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Fine Arts

Art Museums in Massachusetts

ICA Boston image
  • Harvard Art Museums The Harvard Art Museums is one of the world's leading arts institutions, comprised of three museums and four research centers. The museum is distinguished by the range and depth of its collections, its groundbreaking exhibitions, and the original research of its staff. The collection includes more than 260,000 objects ranging in date from ancient times to the present from Europe, North America, North Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia
  • Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston Founded in 1936 as The Boston Museum of Modern Art, the museum was conceived as a laboratory where innovative approaches to art could be championed.The ICA aims to present the most significant national and international contemporary art to Boston audiences. The multi-faceted exhibition program includes the Momentum series, focusing on the work of emerging artists; the Sandra and Gerald Fineberg Art Wall, an annual, site-specific commission in the museum lobby; the James and Audrey Foster Prize, a biennial exhibition and award for Boston-area artists; and selections from our burgeoning permanent collection. The West Gallery, our largest exhibition space, has featured critically acclaimed solo and group exhibitions.
  • MASS MoCA Since opening in 1999, MASS MoCA has become one of the world's premier centers for making and showing the best art of our time. More than 80 major new works of art and more than 50 performances have been created through fabrication and rehearsal residencies in North Adams, making MASS MoCA perhaps the most fertile site in the country for new art. The museum thrives on making and presenting work that is fresh, surprising, and challenging
  • Museum of Fine Arts Boston is one of the most comprehensive art museums in the world; the collection encompasses nearly 450,000 works of art. 2010 marked the opening of the Art of the Americas Wing, with four levels of American art from ancient to modern. In 2011, the west wing of the Museum was transformed into the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art, with new galleries for contemporary art and social and learning spaces.
  • The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA The Rose Art Museum on the Brandeis campus houses what is widely recognized as the finest collection of modern and contemporary art in New England. With more than 7,000 objects — paintings, sculptures, works on paper and new media — the Rose collection has particular strengths in American Modernism, American Social Realism, post-War American, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, Surrealism and Photorealism.

US, UK, and Europe

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  • Art Institute of Chicago The Art Institute of Chicago was founded as both a museum and school for the fine arts in 1879, a critical era in the history of Chicago as civic energies were devoted to rebuilding the metropolis that had been destroyed by the Great Fire of 1871. The museum broke ground on the site of the Goodman Theater in 2005 to build the Modern Wing, directly facing Millennium Park. This addition holds the museum's collections of 20th- and 21st-century art, architecture, design, and photography
  • British Museum is a museum dedicated to human history, art, and culture, located in the Bloomsbury area of London. Its permanent collection, numbering some 8 million works, is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence and originates from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present
  • Centre Pompidou, Paris, France Since its opening to the public on 2 February, 1977,the Centre Pompidou became one of the world's most popular cultural venues and one of the most visited monuments in France. The Centre Pompidou is tasked with maintaining and developing a national collection of modern and contemporary art in France and with more than 60,000 works constitute the largest collection in Europe of modern and contemporary art. It covers the XX and XXI centuries through artists which artworks had major influence in recent years.
  • The Guggenheim Museum often referred to as The Guggenheim, is an art museum located at 1071 Fifth Avenue on the corner of East 89th Street in the Upper East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It is the permanent home of a renowned and continuously expanding collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern and contemporary art and also features special exhibitions throughout the year.
  • Hamburger Bahnof, Berlin Today the Nationalgalerie’s Hamburger Bahnhof division is one of the largest and most significant public collections of contemporary art in the world. The museum’s name refers to the building’s original function as one of the first terminal stations of the rail system in Germany. The Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin presides over a comprehensive collection of contemporary art, which it presents in a variety of exhibitions. It is the largest among the buildings housing the Nationalgalerie’s extensive holdings, the remainder of which are divided into the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Neue Nationalgalerie, the Friedrichswerdersche Kirche, the Museum Berggruen, and the Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg.
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art is located in New York City, is the largest art museum in the United States and among the most visited art museums in the world. Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided among seventeen curatorial departments.
  • MOMA - Museum of Modern Art located in Midtown Manhattan in New York City, on 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. It has been important in developing and collecting modernist art, and is often identified as the most influential museum of modern art in the world. The museum's collection offers an overview of modern and contemporary art, including works of architecture and design, drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, prints, illustrated books and artist's books, film and electronic media.
  • National Gallery of Art (D.C.) The National Gallery of Art has one of the finest art collections in the world. It was created for the people of the United States of America by a joint resolution of Congress accepting the gift of financier, public servant, and art collector Andrew W. Mellon in 1937. European and American paintings, sculpture, works on paper, photographs, and decorative arts are displayed in the collection galleries.
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art is a modern artmuseum located in San Francisco, California. A nonprofit organization, SFMOMA holds an internationally recognized collection of modern and contemporary art and was the first museum on the West Coast devoted solely to 20th-century art. The museum’s current collection includes over 29,000 works of painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, design, and media arts.
  • Tate Modern, London, England The Tate Modern is a separate gallery of the Tate Museum devoted to international modern and contemporary art in London. The former Bankside Power Station was chosen as the site for new gallery in 1994, converted into a new gallery under the designs of Herzog and De Meuron and opened in 2000.

Exhibitions and Biennials


  • Whitney Biennial 2014 The 2014 Whitney Biennial will take a bold new form as three curators from outside the Museum—Stuart Comer (Chief Curator of Media and Performance Art at MoMA), Anthony Elms (Associate Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia), and Michelle Grabner (artist and Professor in the Painting and Drawing Department at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago)—each oversee one floor, representing a range of geographic vantages and curatorial methodologies.
  • Carnegie International The 2013 Carnegie International is an ambitious return for Carnegie Museum of Art’s signature survey series, the preeminent exhibition of new international art in the United States.
  • Documenta Documenta is a a hundred day exhibition presented every four years in Kassel, Germany. dOCUMENTA is dedicated to artistic research and forms of imagination that explore commitment, matter, things, embodiment, and active living in connection with, yet not subordinated to, theory.
  • Venice Biennale The Venice Biennale (la Biennale di Venezia) – currently presided over by Paolo Baratta – has for over a century been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. Ever since its foundation, it has been at the forefront in the research and promotion of new artistic trends. Every two years, the Venice Biennale hoss the Biennale Arte, an international contemporary art exhibition. The 55th Art Biennale was held in 2013.
  • San Paolo Biennale The Bienal de São Paulo was initiated in 1951 and is the second oldest art biennial in the world. The Biennial’s initial aims are to make contemporary art known in Brazil, push the country’s access to the art scene in other metropolises and further establish São Paulo as an international art centre. The biennial serves to bring Brazilian art closer to an international audience, and vice-versa. The international exhibitions are held under the direction of rotating chief curators.
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