Get Cultured | Berkshires Museums

The Berkshires revealed through art and history at local museums

The Berkshires are home to more than 10 world-class visual and performing arts museums that rival those in major metropolitan areas. With expansive collections and cutting edge art, the museums of the Berkshires are an outstanding resource for both residents and visitors. A broad range of art is accessible, from MASS MoCA’s ultra-contemporary offerings to the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute’s collection of classical masterworks to the famous illustrations of Americana at the Norman Rockwell Museum.

Norman Rockwell Museum

Stockbridge, MA

Main-Street_NRM_PatronsFounded in 1969, the Norman Rockwell Museum is the Berkshires’ most visited year-round attraction. Dedicated to American illustration, the museum is home to the world’s largest collection of original Norman Rockwell art, including the iconic Four Freedoms, and his famous 323 works done for The Saturday Evening Post. In addition to the more than 570 paintings and drawings by Rockwell, the museum has a variety of changing exhibitions throughout the year that focus on everything from children’s picture books and animated art to graphic novels.

The 36-acre grounds also offer guests the opportunity to explore Rockwell’s original Stockbridge studio which was moved to the property and is complete with Rockwell’s easel, brushes, books and furniture. Hiking trails and climbing sculptures created by Rockwell’s son Peter stretch across the campus for those looking to burn some energy before enjoying a bite to eat or a to-go picnic basket from the Terrace Cafe.

The museum is also a great place to take the family. The museum’s Art Zone provides a fun space to read, relax and be creative while programs such as the Summer Sketch Club offer families the chance to interact with each other and learn to create their own inspiring drawings.

stock-photo-5278056-red-and-blue-grungeMASS MoCA

North Adams, MA

Housed on a 13-acre campus of renovated 19th-century factory buildings, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA) is one of the world’s largest and liveliest centers for contemporary visual art and performing arts in the United States. The sprawling complex includes more than 200,000 square feet of exhibition space, 200,000 square feet of residential and commercial space, an outdoor cinema and an amphitheater that can seat 9,000. With an emphasis on transformative art there is always something new to experience.

 

Dwelling bedroomHancock Shaker Village

Hancock, MA

Experience what Shaker life was like 200 years ago at the Hancock Shaker Village. The 750-acre farm includes 20 authentic buildings, more than 22,000 artifacts, a working farm, extensive gardens, craft demonstrations and an ample selection of hiking trails. Chat with interpreters as they demonstrate aspects of Shaker life, including weaving, oval box-building, cooking and woodworking, and share insight into Shaker practices, beliefs and principled approach to life.

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