Berkshire Museums coming in at #6 and #8
Written by Kathryn Cirrone
There are many popular museums in the city of Boston, but what you may not know when visiting Massachusetts is that there are many other great museums throughout the state, most within driving distance from Boston. These museums will give you a taste of Massachusetts history and culture, whether you are learning about the Pilgrims or the Salem Witch Trials. Of course, don’t miss those located right in the city while you are in town, two of which are included in our top picks for Massachusetts museums.
Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA): North Adams
Located in the Berkshires in the town of North Adams, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MoCA) has been showcasing a wide variety of contemporary art
since it opened in 1999. The galleries and exhibits, which are both indoor and outdoor, range from music, sculpture, and dance, to film, painting, photography ,and more. There are over 40 weekends worth of live performances throughout the year that include events such as music festivals, outdoor silent films and contemporary dance.
Summer Hours (mid-June to mid-October) are daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The remainder of the year, hours are Wednesday to Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Tuesdays, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day). Admission is $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and veterans, $12 for students, and $8 for Children ages 6-16.
The Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield
The Berkshire Museum’s inspiration came from a combination of three other museums: the American Museum for Natural Science, the Smithsonian and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The goal when it opened in 1903 was to bring the beauty of each of these acclaimed museums to Western Massachusetts, an area not previously known for the arts.
This is where you’ll find a diverse collection of historical artifacts and scientific objects, ranging from an Egyptian mummy to a meteorite. The museum also has items that were significant in American history events, such as Nathaniel Hawthorne’s writing desk and various items from the first North Pole expedition. You can also find work from influential artists including Norman Rockwell and Andy Warhol. If you’re traveling with kids, there’s plenty for them to do here as well.
Open year-round Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $13 for Adults, $6 for children (4-17), and free for children 3 and under.