Boston is home to some of the most famous museums in the country, from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. While the establishments themselves draw crowds and lots of attention, it’s the world-famous works that attract art lovers. And if you’re not really passionate, you can at least appreciate the level of passion as well as the history, stories and details that have gone into each piece of work.

With the new season comes a host of fun things to do in the city, so be sure to spend an afternoon visiting one of Boston’s many world-class museums. Curators from art, science, and other disciplines have crafted some truly outstanding exhibits across the city, so plan a date night or gather some friends and head to Boston’s coolest museum exhibits this moment, but hurry before it’s too late.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Being Muholi: Portraits as Resistance at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum | Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Brought to you by internationally acclaimed photographer and activist Sir Zanele Muholi, Being Muholi: portraits as resistance documents the lives of Black LGBTQIA+ people in their home country of South Africa and beyond. With more than 50 works on display, from Muholi’s iconic black-and-white self-portraits to recent paintings to a sculptural bronze, the exhibition, which runs until May 8 at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, is simply not to be missed. miss.
Appointment: Now until May 8
How to visit: The museum is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Immersive Frida Kahlo
Immersive Frida Kahlo

If you haven’t had the chance to visit Immersive Van Gogh, you really don’t want to miss the Frida Kahlo Experience. As an ode to the legendary artist and his “magical realism” paintings, you may find yourself navigating through his famous works using large-scale projections, accompanied by a soothing musical score. The venue, the Lighthouse ArtSpace at the Castle, will also simultaneously host Immersive Klimt (until the end of May) for fans of his famous pieces, including “The Kiss”.
Appointment: Now until May 28
How to visit: Book timed tickets via the website

Game Changers at MassArt Museum of Art
Game Changers at MassArt Museum of Art | Pierre E/Flickr

The relatively new MassArt art museum is probably one of the most exciting art spaces in the city, as it fosters learning and new talent under one roof, not to mention it’s always free! Throughout the year, you can witness the large-scale installation Valkyrie Mumbet and the artist collective Ghost of a Dream’s yesterday is herebut before it ends on May 22, be sure to check it out game changers. For avid gamers or those who appreciate the art of gaming, this group exhibition showcases the intersection between contemporary art and video games, showcasing new possibilities for gaming-related art and pushing aesthetic and technological boundaries.
Appointment: Now until May 22
How to visit: The museum is open Wednesday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Friday to Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Turner’s Modern World at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Known as one of the first modern artists, JMW Turner’s paintings depict his life and work during the Industrial Revolution. And across its 32,000 exhibits, you’ll find more than 100 paintings, watercolors, drawings, and sketchbooks at the MFA, showcasing its interpretation of everything from technological advances to abolition and political reform.
Appointment: Now until July 10
How to visit: Book timed tickets via the website

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Real Photo Postcards: Images of a Changing Nation at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

In 1903, the Eastman Kodak company introduced the postcard camera, which developed a postcard-sized negative that could be printed directly onto a blank card. The camera took off without a hitch, documenting the daily lives of those before World War II. Fast forward to 2022, and more than 300 works from the MFA’s Leonard A. Lauder Postcard Archive are on display, taking a look at life in the early 20th century United States through actual maps photo postcards, capturing tragic, surreal, mean and even funny moments that are integral to the story.
Appointment: Now until July 25
How to visit: The museum is open Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Conservation in Action: Japanese Buddhist Sculpture in a New Light at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

For the first time in a long time, museum visitors can see the MFA’s seven beloved painted and gilded wooden sculptures from the 9th to 12th centuries in a public conservation workshop. The relocation “allows visitors to see the objects in a new setting for the first time in decades,” according to the MFA. The exhibition also presents three storage sculptures which serve as points of comparison to present the different sculptural techniques, styles and states of conservation.
Appointment: Now until July 3
How to visit: The museum is open Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Each/Other: Marie Watt and Cannupa Hanska Luger at the Peabody Essex Museum
Each/Other: Marie Watt and Cannupa Hanska Luger at the Peabody Essex Museum | Pierre E/Flickr

With just a few more weeks left until the end of the exhibition, you can see Each/Other by leading contemporary Indigenous artists Marie Watt and Cannupa Hanska Luger at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. The exhibition features 26 mixed-media sculptures, wall hangings and large-scale installations by both artists, as well as new monumental, artist-guided community artworks. The pieces are meant to emphasize creativity as a way to connect and build better understanding between individuals, neighbors and communities.
Appointment: Now until May 8
How to visit: The museum is open Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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Jillian Hammell is a contributor for Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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