This complex of museums in what's known as the Quadrangle includes four impressive facilities (single admission), plus a free sculpture garden. The must-see George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum houses a fascinating private art collection that includes a salon gallery with 19th-century American paintings by Frederic Church and Albert Bierstadt. The 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. The Springfield Science Museum has an Exploration Center of touchable displays, the oldest operating planetarium in the United States, dinosaur exhibits, an extensive collection of stuffed and mounted animals, 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 amid the Quadrangle 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 the Zoo in Forest Park, where his father served as director. The first phase of The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum is set to open here in 2016.