Coming from Tokyo and setting foot in Boston for the second time in my life this summer, I’m as far as you can get from a local of the Boston area. That is why, when asking members of the PSG staff about their favorite museums, I was excited to be introduced to a wealth of local museums. Regardless of where the staff members are from, their local museums hold an overwhelming popularity among the PSG staff.
A native of the Boston area, Alyssa’s top two favorites are both local: the Museum of Science and the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA). She has been to both museums many times, and her favorite exhibit to date at the MFA was the Samurai! exhibit from 2013 that featured armor used by Japanese warriors. She also loves to visit local museums on trips out of state.
Don, also a long-term Boston-area resident, shares Alyssa’s love for the Museum of Science. He remembers being hooked by everything on his first trip to the museum; especially memorable was the Archimedean Excogitation. This audio-kinetic sculpture by George Rhoads has a rolling ball inside that creates a unique listening and viewing experience for visitors as it rolls through the maze of items in the sculpture.
Two other Boston-area locals mentioned museums overseas. Tess’s favorite is the Imperial War Museum in London, which she visited a few years ago and chanced upon a great exhibition on England in the 1940s. Kate’s favorite is the Musée de l’Orangerie in Paris. While studying abroad, she stumbled upon this museum and saw many of her art education experiences come together in the extensive collections of the Orangerie. These two Bostonians, however, didn’t forget a nod to their local favorite; both of them mentioned their love for the MFA.
Staff members from other areas showed their local love as well. The only New Hampshire resident in office, Eileen, picked the Strawbery Banke Museum in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire. An outdoor history museum, Strawbery Banke is a community based on historic buildings from as early as the late 1600s, with costumed role-players living as residents of Strawbery Banke in the past. If you are a New Hampshire native, you might remember visiting the museum for a school field trip.
Another staff member who listed his local museum was Ken. He grew up in Chicago and, as a result, his preferred museums cluster in the Windy City area. One of his favorites is the Art Institute of Chicago, which houses one of the most extensive collections of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art in the world. Ken loves to visit Monet’s works there.
No matter where the staff is from, their love for the local seems to be the norm for museum tastes in the PSG office. I’m looking forward to hitting up the MFA like a Bostonian this summer, while my status as a local resident lasts.
Did You Know?
In Massachusetts, there is a museum that defies our expectations of a museum: the Museum of Bad Art. Since 1994, the museum has been “dedicated to bad art,” and their mission is to “bring the worst of art to the widest of audiences.” One of their collections is titled Blue People, featuring a number of portraits of blue-skinned people. Whether the skin color was chosen by the artist accidentally or intentionally we may never know.
Image: Museum of Science, Boston, MA