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With eclectic artists’ guilds and traditional family-owned old master spaces, Boston has been establishing itself as one of the most important areas for the arts in New England. The capital of Massachusetts provides a spectrum of art experiences in its grand public museums and small independent galleries. Here is a look at the top nine places to appreciate art during your time in Boston.
For a more grassroots experience in Boston, head to the SoWa Art + Design District – an area with more than 20 galleries and 80 artist studios. The members of the non-profit SoWa Artists Guild are an eclectic bunch, all originating from different parts of the world and experimenting with different mediums. The guild’s objective is to promote the individuality and diversity of the artists working within the flagship space at the center of the SoWa Art + Design District, and to offer visitors a more personal approach to experiencing art first-hand. With more than 300 artists represented, it is recognized as one of New England’s largest artistic communities.
Established in the year 2000, the Galerie d’Orsay sits in the heart of Boston’s Back Bay and is home to an extensive collection of artworks that span six centuries. While the gallery features pieces by Rembrandt, Toulouse-Lautrec, Dalí and others, it also exhibits internationally renowned living artists. Priding itself on its strong relationships with major collections and institutions throughout the world while simultaneously collaborating directly with artists’ estates, the Galerie d’Orsay consistently provides prominent exhibitions for natives and visitors of Boston.
Located in a brownstone on Newbury Street, Vose Galleries houses the largest inventory of 18th-, 19th- and early-20th-century American realist paintings in New England. All five floors of this beautiful space are dedicated to fine art, including the living and dining rooms, which are furnished with antiques. Since the founding of Vose Galleries in 1841, the Vose family has handled more than 34,000 American paintings and has helped public and private institutions build their collections. The gallery has been passed down through six generations of the Vose family, making it the oldest family-owned art gallery in America.
The prestigious Krakow Witkin Gallery specializes in Postmodern art, including paintings, drawings, sculptures and prints. The gallery showcases emerging and established regional, national and international artists, with a focus on Minimalist and conceptually driven works. Their catalog features the likes of Josef Albers, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt and Jasper Johns. The gallery also hosts an AIDS benefit each November and December; people can buy donated artworks for $350, with all funds given to charity.