Boston, where the fall colors compete with art for attention, and pumpkin-spiced lattes aren’t the only seasonal staple. Boston’s eclectic art scene is filled with rotating exhibits for all types of art lovers. We've gathered a list of our recommendations for the Top Museum Exhibits to see this fall in Boston.
Harvard Art Museums: Where Nerds and Art Geeks Unite!
Picture this: a 400-year-old German porcelain vase sidled up next to a modern sculpture that looks like it fell from Mars. Welcome to Harvard’s "Disrupt the View: Arlene Shechet" exhibit, where old meets new in the most confusingly fabulous way! But wait, there's more: want to see what doctors see in art? Try not to diagnose yourself with anything as you explore "Seeing in Art and Medicine" this fall.
Peabody Essex Museum: Bringing Hope and Resilience in High-Definition
Witness stories of hope, resilience, and resistance captured in high definition at the Peabody Essex Museum's "As We Rise: Photography from the Black Atlantic" and "After Hope: Videos of Resistance” exhibits on display until December 31. These soul-stirring visual essays explore power dynamics and hope across cultures and are a must-see this fall. We also recommend checking out "Let None be Excluded: The Origins of Equal School Rights in Salem" and "Gu Wenda: United Nations" while visiting this beautiful museum in Salem.
ICA: Tammy Nguyen, but Make it Fashion!
Ready to get your mind tangled in a beautifully confusing mesh of geopolitical drama, spirituality, and bugs? On display at the ICA in Boston’s Seaport until January 2024, Tammy Nguyen's paintings are layered more intricately than your fall sweater weather attire. Inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson's musings on nature and Vietnam's wartime land reforms, this is the exhibit for when you can't decide between a nature hike or a philosophy lecture. Why go? Because Tammy makes thinking about heavy subjects feel like a walk in an art-infused park.
Museum of Fine Arts (MFA): For When You Need a Hug, but from Art
Look, we all need a little TLC —"Tender Loving Care." On exhibit until July of 2025, take this opportunity to view over 100 pieces of art that are "love letters" written in fabric, color, and form. And if you need a breather from all that emotional richness, take a seat on an art bench. Literally, the benches are the art. Why go? Because here, self-care isn’t just a hashtag—it’s a gallery.
We also recommend checking out the traveling exhibit "Fashioned by Sargent," on display until January 2024. Organized with Tate Britain, “Fashioned by Sargent” explores the artist’s complex relationship with his often-affluent clients and their clothes.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum: Get Personal with the Woman Behind the Name
You’ve probably heard of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum because of the infamous art heist in 1990, but do you know who Isabella Stewart Gardner was? What some would refer to today as a socialite or an influencer, Isabella used art, fashion, and photography to shape her persona and identity, defying both gender and class. Learn more about the woman behind the name at the "Inventing Isabella" exhibit hosted at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum until January 2024. Complete with oil paintings, informal drawings, personal photographs, and even some of her clothing and jewelry, learn more about the woman who became a legacy.
Museum of Bad Art: Where Bad is the New Good!
You’ve been to wine and paint nights; now, get ready for the Museum of Bad Art—a place where your failed canvas would feel right at home! Located at Dorchester Brewing Company, you can enjoy a local pint while you walk through the "Poor Traits" collection. Why go? Because nothing says "I’m secure in my taste" like appreciating the deliciously terrible.
There's something for every interest in this city. So, grab a scarf and your pumpkin-spiced latte, and let Boston's must-see exhibits this season spice up your stay.