sargent.

The museum’s rich history dates back to 1898, when its first pieces were acquired. With a vast collection ranging from paintings, sculptures, photographs, and decorative arts from the ancient to the modern day, there is something for every art enthusiast. They offer numerous exhibits inside the museum and installations throughout the city, including outdoor sculptures and murals.

They also offer onsite and online educational programs for school children covering topics such as art appreciation, curation, and even digital painting lessons. With an impressive collection, engaging exhibits, and interactive tours, the Worcester Art Museum is a must-visit, no matter where you’re from or your level of expertise in art.

3. Harvard Art Museums

If you’re looking for a diverse range of art and culture, visiting the Harvard Art Museums will be a memorable experience. The museum is located in Cambridge and consists of three entities: the Fogg Museum of Art, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum. Together, these museums feature a collection of more than 250,000 works from around the world, from ancient civilizations to modern-day pieces.

Visitors can explore works by renowned artists such as Renoir, Rembrandt, and Monet. Many of these exhibitions are ongoing and rotate throughout the year.

The museums also boast an impressive array of educational programs for visitors of all ages. From guided tours to Saturday morning sketching sessions and lectures from world-renowned scholars, you can’t go wrong when visiting Harvard Art Museums. Of course, if you’re looking for a more laid-back atmosphere, there are plenty of spaces to sit back and enjoy the artwork with or without company.

4. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

One of Boston’s most popular and beloved spots is the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. This museum was created by Isabella Gardner, who wanted to provide a place for people to admire art, learn, and be inspired.

The museum hosts many artworks, including works by Rembrandt, Manet, Whistler, and Sargent. You can also find stunning works from high-profile artists like Botticelli, Raphael, and Titian.

The museum also hosts various exhibitions featuring contemporary artworks from established and emerging artists. The extensive collection includes ancient artifacts from the Middle East and Africa alongside modern paintings, sculptures, photographs, and drawings worldwide.

Another great feature of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is its tranquil courtyard garden which features a variety of plants, trees, and shrubs. The garden provides a peaceful atmosphere where visitors can escape the city’s hustle and appreciate nature surrounded by exquisite artwork.

5. Cape Cod Museum of Art

When visiting the Cape Cod Museum of Art, you can expect to find art from the local area and worldwide. With over 4,000 works in its collection, visitors will surely find something to admire!

The museum features permanent and rotating exhibitions and programs focusing on American art, especially works by regional artists. At the Cape Cod Museum of Art, visitors can see displays of the following:

  • Paintings
  • Drawings
  • Sculptures
  • Digital art
  • Prints

You can also explore the galleries dedicated to photography exhibits featuring both contemporary and historical works. Furthermore, you can get up close and personal with artists’ work in their studio spaces and learn about their creative processes. All this makes it easy to see why it’s one of Massachusetts’ top destinations for appreciators of fine art.

6. Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, located in Amherst, MA, is a must-stop destination for art lovers of all ages. As the nation’s only full-scale museum dedicated to the illustration of children’s books, it is the perfect place for you and your family to admire some of the most incredible artworks ever created.

The museum offers an array of interactive exhibitions featuring artwork from over 80 countries and a variety of educational programs like book readings, theater performances, and more. With rotating exhibitions that highlight talented and creative pieces from well-known authors/illustrators and up-and-coming talent, this engaging experience will provide all who visit with an unparalleled appreciation for picture book art.

The museum also houses a library for visitors to explore, where they can find over 10,000 picture books from worldwide! You can learn about each masterpiece in the library by visiting their website or by visiting the museum itself; friendly staff will guide you through your journey.

If you’re looking for an eye-opening experience that is both educational and entertaining, make sure to check out the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art on your next trip to Massachusetts!

7. Peabody Essex Museum

The Peabody Essex Museum in Salem is a unique and incredible destination filled with art and cultural artifacts worldwide. Founded in 1799, PEM is one of the oldest museums in the United States and features collections that span maritime, heritage, and contemporary art.

The museum has three main buildings that house its exhibitions. The original two-story building and the East India Marine Hall feature permanent exhibitions ranging from African and Asian art to ship models and 19th-century American furniture. The Yin Yu Tang House is a traditional Chinese merchant house relocated from Anhui Province, China, to PEM in 2003.

PEM also has several temporary exhibitions throughout the year, like seasonal exhibits of modern or contemporary art or special installations featuring the work of local artists.

There are also hands-on activities like an interactive activity center for kids and interactive touch screens throughout the museum. In addition, PEM conducts creative programs like classes for adults and kids alike for those looking to explore their creativity.

Whether you’re an art enthusiast or just looking for something fun to do on a weekend afternoon, Peabody Essex Museum is worth a visit!

8. DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum

The DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts, has something for everyone. Since 1950, the museum has boasted over 60 acres of outdoor sculptures and changing indoor exhibitions.

The DeCordova Sculpture Park is always free and open to the public, making it a great choice for anyone looking to explore the diverse works of art from emerging and established contemporary artists. Here are some of the highlights when visiting this museum:

  • Stunning Grounds: The lush grounds feature more than 60 acres of rolling grassy hills and meadows, which have been transformed into an outdoor gallery featuring a variety of sculptures.
  • Interactive Programs: The museum offers a variety of interactive programs, like its popular Summer Institute and Teen Studio courses.
  • Permanent Collection: This museum has a permanent collection featuring over 500 sculptures and installations, including works by Alexander Calder, Louise Nevelson, Joan Miró, and more.

The DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum is an experience all its own – whether you’re interested in exploring their permanent collection or participating in one of their interactive programs – this museum will surely delight all who visit.

9. The Clark

Stopping at the Clark in Williamstown is the perfect way to finish your Massachusetts museum and art gallery tour. Located in the center of the Berkshires, this stunning museum houses a collection of over 50,000 works from the early Renaissance to modern-day masters.

With a permanent collection featuring renowned pieces by Nicolas Poussin, Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, and more, there’s something to inspire everyone. It is also home to several special exhibitions throughout the year, such as “A New England Vision: Photographs by Alvin Langdon Coburn and His Contemporaries,” which opened in April 2020.

If that wasn’t enough, The Clark is also recognized as a leader in conservation and preservation thanks to its state-of-the-art facilities and advanced methods employed by leading experts in the field. Whether you’re interested in architecture or art history, exploring The Clark will leave you with a greater appreciation for creative pursuits.

10. The MIT List Visual Arts Center

If you’re looking to discover some unique and exciting art galleries in Massachusetts, then the MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge is a must-visit. This hidden gem is off the beaten path and offers three galleries featuring contemporary art exhibitions.

The List Gallery generally shows works from emerging and mid-career artists, while the Bartos and Hayden Galleries include a permanent collection and rotating exhibitions. Admission is free, allowing visitors to explore various types of modern art without an admission fee.

The Institute offers educational programs such as lectures, talks, and workshops that dive into how art has been used as a form of social protest or activism. The Institute also sponsors special events such as film screenings, artist visits, and panel discussions to provide visitors with further insight into modern art within its galleries.


Massachusetts boasts a spectacular array of museums and art galleries, including some of the world’s most celebrated institutions. If planning a trip to the Bay State, check out the top ten museums and art galleries. Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, or a curious traveler, there is something for everyone. From the iconic ICA Boston to the charming Worcester Art Museum in Central Massachusetts, these museums showcase diverse artworks that will leave a lasting impression.

With engaging experiences, unique exhibits, and countless photo opportunities, these museums in Massachusetts are the perfect way to experience the state’s rich artistic heritage. We have compiled this comprehensive guide, which includes information on each museum’s location, must-see exhibits, and the reason you must plan visiting there. Don’t miss out on the chance to explore the best of Massachusetts’ museums and art galleries.

Where do you want to go?

Get a Quote

Medical Tourism Enquiry

Selected Value: 0
No, thank you. I do not want.
100% secure your website.
WhatsApp Chat