Museums in the Berkshires

The Berkshires have a wealth of museums from fabulous art museums such as MASS MoCA and the Norman Rockwell Museum to wonderful history museums such as the living history museum Hancock Shaker Village, to unique museum attractions such as the Crane Museum of Papermaking. One could fill months visiting all of the region’s great museums.

Arboretums and Botanical Gardens

Ashintully Gardens

Ashintully Gardens are award winning gardens (Hunnewell Medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society) in the Berkshire town of Tyringham, MA.

Ashintully is a property of the Trustees of Reservations. It is open on Wednesdays and Saturdays from June into mid-October.

Ashintully Gardens
Sodem Road
Tyringham, MA
Phone: 413-298-3239


Berkshire Botanical Garden

Picture of the Herb Garden in the Berkshire Botanical Garden

Herb Garden at the Berkshire Botanical Garden

The Berkshire Botanical Garden has 15 acres of public display gardens emphasizing more than 3,000 varieties of plants that are indigenous to the Berkshires.

The Berkshire Botanical Garden is open from May through mid-October.

Berkshire Botanical Garden
5 West Stockbridge Road
Stockbridge, MA 01262
Phone: 413-298-3926


Hebert Arboretum

Hebert Arboretum consists of 231 acres within the city of Pittsfield. The Arboretum features diverse habitats such as rolling hills, meadows, woodlands, streams, marshes and ponds, as well as landscaped gardens.

Hebert Arboretum is open year-round.

Hebert Arboretum
874 North Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
Phone: 413-443-5348


Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory and Gardens

Founded in 2000, the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory and Gardens is an 18,400-square foot facility that includes:

  • A plant filled atrium
  • An 8,000 square foot glass conservatory filled with butterflies, moths, and tropical vegetation
  • Exhibits and display area
  • Gift shop
  • Food court
  • Monarchs Restaurant

Magic Wings is open year-round.

Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory and Gardens
281 Greenfield Road
South Deerfield, MA 01373
Phone: 413-665-2805

Art Museums

Animagic

Animagic is a museum of animation, special effects and art. The are open 7 days a week 365 days a year by appointment.

Animagic
135 Main Street
Lee, MA 01238
Phone: 413-841-6679


Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art

Founded in 2002, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is a museum of picture books and picture book illustrations. Its collection consists of over 10,000 picture book illustrations. The museum houses three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, and libraries.

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art
125 West Bay Road
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone: 413-658-1100


Frelinghuysen Morris House & Studio

The 46 acre estate and home of American Abstract Artists George L.K. Morris and Suzy Frelinghuysen, the Frelinghuysen Morris House & Studio displays the artist’s paintings, frescoes, and sculpture as well as their collection of American and European Cubist Art.

The house is open from late June through the end of October.

Frelinghuysen Morris House & Studio
92 Hawthorne St.
Lenox, MA 01240
Phone: 413-637-0166


Hampshire College Art Gallery

The Hampshire College Art Gallery has been in existence since 1970. While supporting the teaching functions of the college, the Art Gallery is an exhibition space concentrating on the visual arts. It features work by students, faculty, emerging artists, as well as contemporary national and international artists.

The gallery is open year-round.

Hampshire College Art Gallery
Harold F. Johnson Library Center
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone: 413-559-5544


MASS MoCA

Picture of the painting A dripping buffalo by Terrence Houle.

A dripping buffalo by Terrence Houle at MASS MoCA.

The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts (MASS MoCA) is located in a 13 acre complex of old factory buildings in North Adams, MA. It has over 100,000 square feet of exhibit space with some truly spectacular exhibits of modern and contemporary art as well as two theaters, two performance courtyards, and and outdoor cinema.

MASS MoCA is open year-round.

MASS MoCA
87 Marshall Street
North Adams, MA 01247
Phone: 413-662-2111


Mead Art Museum at Amherst College

The Mead Art Museum at Amherst College holds the art collection of Amherst College. This collection consists of over 18,000 works of art with one of the finest collections of American art at an academic institution.

Mead Art Museum at Amherst College
41 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone: 413-542-2335


Mount Holyoke College Art Museum

Founded in 1876, the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum is the oldest teaching art museum in the United States. The museum houses more than 17,000 works of art that date from antiquity to today.

The museum is open year-round.

Mount Holyoke College Art Museum
Lower Lake Road
South Hadley, MA 01075


Norman Rockwell Museum

Picture of the Norman Rockwell Painting Freedom from Want

Freedom from Want at the Norman Rockwell Museum.

Founded in 1969, the Norman Rockwell Museum houses the worlds largest collection of original Norman Rockwell artwork with nearly a thousand paintings and drawings in its collection.

The museum is open year-round.

Norman Rockwell Museum
9 Route 183
Stockbridge , MA 01262
Phone: 413-298-4100


Smith College Museum of Art

The Smith College Museum of Art houses the college’s collection of paintings, sculptures, works on paper (prints, drawings, photographs, and books), antiquities, decorative arts, and more. A highlight are its works-on-paper collections which are housed in the Cunningham Center for the Study of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs.

The museum is open year-round.

Smith College Museum of Art
Elm Street at Bedford Terrace
Northampton, MA 01063
Phone: 413-585-2760


Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

Picture of the Clark in Williamstown

Entrance to The Clark

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute was founded to house the art collection of Sterling and Francine Clark. Since then the collections have expanded greatly but still focus on European and American painting, sculpture, and decorative art from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century – which were the interests of the Clarks. The museum is well known for its collection of French Impressionist paintings.

The museum is open year-round.

Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
225 South Street
Williamstown, MA 01267
Phone: 413-458-2303


University Museum of Contemporary Art

The University Museum of Contemporary Art is located at the Fine Arts Center at UMass Amherst. Its collection consists of nearly 3,000 pieces with an emphasis on works on paper. The museum also hosts regular exhibitions.

The museum is open year-round.

University Museum
of Contemporary Art
Fine Arts Center
University of Massachusetts
151 Presidents Drive
Amherst, MA 01003
Phone: 413-545-3670


Williams College Museum of Art

Picture of the Sign for the Williams College Museum of ArtThe Williams College Museum of Art is considered to be one of the finest college art museums in the United States. The museum’s collection of nearly 13,000 pieces spans the history of art from ancient Egyptian, and Assyrian, to modern and contemporary art. The museum is a active collecting museum so there are always new things to see.

The museum is open year-round.

Williams College Museum of Art
15 Lawrence Hall Drive, Ste 2
Williamstown, MA 01267

History Museums

Arrowhead

Herman Melville’s Arrowhead was the famous author’s Pittsfield home where he wrote Moby-Dick and many other books, short stories, magazine pieces, and a book of poetry.

Arrowhead is part of the Berkshire 18th Century Trail. It is open Memorial Day Weekend to Columbus Day.

Herman Melville’s Arrowhead
780 Holmes Road
Pittsfield, Ma 01201
Phone: 413-442-1793


Beneski Museum of Natural History

The Beneski Museum of Natural History at Amherst College has three floors of exhibits that display vertebrate evolution, geological phenomena in the Connecticut River Valley, the world’s largest collection of dinosaur tracks, and more.

The museum is open year-round.

Beneski Museum of Natural History
11 Barrett Hill Road
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone: 413-542-2165


Berkshire Museum

The Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA was founded in 1903 by Zenas Crane, the owner of the famous paper manufacturer of Crane & Company. The museum brings together arts, history, and the natural sciences.

The Berkshire Museum is open year-round.

The Berkshire Museum
39 South Street (Route 7)
Pittsfield, MA 01201
Phone: 413-443-7171


Bidwell House Museum

The Bidwell House Museum (c. 1750) was built as a parsonage. The museum tells the story of the early colonial settlement of the Berkshires.

The Bidwell House is part of the Berkshire 18th Century Trail. The museum is seasonal and open Memorial Day to Columbus. The grounds are open daily for hiking and taking in nature.

Bidwell House Museum
100 Art School Road
Monterey, MA 01245
Phone: 413-528-6888


Chesterwood

Chesterwood was the home, studio, and gardens of sculptor Daniel Chester French (1850-1931). French was one of America’s foremost public sculptors. Chesterwood is a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and a Yankee Best of New England Editors’ Choice in 2012.

Chesterwood is open from late May through mid-October. See Hours & Admission for exact details.

Chesterwood
Williamsville Road
Stockbridge, MA 01262
Phone: 413-298-3579


Colonel John Ashley House

The Colonel John Ashley House (1735) was a center of social, economic, and political life in Western Massachusetts in the 18th century. The house contains furnishings from the 18th and early 19th centuries. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. The Colonel John Ashley House is a preservation property of the Trustees of Reservations.

The Ashley House is part of the Berkshire 18th Century Trail. It is open from Memorial Day Weekend to Columbus Day.

Colonel John Ashley House
Cooper Hill Road off Route 7A
Ashley Falls, MA
Phone: 413-298-3239


Dan Raymond House Museum

The red brick Dan Raymond House Museum was built around 1774 by wealthy merchant Dan Raymond. It serves as the Sheffield Historical Society’s main office. It is part of a complex of buildings that include:

  • The 1820 Parker Hall Law Office
  • A 19th century Carriage Barn
  • An 1876 brick Education Center
  • A 19th century double chamber Greek Revival Smokehouse
  • A 19th century Hatter’s Shop
  • A circa 1834 commercial building, known as the Old Stone Store

The Dan Raymond House is part of the Berkshire 18th Century Trail. It is open for tours when staff is on the property and by appointment. The house grounds are open year round during daylight hours.

Dan Raymond House Museum
159 Main St.
Sheffied, MA 01257
Phone: 413-229-2694


Emily Dickinson Museum

The Emily Dickinson Museum consists of two historic houses in the center of Amherst. The houses are:

  • The Homestead where Emily Dickinson was born and lived most of her life
  • The Evergreens which was home to Emily Dickinson’s brother and his family

The Emily Dickinson Museum is closed in January, and February.

Emily Dickinson Museum
280 Main Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Phone: 413-542-8161


Hancock Shaker Village

Picture of the Round Stone Barn at Hancock Shaker Village

The Round Stone Barn at Hancock Shaker Village.

Hancock Shaker Village was founded in the 1780s and grew at its peak to over 300 inhabitants in the 1830s. Hancock Shaker Village preserves the heritage of the Shaker utopian community in a living history museum.

The village is open seasonally from April through October.

Hancock Shaker Village
1843 W. Housatonic Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201
(Proceed 1/2 mile to visitor parking)
Phone: 413-443-0188


The Mission House

The Mission House was built in 1739 and updated in the 1760s. It houses a collection of eighteenth-century American furniture and decorative arts.

The Mission House is a preservation property of the Trustees of Reservations and is part of the Berkshire 18th Century Trail. It is also a National Historic Landmark. The house is open seasonally from Memorial Day to Columbus Day.

The Mission House
Main Street
Stockbridge, MA 01262
Phone: 413298-3239


The Mount

The Mount is both an historic site as well as a cultural center. It was built in 1902 by author Edith Wharton. The house embodies many of the ideas set forth in her book The Decoration of Houses (1897). The Mount consists of the main house, other buildings and gardens.

The Mount is open seasonally from May through October.

The Mount
2 Plunkett Street
Lenox, MA 01240
Phone: 413-551-5111


Naumkeag

Naumkeag was the summer home for the Choate family who first started staying there in the 1870. Naumkeag has 8 acres of terraced gardens and landscaped grounds, and the house is filled with original artwork, furniture and antiques.

Naumkeag is open seasonally from Memorial Day to Columbus Day.

Naumkeag
Porspect Hill Road
Stockbridge, MA 01262
Phone: 413-298-3239


Santarella (Tyringham Gingerbread House)

Santarella consists of a colonial era house dating to the 1700s as well as Tyringham Gingerbread House, which was the studio of sculptor Sir Henry Hudson Kitson. Kitson is perhaps best known for his sculptures of the Lexington Minuteman, and the Plymouth Rock Maiden.

Three of the buildings on the estate are available for vacation rentals.

Tours may be arranged by appointment.

75 Main Road
Tyringham, MA 01264
Phone: 413-243-2819


Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum

The Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum preserves the birthplace of the great social reformer, Susan B. Anthony, who was a pioneering feminist and suffragist.

The museum is open year-round.

Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum
67 East Road
Adams, MA 01220
Phone: 413-743-7121


Truman Wheeler House

The Truman Wheeler House consists of the main house and assorted other farm buildings that have been built on the property since 1864. The house is the future headquarters, museum and education research center for the Great Barrington Historical Society.

The Truman Wheeler House is part of the Berkshire 18th Century Trail. It is also on the National Register of Historic Places.

The house is currently not open to the public.

Truman Wheeler House
Great Barrington, MA


Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum

Ventfort Hall is a mansion built in 1893 for J. P. Morgan’s sister Sarah Morgan. As the Museum of the Gilded Age it chronicles a fascinating period of American history.

Ventfort Hall is open year-round.

Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum
104 Walker Street
Lenox, MA 01240
Phone: 413-637-3206


William Cullen Bryant Homestead

The William Cullen Bryant Homestead was home to famous American poet William Cullen Bryant. The property has two and a half miles of trails and carriage roads that are open year-round for moderate hiking. Access to the house varies.

William Cullen Bryant Homestead
207 Bryant Road
Cummington, MA 01026
Phone: 413-532-1631

Other Museums

Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum

The Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum is housed in the restored Lenox Station (1903). It houses exhibits about railroading. The Museum now also has control of the historic Stockbridge Station.

The Lenox Station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum is open late May to October.

Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum
10 Willow Creek Rd?
Lenox, MA 01240
Phone: 413-637-2210


Crane Museum of Papermaking

Founded in 1930, the Crane Museum of Papermaking is housed in what was the Rag Room of Crane’s 1844 Old Stone Mill on the banks of the Housatonic River

The museum is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is open from early June through mid-October. Admission is free.

Crane Museum of Papermaking
40 Pioneer Street
Dalton, MA 01226
Phone: 413-684-7780

Picture credits: The picture of the herb garden in the Berkshire Botanical Garden is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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