Logo   Art Museums in Greater Boston MA
You've heard of Bostons top fine art museums—Museum of Fine Arts, Gardner Museum, ICA—but there are many more in the city and conveniently nearby.

"humming," by Jaume Plensa, deCordova  Museum, Lincoln MA
Jaume Plensa's Humming,
deCordova Museum, Lincoln MA.



Boston has dozens of world-class fine art museums, from the renowned Museum of Fine Arts and Harvard Art Museums to the small but exquisite collections of colleges and historic houses. Here are the best:

Museum of Fine Arts

Boston's prime fine arts museum, the MFA is one of the finest in the world, and the first stop for art lovers. More...

Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum

A short walk from the MFA, the Gardner is Massachusetts' most charming museum, a grand Mansion filled with the fine and varied collections of a 19th-century Boston grande dame. More...

Harvard Art Museums

Another world-class collection with works you've seen in books and loved for years, easily visitable in a fine new building on the Harvard University campus in Cambridge. More...

Institute of Contemporary Art

Daring, inventive, outrageous: if it hasn't been done before, and it's really done well, it'll show up in this dramatic waterfront museum in South Boston. More...

Boston Athenaeum

This historic private library on Beacon Hill in the center of Boston (map) has a small but exquisite collection of fine works, some of which you already know, but have never seen up close. More...

deCordova Museum
& Sculpture Park

Set on a verdant country campus in suburban Lincoln, 18 miles (29 km) northwest of Boston Common (map), the deCordova is perfect for an art getaway from the city. More...

Boston University Art Gallery

Check on current exhibitions on Boston University's art gallery, then take an MBTA Green Line "B" train 3 miles (5 km) west of Boston Common to the Boston University West stop (map) for a visit. More...

McMullen Museum of Art

Boston College's fine arts museum offers outstanding exhibits and shows at its current (2015) location in Chestnut Hill, 6 miles (10 km) west of Boston Common, but in future it will move to a new building in Brighton, 5.6 miles (9 km) west of the Common. More...

Rose Art Museum

Brandeis University's fine collection, especially strong in works by American artists of the 1960s and 1970s (Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Morris Louis, James Rosenquist and Andy Warhol) is 11 miles (18 km) west of Boston Common in Waltham (map), easily reached by MBTA Commuter Rail train on the Fitchburg line. More...

Davis Museum & Cultural Center

Since 1889, the fine arts museum of Wellesley College, 18 miles (29 km) west of Boston (map), has been building its notable collection of art works from around the world. Its motto, "There’s always something for everyone at the Davis!", is certainly true. More...

List Visual Arts Center

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's high-tech, modernist art museum on the MIT campus in Cambridge is known for its think-outside-the-box exhibits. (The high-tech website, however, is so over-designed and mechanized that it's difficult to extract information on how to visit. Be patient and keep looking...) More...

Danforth Art Museum

Suburban Framingham's Danforth Art Museum, now known as the Danfort Art Center at Framingham State University, is a hidden gem 21 miles (34 km) west of Boston Common by MBTA Commuter Rail train on the Framingham line. Having moved from its traditional home, it is now in the Jonathan Maynard Building on Framingham's Centre Common (map). The Danforth is known for its 3000-object permanent collection, its beautifully-staged exhibits of well-selected current and local artists, and its teaching and training functions for aspiring artists and sculptors. More...

Cyrus Dallin Art Museum

You may not know the name of this American sculptor, but you probably know his work: Appeal to the Great Spirit, the statue which greets you at the entrance to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, is by Dallin. There's plenty more at his museum in suburban Arlington, 8 miles (13 km) northwest of Boston Common (map). MBTA Bus 77, 79 or 350 takes you there, as does the Minuteman Bikeway. More...

Milton Art Museum at Massasoit

In suburban Milton, 16 miles (26 km) south of Boston Common, the museum boasts fine Asian painting, calligraphy and statuary; etchings and lithographs by Baskin, Cezanne, Chagall, Kollwitz, Manet, Picasso, Piranesi, Renoir, Signac, Turner and Whistler; signed prints by Dali, Calder, Hundertwasser, Komjate, Lebadang, Magritte, Miró, Motherwell and Warhol; and the centerpiece of the collection, a 17th-century painting by Cornelius Bisschop. Public transportation requires three bus trips, and takes time, but driving is easy. More...

Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists

The museum, in Roxbury, 3.4 miles (5.4 km) southwest of Boston Common (map), hosts fine exhibits of the wide range of works created by African and African-American artists throughout history. Take the MBTA Orange Line to the Jackson Square stop, then walk for 20 minutes. More...

Museum of American Bird Art at Massachusetts Audubon

If you like either art, or birds, or both, you'll want to visit MABA on the grounds of Mass Audubon's 121-acre wildlife sanctuary 19 miles (30.6 km) south of Boston Common in Canton, reachable by MBTA Commuter Rail trains on the Providence/ Stoughton Line (map). More...

All Boston Museums

Massachusetts Art Museums

New England Art Museums

What to See & Do in Boston

Boston Transportation

Finding Your Way in Boston

About Boston

About Cambridge MA


Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


"Appeal to the Great Spirit" by Cyrus Dallen, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA

Appeal to the Great Spirit, by Cyrus E Dallen
before the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.


"Appeal to the Great Spirit, by Cyrus E Dallin

Appeal to the Great Spirit, by Cyrus E Dallen
at the Cyrus Dallen Art Museum.

"Self-Portrait Dedicated to Paul Gauguin" by Vincent Van Gogh, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge MA
Self-Portrait Dedicated to Paul Gauguin, by Vincent Van Gogh. Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge MA.

FTP on Facebook    
Pinterest    Twitter