Logo   Mass. Museum of Contemporary Art
Founded in a factory town with lots of cheap, large spaces, Mass MoCA in North Adams MA can exhibit huge works of art that other museums can't accommodate.

by Tom Brosnahan
Travel Info Exchange



The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) on the Hoosic River in North Adams MA (map) wants "to foster and present exciting new work of the highest quality in all media – and in all phases of its production."

MASS MoCA Sign, North Adam MA

In other words, you never know what you might see here: a finished gigantic work of sculpture, a performance art piece in rehearsal, artists painting, sculpting, welding, drafting sketches, discussing old work and new work and work yet to be conceived.

It's not just the huge interior spaces of the museum's 26 former industrial buildings on its 13-acre (5.26-hectare) campus. It's the technical, support and administrative staff that help to make an artist's conception a reality.

Once one of the country's largest factories for printed cloth, then a design and manufacturing facility for sophisticated electronics, the factory campus was available in 1986 when Thomas Krens, director of the Williams College Museum of Art, was looking for large spaces in which to display oversize works of contemporary art that couldn't be displayed in traditional museum spaces. The factory campus would have one gallery as long as a (US) football field (300 yards, 91.44 meters), and other, smaller spaces.

Mirrors at Mass MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts
You never know what you'll find at Mass MoCA!

The idea for Mass MoCA was born, and the museum opened on May 30, 1999.

The museum stages five major exhibitions each year, and over 80 performance events. For information on current offerings, or to become a member of MASS MoCA, see the Mass MoCA website.

Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art
87 Marshall Street (map)
North Adams MA 01247
Tel: 413-662-2111
Fax: 413-663-8548

—by Tom Brosnahan

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Phoenix by Xu Bing, MASS MoCA, Noth Adams MA

Above, Xu Bing's gigantic 99-foot-long (30-meter), 12-ton Phoenixes have plenty of room to fly

MASS MoCA, North Adams MA
The main building by a Hoosic River channel.

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