Last Updated on June 16, 2021 by Malerie Yolen-Cohen and Sandra Foyt
Are you looking for an Art Getaway in the Northeast US?
You’ll find it here! From the venerable Museum of Fine Arts in Boston to the fragile creations at Corning Glass Museum in the Finger Lakes NY, the Northeast is replete with art museums filled with remarkable collections.
Here are the best art museums in the Northeast, linked to weekend getaways to see them.
Vermont Art Museums and Weekend Getaway Guides
- Bennington VT: Bennington Museum – largest collection of Grandma Moses paintings.
- Woodstock VT: Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHS. Laurence Rockefeller collected Thomas Cole and other Hudson River School artists. See these and more on a special tour of his Vermont home, a part of the National Park service since 1992.
- Manchester VT: Southern Vermont Arts Center – avant guarde art in a series of renovated buildings.
Maine Art Museums and Other Attractions for Art Lovers
- Ogunquit ME: Origins of Maine Art Colonies, and early 20th Century art at the Ogunquit Museum Of American Art.
- Monhegan Island ME: Some well known mid-century artists couldn’t get far enough away from mainland Maine – so they found a still-active artist haven here.
- Waterville ME: Largest Art Museum in Maine at Colby College, with 700 pieces by Alex Katz.
- Rockland ME: Home to two art museums – the venerable Farnsworth and the brand new Center For Maine Contemporary Art – 24 art galleries, Andrew Wyeth‘s summer studio (where he painted Christina’s World) and the extraordinary just-built boutique hotel, 250 Main.
- Lubec ME: If the Performing Arts are more your thing, you probably already know about Summer Keys – multi-instrument workshops all summer long – and performances at the end of each one.
Connecticut Art Museums and Weekend Getaways
- Hartford CT: One of the oldest Art Museums in the country, the Wadsworth Atheneum spans 5,000 years.
- Old Lyme CT: Birthplace of American Impressionism. See original art on cupboards at Florence Griswold Home and Museum.
- Wethersfield CT: Wethersfield Academy of the Arts – a Classical Atelier, also hosts events and one-day (Sat.) classes for serious artists-in-training.
- Ridgefield CT: Weir Farm – home and studios of J. Alden Weir, one of America’s first Impressionist Artists in the late 1800’s. This is one of only two National Parks devoted to a single artist. (The other is Saint Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish NH – see below).
- New London CT: Lyman Allyn Art Museum. On 32 hilltop acres overlooking Connecticut’s Thames River.
Massachusetts Art Museums and Weekend Getaways
- Gloucester MA: Rocky Neck, one of the earliest and still authentic art colonies on the Northeast Coast.
- Lowell MA: James Whistler’s (Whistler’s Mother) boyhood home is an excellent art museum that, unfortunately, gets lost in midst of the Industrial Revolution National Historic Park.
- Worcester MA: Worcester Art Museum, with rare Roman Antioch Mosaics and other world-class art.
- Boston MA: The MFA, of course.
- Stockbridge MA: Norman Rockwell and Daniel Chester French (sculpted the Lincoln Memorial).
- Williamstown MA: The Clark’s new expansion.
- North Adams, MA: Mass MoCA – Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.
- Salem MA: The Peabody-Essex Museum gets lost in all the witch hoopla. But this incredible institution is worth a getaway on its own merits.
- Falmouth MA: Highfield Hall – a rescued historic home. Cutting edge installations.
New Hampshire Art Museums and Weekend Getaways
- Hanover NH: Hood Museum of Art and Orozco Murals at Dartmouth College
- Cornish NH: Saint Gaudens National Historic Site. One of only two National Historic Parks devoted to a particular artist (the other is Weir Farm in Ridgefield CT – see above).
- Manchester NH: Currier Museum of Art. This world-class museum has a connection to an iconic Frank Lloyd Wright home.
New Jersey Art Museums and Other Attractions For Art Lovers
- Jersey City NJ: The one-million square foot gallery/studio/storage/shipping facility for hundreds of established and emerging artists – MANA Contemporary.
- Trenton and Princeton NJ: Grounds for Sculpture – incredible outdoor sculpture garden, and the Princeton University Art Gallery.
New York State Art Museums and Weekend Getaways
- Buffalo NY: unsung Albright-Knox Museum, Burchfield-Penney Art Center and several Frank Lloyd Wright homes.
- Utica NY: Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute, designed by Philip Johnson.
- Rochester NY: Home to Kodak founder, George Eastman, Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery is a hidden gem.
- West Point NY: Storm King Art Center – another world-class large outdoor sculpture museum.
- Beacon NY: DIA:Beacon – contemporary art, large installations, in a former paper factory.
- Nyack NY: Childhood home of Edward Hopper.
- Long Island City/Astoria Queens NY: Noguchi Museum, MoMA PS1, Sculpture Center.
- Catskill NY: Thomas Cole NHS – home of “The Father of the Hudson River School of Art.”
- Hudson NY: Olana – home of landscape artist, Frederick Church.
Pennsylvania Art Museums and Weekend Getaways
- Butler PA: One of the best Asian Art museums in the state, The Maridon, is nestled on a residential street in this small western PA town. A true hidden gem.
- Philadelphia PA: With museums galore, don’t ignore the several thousand Murals that adorn many building walls.
- Brandywine Valley PA: It’s Wyeth Country. Three generations of Wyeth’s are represented in the Brandywine River Museum of Art.
- Pittsburgh PA: As Andy Warhol’s boyhood city, and home to some crazy avant-guarde art, Pittsburgh is surprisingly with it when it comes to creatives.