We tend to talk a lot about art on this blog. And can you blame us? The Merrimack Valley has so many incredible galleries, workshops, co-ops, and communities (even a mill-sized artist community), that it’s hard not to recognize the incredible opportunities to view and learn about art right in our backyard.
Today, let’s focus on the various art museums spread out across the Merrimack Valley area. Throughout these locations, you’ll find many opportunities to not only take in art but to learn more about these collections and how they can represent a window into our past and present.
1. Addison Gallery of American Art
Located on the grounds of the prestigious Phillips Academy in Andover, MA, the Addison Gallery of American Art boasts one of the most comprehensive art collections in the world. Within the museum’s walls, visitors can expect to find almost 22,000 objects dating as far back as the 18th-century. The museum features rotating and traveling exhibitions alongside its massive collection.
In addition, the Addison Gallery offers various educational programs, including Pre-K through Grade 12 programs, college and adult art education, and programs for educators.
2. New England Quilt Museum
The New England Quilt Museum provides a truly unique experience for all visitors. Here, guests are welcome to explore world-class exhibitions featuring beautiful handmade quilts displaying the finest artistic craftsmanship. The museum hosts rotating exhibitions on view, group tours, and “Artist’s Talk” events where you can receive in-depth insight from local and national artists. The museum store also offers a vast collection of quilts and other handcrafted items that you can take home.
3. deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum
This massive, 30-acre campus sculpture museum is perfect for art lovers and explorers alike! At any given time, the museum hosts over 50 works of sculpture art, both inside and outside. You’ll find many of these sculptures throughout the campus as you adventure through landscaped lawns, forests, fields, and even gardens. And since the museum hosts permanent and rotating exhibitions, you never quite know what you’ll discover on each return visit.
4. The Whistler House Museum of Art
The Whistler House Museum of Art is most famous as the birthplace of influential American artist, James McNeill Whistler. This hybrid art museum/historical home gives visitors the unique opportunity of viewing gorgeous works of art featuring permanent and rotating exhibitions alongside touring a beautifully preserved historic home.
The museum also hosts educational programs, such as youth art, and various programs for local artists.
NOTE: The Whistler House Museum of Art is currently closed to the public due to the covid-19 pandemic. We’ll be sure to update this page once the museum reopens for visitors.