Best of Boston

BEST Museum

2016 BEST Museum

The Institute of Contemporary Art

Boston

Where else can you spend date night dancing to live DJs, eating oysters on the harbor, and checking out a Shepard Fairey original? With some of the best waterfront views in town, the museum itself is a sleek architectural masterpiece—a… read more»

2016 BEST Museum, Family-Friendly

Peabody Essex Museum

Salem

As any kid might confess, museums can often be dull. Not this one. Younger visitors might push one of Theo Jansen’s kinetic Strandbeest sculptures across the gallery, learn about design by prototyping a product, or simply lounge on a beanbag chair. read more»

2015 BEST Museum

Museum of Fine Arts

Boston

On the strength of its individual exhibits alone—notably the vast Goya retrospective and Shinique Smith’s exuberant showcase—the Museum of Fine Arts is a formidable contender for best museum. But when you consider the institution’s past year as a whole, it’s… read more»

2015 BEST Museum, Family-Friendly

deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum

Lincoln

At this 30-acre outdoor sculpture garden, kids can touch, and, in some cases, interact with the mega-scaled artwork, such as Paul Matissse’s Musical Fence, a low wall of aluminum pipes that “sing” when struck gently with sticks. Kids under 12… read more»

2015 BEST Museum, North
Photograph courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum

Peabody Essex Museum

Salem

The key to the PEM’s brilliance is its diversity. In the past year alone, it put on exhibits from titans such as Alexander Calder and J.M.W. Turner; displayed worldly treasures, from abstract Indian art to imperial Chinese ceramics; and stayed… read more»

2015 BEST Museum, West

Rose Art Museum

Waltham

Six years ago, Brandeis University feared the recession would shutter its art museum. Thankfully, a public outcry and powerful art collectors reversed that plan, and the school hired a new director, Christopher Bedford, to add to the museum’s collections. The… read more»

2015 BEST Museum, South

Fuller Craft Museum

Brockton

Don’t let the name fool you: This Brockton institution isn’t a musty warehouse of old quilts and wooden shoes. It’s instead a showcase for contemporary handmade objets d’art, a place where sublime ceramics made at East Cambridge’s Clay Dragon Studios… read more»

2014 BEST Museum
Photograph by Alex Lau

Museum of Fine Arts

Boston

We love underdogs, but lately the MFA has reminded us why it’s the establishment. It has earned its bona fides with shows of trippy hippie fashion, action-packed samurai armor, John Singer Sargent watercolors, and a thematic exploration of the color… read more»

2011 BEST Museum, Art
2011-newengland-artmuseum3

Museum of Fine Arts

Boston

Boston’s foremost art museum has it all: mummies and amphorae, French impressionists, and abstract expressionists. The jaw-dropping highlight, however, is the Arts of the Americas Wing, opened in fall 2010, which has taken many pieces formerly displayed in dark basement… read more»

1996 BEST Museum, Exhibit for Kids

“Investigate” at the Museum of Science

Boston

Kids can’t help acting like young Galileos when they’re encouraged to conduct cool experiments with gizmos that simulate lie-detectors or to dig in the sand like archeologists for pre-Columbian garbage. read more»