Springfield Museums Review
One of the most ambitious cultural venues in New England, this complex includes four impressive facilities, all for one admission price. The must-see George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum houses a fascinating private art collection that includes 19th-century American paintings by Frederic Church and Albert Bierstadt. A Japanese antiquities room is filled with armor, textiles, and porcelain, as well as carved jade and rock-crystal snuff bottles.
The Museum of Fine Arts has paintings by Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Winslow Homer, and J. Alden Weir, as well as 18th-century American paintings and contemporary works by Georgia O'Keeffe, Frank Stella, and George Bellows. Rotating exhibits are open throughout the year. The Springfield Science Museum has an Exploration Center of touchable displays, the oldest operating planetarium in the United States, an extensive collection of stuffed and mounted animals, dinosaur exhibits, and the African Hall, through which you can take an interactive tour of that continent's flora and fauna.
The Museum of Springfield History tells the story of the town's manufacturing heritage. Springfield was home to the former Indian Motorcycle Company, and the museum has a rich collection of Indian bikes and memorabilia. Also on the grounds is the free Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, an installation of bronze statues depicting scenes from Theodor Geisel's famously whimsical children's books. Born in Springfield in 1904, Geisel was inspired by the animals at Forest Park Zoo, where his father served as director. The statues include a four-foot-tall Lorax, one of his most popular creations.
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