Main Street Recommends

Art Museum Round-Up

By Published On: September 29th, 2023

Because our October issue is celebrating art and design, we are recommending a few art and history museums in the tri-state area. The NY/MA/CT area has a rich history of art and culture and that is evident in the sheer number of museums and historical estates we have in this area. This by no means is an exhaustive list, but highlights a few of the various museums located in our beautiful region.

New York

Art Omi

Art Omi is set on 120 acres and presents the work of contemporary artists and architects, often featuring large-scale works set in nature. The Sculpture & Architecture Park currently offers more than 60 works, in addition to their 1,500 square foot indoor gallery. Art Omi is open daily and welcomes viewers to their grounds free of charge. They also have five artist residency programs, including Art Omi: Architecture, Art Omi: Artists, Art Omi: Dance, Art Omi: Music, and Art Omi: Writers. Their Art Omi: Education programs engage people of all ages with contemporary art and ideas through hands-on learning and making experiences. One of their current exhibitions is “Magnetic Z” by Cameron Wu, which is an architectural structure that is composed of “two primary surfaces which exhibit opposing formal properties – curved vs. planar, high resolution vs. low resolution, continuous vs. discrete.”

1405 Co Rte 22, Ghent, NY 12075

Hessel Museum of Art

Hessel Museum of Art, which is located on the Bard College grounds, is a modern art museum that was established in 2006 through the Center for Curatorial Studies program at Bard. The Museum presents experimental exhibitions and also “draws from the Marieluise Hessel Collection of Contemporary Art,” which comprises more than 3,000 pieces collected from the 1960s through the present day. Hessel Museum of Art is free and open to the public. Current exhibitions include “Indian Theater: Native Performance, Art, and Self-Determination Since 1969” curated by Candice Hopkins and “New Moons” by Erika Vertuzzi.

33 Garden Rd, Annandale-On-Hudson, NY 12504

Dia: Beacon

Dia: Beacon is located in a former Nabisco box-printing factory on the banks of the Hudson River in Beacon and presents “the majority of Dia’s collection of art from the 1960s to the present as well as special exhibitions, new commissions, and public and education programs.” Current exhibits include a long-term exhibition from Mario Merz, including “Teatro cavallo” and “Tavola spirale.” The exhibition spans Merz’s work from the late 1950s to the mid-1980s and revisits “Merz’s key forms and motifs, distinctive use of neon, and deployment of the Fibonacci sequence – where each number equals the sum of the two that precede it – for the structure of his installations.” Additionally, this is Merz’s first solo institutional presentation in the United States in many years.

3 Beekman St, Beacon, NY 12508


Connecticut-Asia Cultural Center

The Connecticut-Asia Cultural Center is a museum established in 2020 with the objectives of promoting cultural exchange to enhance mutual understanding among people, human virtues and ethics to enhance harmony in society, and universal love and mutual support. Cultural exhibits include Taoist, Confucian, and Buddhist cultures. Their art room currently features artists from Taiwan and Canada, and their current special exhibit is on the Inca Empire in Peru.

207A Westside Rd, Norfolk Historic District, CT 06058

Hill-Stead Museum

 Hill-Stead Museum serves as an art museum with a wide-ranging collection of paintings and prints in a 1900s Colonial Revival Mansion. Hill-Stead offers daily house tours Wednesday through Sunday, as well as private tours on select Saturdays throughout the month. The grounds themselves are open daily and free to access. Upcoming exhibits include “Born in 1867: Theodate’s Generation,” which will be on show from October of this year through March of 2024. The exhibit showcases more than 20 American women who were born the same year as  Hill-Stead’s architect, museum founder, and benefactor, Theodate Pope Riddle. “Through various objects, we represent women from various geographic sectors of the United States, multiple cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, and a variety of professions and avocations, including the arts, medicine, literature, journalism, education, social welfare, and more,” their website states.

35 Mountain Rd, Farmington, CT 06032

Mattatuck Museum

Mattatuck Museum is both an art and regional history museum located in downtown Waterbury. The museum initially started out as a historical society in 1877 and opened its first display hall in 1912. Mattatuck showcases American art and cultural history with a particular focus on the Naugatuck Valley history and the artists in Connecticut. Mattatuck has historical collections that display the work of artists including Anni Albers, Alexander Calder, and Frederic Church. One of their current exhibitions is “Out of the Ordinary,” by Allison Medina, which features “wonder, humor, and mystery” in the forms of shadow boxes and drawings that have been influenced by storybooks and theater and often feature both animal and human characters. “Out of the Ordinary” is on display until November 5.

144 W Main St, Waterbury, CT 06702


The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA)

MASS MoCA, which is spread across vast galleries that are both indoor and outdoor, offers a variety of forms of art including music, sculpture, dance, film, paintings, photography, theater, and others. Showcasing a variety of well-known and up and coming artists, MASS MoCA typically exhibits art on “large-scale, immersive installations that would be impossible to realize in conventional museums.” Current exhibitions include “Brake Run Helix” by EJ Hill that includes a rideable installation that is inspired by the form of roller coasters, Martin Puryear’s sculpture “Big Bling,” which is 40 feet tall and made out of wood and chain-link fence, and many, many other exhibits.

1040 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247

The Clark Art Institute

The Clark serves as a public art museum, houses research and academic programs and a major art history library. The Clark features a variety of exhibitions throughout the year, as well as permanent collections that feature European and American paintings, sculptures, and more from the Renaissance to the early twentieth century. Some of The Clark’s current exhibitions include “Oracle Bones” by Elizabeth Atterbury, which utilizes a chine collé technique on somerset printmaking paper, and “Humane Ecology: Eight Positions,” which features artists who explore the “inseparability of the natural and social… they challenge ideas of ‘nature’ as something separate from humans.” The exhibit appears both indoors and out.

225 South Street Williamstown, Massachusetts 01267

An American Craftsman Gallery

An American Craftsman Gallery showcases the work of both established artists and emerging artists who work in a variety of different mediums, including but not limited to, wood, clay, fiber, metal, and glass. Different work is represented from furniture, to sculptures, to art, and jewelry. An American Craftsman Gallery serves as an exhibition space and artists’ work is often available for purchase. Their affiliate company, American Art Marketing, also produces art events in the Berkshire area.

389 Stockbridge Rd, Great Barrington, MA 01230 & 22 Walker St, Lenox, MA 01240