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Boston Area Art Museums (especially north of Boston)

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A friend is coming to visit in early September, and he wants to go to some art museums.

When he was here earlier this summer we went to the MFA and the PEM. I'm guessing he would enjoy the Gardner this trip, and there are several new (since June) exhibitions at the MFA as well.

So that might cover it right there. We have only Saturday until about 3 (i.e., leave the museum no later than 3) and then Sunday from about 1-5 for the museums. But just in case, does anyone have advice on other (and especially smaller or lesser-known) art museums (or museums with art)? Here are my ideas so far.

The ICA is out—I visited it once, and I have absolutely zero desire to go back. Don't bother recommending it. I'm guessing I would have the same reaction to the DeCordova, based on its website, although I might tolerate it a little better than I did the ICA.

I've found the Addison in Andover to be sort of hit or miss, and it looks to be more of a miss in early September (unfortunately the Tryon exhibition, which looks great, opens after he leaves).

The Currier in Manchester, NH, is a possibility.

Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester is another. Although I was disappointed by it when I went a couple of years ago, it re-opens next week after a year-long renovation, and I am wondering how big a difference there will be.

A couple of dark horses are the Museum of Printing in North Andover (both of us have been involved in publishing via writing, editing, and such) and the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton (west, not north, I realize). Has anyone been to either of those?

I guess my basic question is whether any of the other museums I mentioned has enough going for it (and not being in the middle of Boston is one positive) to displace the MFA and the Gardner as the go-to museums for this visit.


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