Explore museums and universities in Massachusetts, a state that is rich in creative experiences and history.
Immerse yourself in culture on the historic campus of the respected Harvard University, and peek into the past at its Harvard Museum of Natural History. Revel in the classics at the Museum of Fine Art, and be inspired by the contemporary artists at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. There are plenty of places to explore in this diverse state.
Founded in 1636, Harvard University is the oldest university in the USA, and eight U.S. presidents studied at the Boston institution. They were John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Rutherford Burchard Hays, John F. Kennedy, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Get a visitor’s map at the Smith Visitor Center and go on a free tour that includes a walk through Harvard Yard. The university also hosts various events in the performance theaters, art galleries, museums and libraries.
Students studying outside at Harvard University in Boston
Harvard Museum of Natural History
The Harvard Museum of Natural History is the most-visited attraction at Harvard University. The museum is dedicated to presenting advanced research, addressing contemporary issues and offering creative educational experiences. Browse the glass flower collection, with over 4,000 models that represent more than 830 plant species; walk through the New England Forests exhibit to learn about natural history, forest ecology and animals who live there; visit the Africa exhibit and see mounted specimens of African wildlife; and inspect thousands of rare minerals and gems in the Earth and Planetary Sciences exhibit.
A monkey skeleton at the Harvard Museum of Natural History
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
One of the richest collections of art in the world, with nearly 450,000 pieces, is at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. More than 1 million people each year come to enjoy the exhibits that range from Egyptian to contemporary, experience special exhibitions and learn at a variety of innovative educational programs. Sign up for a one-hour tour to explore highlights from the collections or engage in an art talk with curators, conservators, educators, local scholars and artists to further your understanding. The museum is a must-visit stop for art lovers of all ages.
Works on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art
Since its founding in 1999 in North Adams, in the northwestern corner of the state, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art has been committed to becoming a world-class venue for showcasing contemporary art. The museum hosts both indoor and outdoor performing arts, music, sculpture, dance, film, paintings, photography, and boundary-crossing works of art that defy classification. Learning opportunities for all ages include classes, lectures, performances, artist talks, tours, camps, after-school programs and a child-centered art gallery called Kidspace.