|Springfield Museums Quadrangle|
|Springfield's top museums are conveniently clustered in Springfield Museums Quadrangle, a short stroll from Court Square.|
Just northeast of Court Square is the Springfield Central Library, at Springfield Museums Quadrangle, corner of State and Chestnut streets (map).
At the entrance to the Quadrangle, in Merrick Park, is Augustus Saint Gaudens's statue of Deacon Samuel Chapin (1598-1675) called The Puritan.
The museum houses the collection of its eponymous founder, who amassed a fortune manufacturing carriages, and then spent it on works of art, everything from Japanese armor to Islamic carpets.
The armor collection is one of the finest outside Asia, and the Chinese cloisonné is equally impressive. There are lacquer-work screens, textiles, ceramics, and a fine collection of 19th-century European and American paintings. More...
This museum has more than 20 galleries. Its collection is built on lesser masters, or lesser paintings of the great masters, but is a fine representation nonetheless.
Pride of place—right above the main stairway—goes to Erastus Salisbury Field's The Rise of the American Republic, which can keep you busy for the better part of an hour. You'll see why.
The Impressionist and Expressionist gallery includes a painting from Monet's Haystacks series, and works by Degas, Dufy, Gauguin, Pissarro, Renoir, Rouault, and Vlaminck.
In the Contemporary gallery you'll find works by George Bellows, Lyonel Feininger, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Picasso, among others. Modern sculptors featured include Leonard Baskin and Richard Stankiewicz. More...
The Science Museum is a good place to take kids. Besides the historic Seymour Planetarium, there's a multilevel African Hall with exhibits explaining that continent's diverse peoples, animals, and ecology.
In the Dinosaur Hall, standing beneath the full-size replica of Tyrannosaurus Rex, you can learn what it feels like to be some creature's prospective lunch. In another exhibit, TAM (the Transparent Anatomical Mannikin) explains how her very visible and nicely illuminated organs and physical systems work. More...
Springfield native Theodore ("Ted") Geisel, author of the Dr Seuss books, would have loved this interactive museum which enhances the Dr Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden in Museum Quadrangle. If you have children who love the Dr Seuss characters, from the Cat in the Hat on, they will love this museum and garden. More...
In the 19th and 20th centuries, Springfield was a leading industrial and commercial city in New England. This museum tells its story, and its library and archives hold tens of thousands of books, documents, photographs, microfilms and databases. More...
—by Tom Brosnahan