We hope that everyone on this page is ready to take a deep dive into the local Boston art scene. Kicking this off by getting right into the best art galleries and museums near you where some of the finest exhibitions and collections the Northeast has to offer feels like our only option.
After that we will discuss where you can find all of the best local art supply stores in your area. Events, festivals, and shows that are held throughout the year will be the topic of our next section.
Art walking tours and sculptures or statues around the city can be a great way to get some sun and culture at the same time. Local art classes and lessons will definitely get a shout out and obviously there are great classes for both kids and adults that are available in the region.
Some of you may be past the lesson stage and if you are ready to jump right into your next project art studios for rent near you will get a mention. Then we will end this all by discussing the best shops for framing around town.
Thanks for giving us a minute of your time, we will do our best not to waste it.
Best Art Galleries & Museums In Boston
If you want to check out the best art galleries and museums in Boston you can head to:
- Museum of Fine Arts Boston at 465 Huntington Ave
- Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum at 25 Evans Way
- McMullen Museum of Art at 2101 Commonwealth Ave
- Robert Klein Gallery at 38 Newbury St
- Galerie D’Orsay at 33 Newbury St
- Gallery Naga at 67 Newbury St
- Vose Galleries at 238 Newbury St
- Krakow Witkin Gallery at 10 Newbury St
- Alpha Gallery at 450 Harrison Ave
- Harvard Art Museums at 32 Quincy St, Cambridge
- Maud Morgan Arts at 20 Sacramento St, Cambridge
- Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art at 102 Mt Auburn St, Cambridge
- Gallery 263 at 263 Pearl St, Cambridge
- Mobilia Gallery at 358 Huron Ave, Cambridge
- Atelier 564 at 564 Commonwealth Ave, Newton
- Wedeman Gallery at 47 Myrtle Ave, Newton
The Museum of Fine Arts is one of the world’s most extensive art museums with a collection of almost 500,000 works of art. Every year over one million visitors come to see works spanning from ancient Egypt to modern times in addition to exhibitions and unique educational activities.
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, modeled after a Venetian villa, holds one of the world’s most spectacular art collections. There are roughly 2,500 items of European, Asian, and American art, including paintings, sculptures, tapestries, furniture, and more. It was formed with the private collection of the lady of the same name, in the house known as Fenway Court, which was her usual abode.
The McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College develops and presents creative, multidisciplinary exhibitions that achieve national and international attention, engaging audiences near you and from around the globe. The McMullen delivers exhibition-related programs and materials to a wide range of audiences of all ages on campus and around the region.
The Robert Klein Gallery, which opened in 1980, is dedicated solely to 19th century, 20th century, and current fine art photography. Since 2000, the Galerie d’Orsay has been a premier source for masterworks. The gallery, located in the heart of Back Bay, and its skilled team provide acquisition and collecting expertise to a diverse global community of discerning art consumers. The collection of the Galerie d’Orsay spans six centuries including works by renowned old masters, impressionists, and modern artists.
Many of the most well-known local painters in this city and around New England are represented by Gallery NAGA. In addition, outstanding modern photographers, printmakers, and sculptors are on display, as is the international holography doyenne, Harriet Casdin-Silver. They also specialize in studio furniture featuring work by several of the country’s leading designers of one-of-a-kind and limited-edition pieces.
Since the establishment of Vose Galleries in 1841, the Vose family has collected over 300 years of experience in the industry, handling over 37,000 American works, including over 25 artists’ estates. Vose Galleries specializes in high-quality 18th, 19th, and early 20th century American realist paintings and works on paper.
Witkin Gallery in Krakow presents Minimal, philosophically focused, and visually reductivist art in various media. Alpha Gallery was founded in 1967 with the goal of presenting museum-quality contemporary art in addition to modern master prints and American masters of the twentieth century. Exhibitions by rising, mid-career, and established artists are interspersed with special exhibitions of historic personalities like Pablo Picasso, Fairfield Porter, Max Beckmann, Arnulf Rainer, Arthur Dove, John Marin, and Milton Avery whose estate they represent.
Since their inception, the Harvard Art Museums—the Fogg Museum, the Busch-Reisinger Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Museum—have been committed to enhancing and sustaining learning at the university, in the local community, and around the world. The museums have played a crucial role in the advancement of art history, conservation, and conservation science, as well as the evolution of the art museum as an institution.
Maud Morgan Arts features four visual arts studios as well as arts activities for children of all ages, adults, and professional artists. At Maud Morgan Arts, children, teens, and established and new artists of all ages and levels create, educate, exhibit, and cooperate.
The newly established Ethelbert Cooper Gallery, which opened in the fall of 2014, features contemporary and historical exhibitions and installations of African and African American art organized by the gallery, as well as guest curators, faculty, artists, students, and distinguished visiting scholars. It presents a varied mix of exciting workshops, artist talks, symposia, lectures, and performances that engage audiences with diverse art archives and cultural traditions from throughout the world.
Gallery 263 is a non-profit art gallery located in Cambridgeport that holds a long history that is intertwined with the Cambridge art scene. It was the location of the Brinkerhoff gallery, a nexus of local art and music from the 1970’s through the 1980’s.
Mobilia Gallery has had long-standing ties with institutions and people across the country, working collaboratively with museum curators and collectors to put notable works of art in public and private collections since 1978. Mobilia Gallery specializes in decorative and fine art from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, including sculpture, ceramics, paintings, glass, textiles, studio furniture, and jewelry.
Since 1981, John has been the proprietor of Atelier 564 and a fixture in the Newton Center community. He is not only the owner and master framer, but also an accomplished artist.
In 2002, the Wedeman Gallery was dedicated in honor of Overseer Harriet Markham Wedeman and the late Duane Wedeman in acknowledgment of their exceptional generosity to Lasell’s sesquicentennial campaign and their enduring dedication. The gallery has two full floors to display personal or group art work, professional lighting, wall hangings, and enough space for guests to enjoy the works and exhibition opening receptions.
Materials & Supplies Near You
The best places to buy art supplies and materials near you are:
- Mass Art Supply & Book Store at 625 Huntington Ave
- Moleskine at 800 Boylston St
- Johnson Paint at 355 Newbury St
- Blick Art Materials at 333 Massachusetts Ave
- Gather Here at 370 Broadway, Cambridge
- Artist & Craftsman Supply at 580 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge
- Blick Art Materials at 619 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge
- Boston Craftworks at Saw Mill Brook Pkwy, Newton
- Michaels at 201 Needham St, Newton
The Kennedy Building’s MassArt Supply and Bookstore sells professional art supplies, new and old textbooks, course materials, apparel, fan gear, gifts, and other college-related things. Notebooks, planners, journals, books, bags, pens, pencils, and accessories are available from Moleskine.
John A. Johnson founded the Johnson Paint Company in 1939. Johnson’s was originally known for its inventory of hard-to-find products like Dutch kalsomine, powdered pigments, and aniline dyes, but it has since earned the reputation of being one of New England’s most comprehensive paint stores.
Blick Art Materials offers a diverse selection of art supplies, craft supplies, speciality architecture supplies, and one-of-a-kind gift items. They provide a great all around collection for professional artists, educators, and students alike.
Gather Here is a fabric, yarn, and fibers store with classes, an inspiring work environment, and skilled instructors. They are the first stitch lounge and craft workshop in Cambridge.
Since its inception in 1985 in Yarmouth, Maine, Artist & Craftsman Supply, an employee-owned company, has provided artists with high-quality materials at reasonable prices.
BostonCraftWorks is the largest online retailer of kaleidoscope supplies and other crafts.
Shows & Events
Some of the top local art shows, festivals, and events held here in this city would be:
- Boston College Arts Festival from April to May
- Boston Art & Music Soul (BAMS) Fest in June
- The Beacon Hill Art Walk in June
- The Boston Arts Festival in September
- Boston International Fine Art Show in October
The Boston College Arts Festival brings together the BC community and the surrounding communities to celebrate the arts and is one of the most vibrant and exciting events at BC, attracting over 16,000 visitors annually. The Boston Art & Music Soul (BAMS) Fest is a cultural movement led by local artists, culture makers, and creative entrepreneurs who are fighting for racial equity, spatial justice, and economic empowerment.
The first annual Beacon Hill Art Walk took place in June, with fifty artists and hundreds of enthusiasts in attendance. Creators can sell their original work at the Beacon Hill Art Walk. Many visitors make connections with gallery professionals, restaurateurs, and of course those who exhibit their work.
The contemporary Boston Arts Festival is an annual event that promotes the Open Studios program while showcasing the city’s visual and performing arts communities. The weekend-long Festival at Christopher Columbus Waterfront Park includes a wide range of fine arts and crafts, paintings, photography, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, and live music.
The Boston International Fine Art Show will be held at the Center for the Arts each October. Over 3,000 original artworks, both classical and contemporary, will be on display. The exhibition includes works from galleries both inside and outside the United States.
There are also numerous shows in the SoWa Art + Design District like their First Friday events, the o Open Market every Sunday from May to October, Art Walks, and even a Winter Festival. That link should get you filled in on what is coming next.
Art Dealers & Appraisers
When you are ready to find a new piece for your collection or when you want to know how much a piece is worth you can go to art dealers and appraisers near you like:
- Bromfield Gallery at 450 Harrison Ave
- Fountain Street Fine Art at 460C Harrison Ave
- Pucker Gallery at 240 Newbury St
- The Art Collector at 382 Commonwealth Ave
- Grand Image Art at 51 Melcher St
- Blind Fox Art at 15 Channel Center St
- ArtLifting at 77 N Washington St 2nd fl
Bromfield Gallery, founded in 1975, is one of the premier artist-run galleries in your area. Bromfield exhibits contemporary art in all media, with a focus on New England creators, including printmaking, sculpture, painting, and drawing, as well as video, installation, and new media.
Fountain Street is a contemporary gallery located in the SOWA art district among inviting shops, artist studios, and galleries in a vibrant and diverse up-and-coming neighborhood. Pucker Gallery exhibits an eclectic and sophisticated collection of works by over 50 international artists, including ceramics, photography, painting, sculpture, mobiles, and mixed media works.
The Art Collector is a well-known fine art dealer that has been buying and selling fine art for over 50 years. Grand Image is a multidisciplinary design, art, and fabrication studio that offers a diverse range of products and services for design projects, with a focus on hospitality, healthcare, multi-family residential, and corporate settings.
Blind Fox is a bicoastal fine artist with roots in Boston, Los Angeles, and New York who creates murals, fine art, and design that can be incorporated into any interior design scheme. Public art, corporate art, and hospitality art design are all areas of expertise.
ArtLifting provides creators with the opportunity to earn a living by selling original paintings, prints, and products.
The artists, galleries, boutiques, and showrooms of the Sowa Art + Design District at and around 450 Harrison Avenue put on all kinds of stuff that we mentioned earlier in the shows and events section. They have First Fridays, Open Market on Sundays, and many more.
And even if they don’t have a current event going on strolling through this creative part of town could always be considered an art walk as you never know what you might find. Don’t forget about the great Beacon Hill Art Walk in June either.
Sculptures & Statues
There are some really nice sculptures and statues around town like:
- Arthur Fiedler Statue at Charles River Esplanade
- Edgar Allan Poe Statue at Boylston St & Charles St
- Make Way for Ducklings at 4 Charles St S
- Tortoise and Hare at Boylston St & Clarendon St
- Dragon for Dorchester at 703 Dudley St
- Mary Dyer Sculpture at 151 Bowdoin St
- Patrick Collins Statue at Commonwealth Ave
- John Harvard Statue at 1 Harvard Yard, Cambridge
- Aesop’s Fables II at 20 Vassar St, Cambridge
Ralph Helmick’s Arthur Fiedler Statue was installed along the Charles River Esplanade in 1984. Poe Returning to Boston was unveiled at Edgar Allan Poe Square, which is located on the corner of Boylston Street and Charles Street South. The life-size statue of the author was created by artist Stefanie Rocknak.
Make Way for Ducklings can be found in the Public Garden. The Tortoise and the Hare are large bronze critters that were created by local sculptor Nancy Schön who also installed the Dragon for Dorchester on November 1, 2003.
Sylvia Shaw Judson’s Mary Dyer Sculpture is installed outside the Massachusetts State House. The bronze sculpture was commissioned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and dedicated on July 9, 1959.
Along Commonwealth Avenue in Boston, a bronze bust of congressman and Boston Mayor Patrick Collins has been installed. The memorial was dedicated in 1908 and relocated in 1966. Daniel Chester French’s bronze sculpture of John Harvard can be found in Harvard Yard.
Aesop’s Fables II is installed on Hockfield Court, which is adjacent to Frank Gehry’s Stata Center, which is vital to MIT and the surrounding community.
Boston Art Classes
There will be lessons for kids or adults available at some of the best Boston art schools and classes near you:
- The Institute of Contemporary Art at 25 Harbor Shore Dr
- Tufts University School of the Museum of Fine Arts at 230 The Fenway
- Boston Arts Academy at 11 Charles St
- Academy of Realist Art Boston at 112 South St
- The Plein Air Art Academy at 320 Washington St #215
- Lesley University College of Art & Design at 1793-1801 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge
- The Paint Bar at 823 Washington St, Newton
- New Art Center at 61 Washington Pk, Newton
The Institute of Contemporary Art was founded in 1936 as the Boston Museum of Modern Art, with offices rented at 114 State Street and gallery space provided by Harvard University’s Fogg Museum and the Busch–Reisinger Museum. Tufts University’s School of the Museum of Fine Arts, which has been educating creators since 1876, offers an interdisciplinary and self-directed education in the fine arts.
Boston Arts Academy (BAA) is the city’s only public high school for the visual and performing arts, serving students from all over the city. Cindy MacMillan founded the Academy of Realist Art in 2009 in the historic leather district. Students receive individualized practical instruction allowing them to progress at their own pace while striving for the highest levels of draftsmanship and painting skills.
The Plein Air Art Academy is a boutique studio for serious creators where there are art classes for children and adults ages 4+ with a focus on connection to the environment, as well as themed adult one-day workshops. Lesley University is a private university that has received accreditation from the New England Commission on Higher Education.
The Paint Bar provides services to people of all ages with studio classes and private parties. Organize a corporate event, a birthday party, or a bachelorette party. Given the whole ‘bar’ theme you can assume these lessons will be a bit more casual than the others, but that doesn’t mean their instructors can’t teach you a thing or two.
The New Art Center is a non-profit community education space that provides exceptional opportunities for everyone, at all levels of ability, to make, exhibit, view, think about, and discuss art. Maud Morgan Arts is another great place for kids or adults to take art classes near you.
Studios For Rent Near You
If you are ready to begin your next project then rent some space at one of these Boston art studios:
- Midway Artist Studios at 15 Channel Center St
- Fort Point Arts Community Gallery at 300 Summer St
- Fenway Studios at 30 Ipswich St #1
Midway Artist Studios, the city’s largest affordable live-work building, was founded in 2005 as a place for creators to live and work in the city on a budget. By fostering an empowered community of creators, organizations, and supporters, the Fort Point Arts Community (FPAC) increases cultural vibrancy in your area.
Fenway Studios currently houses 25 artists working in a variety of media. Today, the building is home to 46 artists who live and/or work there.
Don’t forget that the SoWa Art + Design District is home to more than 200 art studios, galleries, boutiques, restaurants, the award-winning SoWa Open Market, and other attractions like SoWa First Fridays, and the SoWa Art Walk. This area has been mentioned in multiple sections of this post and for very good reason.
A frame can transform a regular looking piece or picture to that next level and some of the best places for local art framing are:
- The Picture Store at 65 Berkeley St
- Around the Corner at 637 Tremont St
- South End Frames at 105-107 E Berkeley St
- Stone Photo & Framing at 160 Federal St
- King Frame at 4 Bromfield St
- Cambridge Art & Frame at 41 2nd St, Cambridge
- Big Picture Framing at 2044 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge
- Big Picture Framing at 833 Washington St, Newton
The Picture Store is a full-service, in-house frame gallery in the Historic South End that has been committed to providing high-quality framing services and assistance to customers near you for over 20 years. Around the Corner was formed in 2009 in the South End by artist Amanda Accardi and they prioritize hands-on craftsmanship while maintaining a keen eye for design.
South End Frames specializes in bespoke photo framing for all of your needs. For the past 30 years, Stone Photo has been a local favorite for framing and printing. They are experts in photo printing, bespoke frames, professional portraits, photo restorations, film and print scanning, passport photos, and video to DVD conversion.
Museum glass, conservation glass, non-glare glass, plexiglass, foam board, mat board, and hangers are all available at King Frame. Diplomas, jersey shirts, medals, newsprint, maps, pictures, water colors, oil paintings, lithographs, canvas stretching, and dry mounting are all framed by them.
Museum-quality custom picture and mirror framing is available at Cambridge Art & Frame. CA&F also offers photo restoration, digital and printing services, and a large range of historical maps, art, and photography.
Big Picture Framing was created in 2000 by Barry Stahl and Bob Clayton and they have nearly 30 years of frame experience between them. Atelier 564 from our initial best galleries near you list is another place known for high quality custom framing.
Some of you may also want to read our blogs about:
- Art Museums, Schools, & Appraisers in Worcester
- Art Museums, Schools, & Appraisers in Providence
- Art Museums, Schools, & Appraisers in Portland, Maine
- Art Museums, Schools, & Appraisers in NYC
Have Fun Enjoying The Boston Art Scene
At the moment that is all we have to share about your local art scene. We listed the best galleries, museums, events, shows, supply stores, dealers, appraisers, walking tours, sculptures, classes, studios, and framers that you may want to check out.
Anyone that is still reading this probably loves art as much as we do. If so go ahead and use the comments to mention your own tips or to let us know if you think we got anything wrong.
We hope you enjoy your time at the best Boston Art Galleries, Museums, Supply Stores or doing whatever it else you plan to do with the info.